April 2009 Archives


University of Rochester Memorial Art Gallery, Catalogue of an Exhibition of Portraitures of James McNeill Whistler ([Rochester, N.Y.] Priv. print., 1915). Graphic Arts: Reference Collection (GARF) ND237.W6 R6

The title page of this James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) exhibition catalogue holds the collector’s mark, “From Whistleriana of Elmer Adler.” A further look reveals this is copy no. 1 of an edition of 130, printed on hand-made paper by the Craftsman press of Rochester, New York. Princeton’s volume is heavily extra-illustrated with mounted or tipped-in correspondence, prints, drawings, and photographs of the works in the exhibition.

The curator and major lender of the show was 34 year old Elmer Adler. In the early years of the 20th century, Adler was living in Rochester and well-known for his collecting interests. The local university art gallery tapped him several times to exhibit his holdings.

In 1915, Adler was asked to prepare an exhibition of portraits of the American artist J. M. Whistler, one part of his larger Whistleriana collection. What followed was a great deal of personal correspondence, research notes, and reproduction inquiries. When the show was complete and the catalogue printed, Adler gathered all the paperwork together and had it bound with the catalogue into one unique, extra-illustrated edition, now part of Princeton’s graphic arts collection.

An illustrated lecture entitled “Making Pictures for the Floating World: Ukiyo-e Artists and Publishers” will be presented by Julie Davis, Professor of Art History, University of Pennsylvania, on Sunday, May 3, 2009, at 3:00 p.m. in 101 McCormick Hall, followed by a reception in the Milberg Gallery. This event is in conjunction with the exhibition “Beauty & Bravado in Japanese Woodblock Prints: Highlights from the Gillett G. Griffin Collection given in honor of Dale Roylance” on view in the Milberg Gallery, Firestone Library, through June 7, 2009.

The Milberg Gallery is open to the public, free of charge, weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Wednesday evenings, 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.; and weekends, noon to 5:00 p.m. The gallery is located on the second floor of Rare Books and Special Collections, Firestone Library, Princeton University, One Washington Road, Princeton, New Jersey. For information on visiting the campus, see: http://www.princeton.edu/main/visiting

Utagawa Kunisada (Toyokuni III, 1786-1865), Chapter Thirty-four: Wakana No Jô, from the series: Parody on the Fifty-four Chapters of the Tale of Genji (Genji gojûyojô), 1858, 9th month. Signed: Toyokuni ga. Publisher: Wakasaya Yoichi. Ôban tate-e diptych. Color woodblock print (nishiki-e).

Happy Anniversary Wm Blake

William Blake (1757-1827), Chaucer’s Canterbury Pilgrims, 10 August 1810. Engraving after tempera painting. Taylor collection GA 2008.01117

William Blake (1757-1827) had only one exhibition and received only one published review in his lifetime. We are celebrating the 200th anniversary of this 1809 show, held at 28 Broad Street (the same building where Blake was born) on the second floor above the family shop now run by his brother Robert. Six visitors paid 2s 6d to attended, including Robert Hunt, a reviewer from The Examiner, who wrote: “The poor man fancies himself a great master, having painted a few wretched pictures, blotted and blurred and very badly drawn … [Blake is] an unfortunate lunatic whose personal inoffensiveness secures him from confinement.”

For the show Blake wrote and published a Descriptive Catalogue, along with an index to the works in the exhibition. The title page reads (spelling is Blake’s) “In this Exhibition will be seen real Art, as it was left us by Raphael and Albert Durer, Michael Angelo and Julio Romano; stripped from the Ignorances of Rubens and Rembrandt, Titian and Correggio; By Wm Blake.” Happily, this ephemeral catalogue only known to most of us from notes in a history book, can now be seen in person at separate exhibitions in London and in Paris, or you can buy the reprint recently published by Tate Britain.

Blake’s purpose in mounting this poorly attended exhibition was to highlight his interpretation of Chaucer’s Canterbury Pilgrims, and prove the superiority of his work over the one exhibited in 1806 by publisher Robert Cromek and the artist Thomas Stothard. Blake had given Cromek the idea for a Chaucer print and was angry when a more commercial artist was chosen to accomplish it. Blake responded with both a tempera painting “Sir Jeffery Chaucer and the Nine and Twenty Pilgrims on their Journey to Canterbury” for the 1809 exhibition and in 1810, this engraving.

“Every age is a Canterbury Pilgrimage,” wrote Blake in his catalogue, “We all pass on, each sustaining one or other of these characters, nor can a child be born who is not one of these characters of Chaucer.”

Ten Years in Wall Street

William Worthington Fowler (1833-1881), Ten Years in Wall Street; or, Revelations of Inside Life and Experience on Change. Illustrated by Arthur Lumley (1837-1912). (Hartford, Conn.: Worthington, Dustin, 1870). Added title page engraved by John Filmer. Other engravers include George Wevill & George Hammar, Charles Spiegle, and Kingdon & Boyd. Arts Collection (GAX) Hamilton 1815

Hamlet, the Song

Arthur Murphy (1727-1805), Hamlet [sheet music] (London: Goulding &D’Almaine, 1822?). Cover illustration by George Cruikshank (1792-1878). Graphic Arts (GA) Cruik 1822.45

British artist George Cruikshank is known for his caricatures, book illustrations, and oil paintings but he also designed sheet music. This song for voice and piano, based on the story of Hamlet is a good example (first and last pages shown here). The final verse goes:

So then he stabbed his liege,
Then fell on Ophy’s brother,
And so the Danish Court,
All tumbled one on t’other.
To celebrate these deeds,
Which are from no false shamlet,
Every Village small,
Hence-forth was called a Hamlet.

The Princeton University Library holds several dozen pieces of sheet music illustrated by Cruikshank. Here are a few:

William Hone (1780-1842), Great Gobble Gobble Gobble, and Twit Twittle Twit, or Law, Versus Common Sense: being a twitting report of successive attacks on a tom tit, his stout defenses & final victory: a new song with original music ([London]: Published by William Hone, [ca.1817]) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Cruik 1818.36
The Song refers to William Hone, and the design represents a farmyard with the different characters engaged in the trial as domestic birds, notably Lord Ellenborough as a turkey and William Hone as a tom-tit.

Jacob Beuler, Tea in the Arbour; a Comic Song written by J. Beuler, and sung with great applause by Mr. Fitzwilliam (London: B. Williams [1819?]) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Oversize Cruik 1819.9q

Jonathan Blewitt (1782-1853), Wery Ridiculous! Or, Fickle Miss Nicholas; a new comic song, sung by Mr. Keeley, at the Theatre Royal, Covent Garden. The words by Mr. Beuler … (London: Keith, Prowse & Co. [18—]) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Oversize Cruik 18—q

George Colman (1762-1836), Barney Buntline and Billy Bowling, or, The Advantages of Being at Sea (London: Printed and published by Clementi, Collard & Collard, between 1822 and 1830]) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Oversize Cruik 18—.99f

Dolly and the Rat, or, The Brisket Family: a burlesque, tragic, comic, operatic parody on The maid and magpie, with songs, &c. &c. in two acts … : now performing with acclamations of applause at the Olympic Theatre (London: Printed and published by Duncombe … 1823) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Cruik 1823.27

Mathews in America, or, The Theatrical Wanderer: a cargo of new characters, original songs, and concluding piece of the Wild goose chase, or, The inn at Baltimore (London: Printed by & for Hodgson & Co. … [1823]) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Cruik 1823.7

Charles Dibdin (1745-1814), Songs, Naval and National, of the Late Charles Dibdin; with a memoir and addenda (London: John Murray, 1841) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Cruik 1841.3

Writers at Onteora Park

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Photographer unknown, Group of Laurence Hutton’s friends, 1890. Albumen silver print. Gift of Laurence Hutton. Graphic Arts GA 2009- in process

In the summer of 1890, Samuel Clemens (second from the right), his wife Livy, and their three daughters rented a cottage called The Balsam at Onteora Park. Twain’s good friend and literary editor of Harper’s Magazine Laurence Hutton (fifth from the left) and his wife were also in residence.

Onteora Park was the first of several private communities built in the Catskills during the 1880s as a summer residence for artists, writers, and select wealthy families. Candace Wheeler (center chair) and her brother, Frank Thurber, bought the land and founded the colony, which quickly developed into a lively seasonal community. Clemens famously did not finish a single story that summer, although he did have his portrait painted by Carroll Beckwith (far left). There was an orchestra to play during meals and at the dances in the evenings. There were theatrical productions in which everyone took a role, as well as pantomimes, charades, and stories told by firelight.

That summer frequent dinner parties moved between the Clemens and Hutton cottages, such as the one that brought these men and women together. Several prints of this photograph were made and the individual sitters signed each of the mounts. For whatever reason, the print at Princeton (donated by Hutton) is missing one signature, which is present in other published examples.

Those who did sign include painter James Carroll Beckwith (1852-1917); W.F. Clarke; Mary Elizabeth Dodge (1830-1905); Lillie Hamilton French (1854-1939); Laurence Hutton (1843-1904); Brander Matthews (1852-1929); Richard Heber Newton (1840-1914); Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain, 1835-1910); Onteora’s founder Candace Wheeler (1827-1923); Dora Wheeler (1849-1916).

Four prints to decorate your room

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Paul Allier, Les quatre saisons (Paris: Galerie Lutétia, [192-?]). Pochoir plates. Copy 918 of 1000. Gift of Charles Rahn Fry. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2004-0389Q

The Golden Age of Typography is Now


In the spring issue of Eye, Deborah Littlejohn asks twelve professionals whether we are living in a new Golden Age of type design,

“perhaps akin to that heralded by the invention of the printing press …, the rise of the independent typographer in the early twentieth century (following the development of the mechanical punch cutter and typecasting machines), or the fearless experimentation of the 1990s, triggered by the ubiquity of the personal computer and the democratisation of type production tools.”

Their answers are worth reading: http://www.eyemagazine.com/feature.php?id=166&fid=746

Eye: the International Review of Graphic Design (London, England: Wordsearch, Ltd., 1990- ). Firestone Library (F) Oversize NC1 .E94q.

Ye Occasional Idler!

John J. Corell, Ye Occasional Idler. A family paper published by an association of gentlemen containing controversial and practical matter articles of intelligence and miscellany (Mt Washington, Mass.: Corell Printer, 1932). First issue August 1932. Graphic Arts (GAX) 2009- in process


“Earnest appreciation of The Busy Idler, published here in August 1875 is our first thought and we are proud after fifty years to feel the same urge to unfurl again the banner of an “Idler”. We proclaim to the work-a-day world that our Township of Mt. Washington, the highest in the Commonwealth, still is noted for its salubrious substantiality flourishing as of yore with no debt, no paupers, no lawyers or dentists or doctors; no bank and, we really enjoy our occasional preacher.”

Also from the Corell Press, A Booke to Showe Certaine Goodlie Types for Printinge in Olde Style (Neu Amsterdam [i.e. New York]: Corell Press, 1900). “Ye Corell Press & ye Press of ye Classical School Associated Printers in ye olde style at Vniversity Place & Ninth Street in ye goodlie city of Neu Amsterdam.”—Colophon. Houghton Library, Harvard University

Hans Sebald Beham

Hans Sebald Beham, Der Genius mit dem Alphabet (The Genius with the Alphabet), 1542. Engraving. Bartsch 229. Pauli 233. Graphic Arts, German prints

The German artist Hans Sebald Beham (1500-1550), who often went by Sebald Beham or HSB, grew up in Nuremberg during a time of political unease. The Nuremberg council actively sought out prints that might be considered propaganda or printmakers who might be religious agitators. Sebald, his brother Barthel (1502-1540), and their colleague George Pencz (1500-1550) were nicknamed the “Godless Painters” when they were brought to trial for atheism, specifically a disbelief in transubstantiation. All three were expelled from Nuremberg, only to return after about ten months.

Sebald was chiefly recognized for his small engravings in the style of Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), the undisputed superstar of the era, but this similarity also brought him trouble. When Hieronymus Andreae (ca.1500-1556) hired Sebald in 1527 to illustrated a Lutheran prayer book and several other projects, the two were accused of plagiarizing Dürer and Sebald was once again forced out of Nuremberg.

Biblia: insignium historiarum simulachris… (Paris, printed by François Gryphius, 1542). Graphic Arts (GAX) Z232.G8751 B52

Settling in Frankfurt, Sebald produced nearly 2,000 prints during his career. The same year he engraved the putti above, he was also one of several artists responsible for the woodcuts used in the first Paris Bible to contain illustrations in the Renaissance style, as recognized by bibliographer Ruth Mortimer. She writes, “The first three Old Testament cuts are based on Holbein blocks common to the Dance of Death and Icones sets; the remainder of the Old Testament illustration derives chiefly from a series by Hans Sebald Beham.” (French 16th century books GA Z881 .H346)

For more, see Gustav Pauli (1866-1938), Hans Sebald Beham: ein kritisches Verzeichnis seiner Kupferstiche, Radierungen und Holzschnitte (Strassburg: J.H.E. Heitz, 1901). Marquand Library (SA) ND588.B4 P2

Egypt, Sinai, and Jerusalem

Francis Frith (1822-1898), Egypt, Sinai, and Jerusalem: a Series of Twenty Photographic Views; with descriptions by Sophia Lane Poole (1804-1891) and Reginald Stuart Poole (1832-1895) (London: James S. Virtue, [after 1858]). 20 albumen silver prints, sheet: 53.3 x 73.6 cm. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2004-0006E

Francis Frith collaborated with a lecturer and scholar of antiquities at the British Museum, Reginald Poole, and with Poole’s mother, Sophia, to produce this mammoth album of photographs. It is interesting that at the same time, Sophia’s brother Edward W. Lane (1801-1876), a scholar of Oriental linguistics, was working with Reginald on an illustrated edition of the Arabian Nights (The Thousand and One Nights, a new translation from the Arabic, with copious notes by Edward William Lane; illustrated … by William Harvey; edited by his nephew Edward Stanley Poole, 1859. Rare Books (Ex) 2263.2869).

The Poole’s had spent over seven years living and working in Egypt, and were fluent not only with the languages of the region but the history and culture. Frith on the other hand made only three trips to the area—1856-57, 1858, and 1859—passing through some cities only once. His objective was to capture photographic images that could be reproduced in many formats and sold as widely as possible. In this, he certainly succeeded.

In the beginning, Frith contracted with Thomas Agnew and Son to sell individual prints made from 16 x 20 inch negatives and with James S. Virtue to publish groups of photographs in a series of albums. Negretti and Zambra handled the stereoscopic views sold both individually and in sets. In addition, Frith formed his own company, F. Frith & Co. to sell his own work and the photographs of others, specializing in scenic travel views, which were of great interest to the British public. Frith built the largest photographic archive in Great Britain and then, in the 1880s, handed the business over to his sons and moved to a villa along the French Riviera to write his memoirs.

To see more of Princeton’s holdings of Frith albums and photographs, continue below.

Newyorks Hamn och Redd

Axel Klinkowström (1775-1837), engraved by Carl Fredrik Akrell (1779-1868), Newyorks Hamn och Redd, från Brooklyn på Longisland (published in Klinkowstöm’s Atlas, Stockholm, 1824). Gift of Leonard L. Milberg, class of 1953. Graphic Arts

Axel Klinkowström (1775-1837), engraved by Carl Fredrik Akrell (1779-1868), Brodway gatan och Rådhuset i New York (published in Klinkowstöm’s Atlas, Stockholm, 1824). Gift of Leonard L. Milberg, class of 1953. Graphic Arts

Swedish Baron Axel Leonhard Klinkowström (or Klinckowström) became an ensign at the age of 17 and rose to Lieutenant-Colonel. It was in detached service from the naval fleet that he visited the United States from 1818 to 1820. The purpose of his trip was to investigate the American steamboat and study its possibilities for use by the Swedish navy.

During these two years in America, Klinkowström wrote 25 illustrated letters home to Admiral Claes Cronstedt and the Swedish public, which were published in 1924 under the title Bref om de Förenta Staterna (EX Oversize 1053.527.1824E, 2 v.+ atlas) and translated into English in 1957 as Baron Klinkowström’s America, 1818-1820 (Recap 1053.527)

Here are a few excerpts:

The harbor is full of small sailing vessels, yachts, and schooners which come from all America’s ports to this mid-point of all movement. Usually these ships are well-painted and are built in a light and handsome style. The steamboats which come and go like stagecoaches add great activity to this picture. Behind the city itself the great Hudson River empties into the harbor, which is large and reaches as far as New Jersey. This grand panorama is bounded by the New Jersey coast and the highlands on the other side of the Hudson.
…I want to advise any travelers who plan to stay in this country for a while not to live in expensive hotels. Everywhere, and especially here in New York, there are boarding houses where one can lodge comfortably and enjoy adequate board at varying rates. The advantage of these boarding houses over hotels is that one lives in closed company which is pleasant, for the guest are people with some education and with whom one can become acquainted. Breakfast is served at nine o’clock, after which each one goes to his duties. Dinner is served at four or five and then the guests gather in the living room before a glowing fire where the evening is spent in card playing, games, or merriment.
…According to what I have found, people here show more respect for the laws than they do in Europe, and do not require such strong measures to govern and maintain authority. Although the American people are compounded from different nations, although different tongues are spoken and different religious sects exist, less grave crimes are committed…than in Europe. Contrast this with conditions in Southern Europe, where, despite watchful police and strong armies and severe punishment, it is still not always possible to protect the peaceful citizen…

Andy Warhol's Index Book

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Andy Warhol (1928-1987), Andy Warhol’s index (book). With the assistance of Stephen Shore [and others] and particularly David Paul. Several photos by Nat Finkelstein. Factory fotos by Billy Name (New York: Random House, 1967). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) GAX 2009- in process

This book was designed by Andy Warhol during the 1960s as “a children’s book for hipsters.” The volume, as originally published, included 10 interesting details that have broken or fallen out of many volumes and so, a complete book is extremely rare. These include a silver balloon; a pop-up Hines Tomato Paste can; a pop-up castle (reference to the house in Los Angeles where rock bands recorded); a folded geodesic dome (dodecahedron); a sheet of stamps to be placed in water (presumably tabs of LSD); a paper accordion; a multi-colored pop-up airplane; a paper disc with “The Chelsea Girls” in printed type on wire spring; a 45 R.P.M. flexi-disc with portrait of Lou Reed, which plays an otherwise unrecorded song by Nico and the Velvet Underground; and an illustration of a nose with two colored overlays on a double-folded page. Princeton’s copy is missing the airplane.

Princeton University Libraries hold nearly 200 books about Andy Warhol. To read about what he thought of this period, in his own words, see: I’ll Be Your Mirror: the Selected Andy Warhol Interviews: 1962-1987 / edited by Kenneth Goldsmith (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2004) Marquand Library (SA) N6537.W28 A5 2004

The Academicians of the Royal Academy

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Richard Earlom (1742-1822), The Academicians of the Royal Academy or The Royal Academy of Art after the painting by Johann Zoffany (1733-1810), published 1773. Mezzotint. GA 2005.01515

Mezzotint engraver Richard Earlom (1742-1822), executed a series of prints after drawings and paintings by well-known artists such as Claude Lorraine, Jan van Huysum, Guido Reni, Joshua Reynolds, and others. This mezzotint reproduces an oil painting attributed to Johann Zoffany, depicting 36 members or academicians (RAs) of the Royal Academy of Arts, London. The group is seen in the Life Room at the Old Somerset House, where members gathered for life drawings sessions. Each of the figures can be identified, and a complete list of names can be found on the National Portrait Gallery’s website: http://www.npg.org.uk

Full membership to the academy is limited to painters, printmakers, sculptors, or architects actively working in Great Britain. Both Earlom and Zoffany were elected to this celebrated group. In the beginning, both men and women were accepted into membership: Angelica Kauffman (1741-1807) and Mary Moser (1744-1819) were among the founding members. However, these two women were not allowed to serve on the governing council of the Academy, or to take part in committee work, as other members were required to do. The two women were also not allowed to attend life classes, where models were drawn in the nude. So it is fitting that these two women are only seen in this image as portraits on the wall.

Things quickly got worse for female artists. The organization discouraged other women from joining and after Kauffman and Moser died, no other female artist was accepted to full membership until 1922. The only exception came in the late-nineteenth century, when a few women were allowed to hold a life class inside the Academy but no men were allowed in the room.

To see other work by Earlom, see Liber veritatis (1777-1819). Marquand Library SAX Oversize ND553.G3 A31f

Prière de toucher (Please Touch)

Le Surréalisme en 1947 (Paris: Pierre à Feu, Maeght, 1947). Rare Books (Ex) N6490 .P21

We have a wonderful conservation staff here at Firestone Library, dedicated to the care and preservation of our rare books and special collections. As you might imagine, these materials can present uncommon problems that need unique solutions. One of our conservation technicians Nicole Dobrowolski, working under the assistant rare books conservator Jody Beenk, designed and constructed this housing for Le Surréalisme en 1947, the catalogue for the Exposition Internationale du Surréalisme at Galerie Maeght in Paris. The book was conceived by André Breton (1896-1966) and Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) and produced in an edition of 999 copies. It is illustrated with eighteen lithographs, five etchings, and two woodcuts by such artists as Joan Miró, Max Ernst, Hans Bellmer, and others.

The trouble with the book is its cover, featuring a foam rubber breast glued onto black velvet. The design was a collaboration between Duchamp and Enrico Donati (1909-2008), working together in New York, while the book was being printed in Paris. When asked about the project, Donati said he purchased 999 falsies from a warehouse in Brooklyn and then, the two artists painted each one by hand and assembled them on cardboard covers. They liked the idea that the readers would have to handle the breast in order to get at the text so added a sticker to the back of the volume: Prière de toucher (Please touch).

However, it was this handling, along with the instability of the foam rubber, which caused the book’s damage. Our conservators needed to design a housing that would allow researchers to view the cover without handling it while still having complete access to the volume’s text. The solution was this beautifully constructed, multi-compartment clamshell box designed to fit each individual part of the book, case, and cover.

Mirror of Brave Military Guards in Kamakura

Utagawa Kunisada (歌川国貞, Toyokuni III, 1786-1865), Kamakura Buei Yoshi Kagami (Mirror of Brave Military Guards in Kamakura), ca. 1844. Color woodblock print triptych. Graphic Arts division GA2009- in process

Minamoto no Noriyori (1156-1193) sixth son of Minamoto no Yoshitomo

These three Japanese men were half-brothers during the late Heian and early Kamakura period. They were also successful generals whose achievements made them celebrated figures in the battles of the Genpei War. From 1180-1185, they fought against the Taira warriors, leading tens of thousands of soldiers over mountains and across seas. The brothers won magnificent battles and accomplished remarkable feats to successfully retake the city of Kyoto and ultimately defeat their enemies in the climactic Battle of Dan no Ura in April 1185.

However, suspicion and envy led to violent arguments between the brothers and in 1189, Yoritomo ordered that Yoshitsune be put to death. Noriyori was asked to lead the expedition to kill their brother and when he refused, Yoritomo had him sent into exile and later executed. To save face, Yoshitsune committed suicide.

Minamoto no Yoritomo (1147-1199) third son of Minamoto no Yoshitomo
Minamoto no Yoshitsune (1159-1189) ninth son of Minamoto no Yoshitomo

The story of Yoshitsune has been retold in many books and songs, as well as a movie by Akira Kurosawa entitled Tora no O wo Fumu Otokotachi (They Who Step on a Tiger's Tail), based on the kabuki play Kanjincho.

For more information, see Elizabeth Oyler, Swords, Oaths, and Prophetic Visions: Authoring Warrior Rule in Medieval Japan (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2006). East Asian Library (Gest): Western PL747.33.W3 O95 2006

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