Thomas Nast archive

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Albert Bigelow Paine (1861-1937), An archive of reviews and memorabilia relating to the book Th. Nast, His Period and His Pictures, in an album supplied by the book’s publisher Macmillan Company, [1904]. Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process

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Two years after the death of caricaturist Thomas Nast (1840-1902), his biographer Albert Paine finished the story of Nast’s life and published it with Macmillan Company. The publisher bound another unique book for Paine to look exactly like the biography but with blank pages. In this book, he glued reviews of his book.

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Paine tracked down every article, commentary, newspaper column, and publisher’s announcement regarding Nast’s life and stuffed them into the volume’s nearly 600 pages. The collection includes interesting pieces of ephemera in a variety of formats. There is an ALS (a letter hand-written and signed by the same individual) from William Magear “Boss” Tweed (1823-1878) to a correspondent dated 1869. On the verso is a note written by Paine that reads “two or three years before his exposure by Nast.” There is a 1902 holiday greeting card from Nast to Paine inscribed “Thanks my dear mascot” and a note from Paine offering sympathy to Mrs. Nast at Nast’s death.

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Several complete stories are inserted, small brochures and booklets, and a fund raising booklet entitled Testimonial to Thomas Nast. The last was written in 1873 by N.P. Chipman to update readers on Thomas Nast’s poor health. It ends with an appeal for subscribers to pledge one hundred dollars each “toward a fund which, if sufficiently large, shall be used first, to pay off a mortgage of $10,000 upon his home in Morristown, New jersey; and , second, to defray the expense of himself and family to Europe, or elsewhere, as many seem best to him.”

Copies of wood engravings, line block prints, and a few original pen drawings are dropped in between the pages.

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