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The Excellency of the Pen and Pencil

The Excellency of the Pen and Pencil, Exemplifying the Uses of Them in the Most Exquisite and Mysterious Arts of Drawing, Etching, Engraving, Limning. Painting in Oyl, Washing of Maps & Pictures … (London, Printed by T. Ratcliff and T. Daniel, for D. Newman and R. Jones, 1668). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2003-1344N

The coming of the seventeenth-century brought a proliferation of drawing manuals, beginning with Henry Peacham (1576?-1643?), The Art of Dravving vvith the Pen and Limning in Water Colours (London: Printed by Richard Braddock, 1606) [available online as an electronic text]. These books were written for an aristocratic audience of men and women who had the time to train their eyes and improve their mind.

The manuals provided instruction with an emphasis on art as an intellectual endeavor. Drawing is always the essential practice, with the arts of printing and painting coming later. Linear or contour models of the body parts are offered for copying, teaching the popular practice of limning.

The Excellency of the Pen and Pencil was published anonymously, printed by Thomas Ratcliff and Thomas Daniel, and sold by them at the Chyrurgeons Arms and at the Golden Lyon. The text is based in part on the writings of Albrecht Dürer and Hans Holbein. The title page introduces it as “A Work very useful for all Gentlemen, and other Ingenious Spirits, either Artificers or others.” A second edition was published in 1688 with the significant edition of a section on the mezzotint, a process that came into use just after the first edition had been released.

Other seventeenth-century drawing manuals available at Princeton include: Sir William Sanderson (1586?-1676), Graphice. The Use of the Pen and Pensil. Or, The Most Excellent Art of Painting (London: Printed for R. Crofts, 1658). Marquand Library (SA) NE910.G7 F17 1658

John Evelyn (1620-1706), Sculptura, or, The History, and Art of Chalcography and Engraving in Copper (London: Printed by J.C., 1662) Graphic Arts Collection (GAX), NE1760 .E94

William Salmon (1644-1713), Polygraphice: or the Arts of Drawing, Engraving, Etching, Limning, Painting, Washing, Varnishing, Gilding, Colouring, Dying, Beautifying and Perfuming (London: Printed by A. Clark, for John Crumpe, 1675). 3rd ed. Marquand Library (SAX): Rare Books, NE910.G7 S45 1675x

Mirth Verses Misery

John Britton (1771-1857), The Pleasures of Human Life (London: Printed for Longman, Hurst, Rees, and Orme …, 1807). Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Rowlandson 1807.3

In 1806, Reverend James Beresford (1764-1840) published a series of humorous dialogues entitled, The Miseries of Human Life (Graphic Arts, Rowlandson 1806.3). The book proved so popular that three editions sold out in a matter of weeks.

Several imitations appeared the following year, including Robert Heron’s Comforts of Human Life (Graphic Arts, Rowlandson 1807.4) but the most successful by far was The Pleasures of Human Life published under the name of Hilaris Benevolus and Company, Fellows of the “London Literary Society of Lusorists.” In fact, the book was written by John Britton, a young man whose only other books to date were historical and topographical essays on England.

Britton followed Beresford’s use of dialogues and his use of hand-colored etchings by Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827), commissioning five prints only loosely connected to the text. The frontispiece literally turns Beresford’s book topsy-turvy, complimented by an illustrated title page, drawn by another popular artist of the time, R. William Satchwell (1732-1811) and engraved by William Bond.

Britton wrote that members of the Society of Lusorists, including Benevolus, Simon Specific, David Demurrer, and others, held meetings to “examine, canvass, and discuss the most noted and popular acts, deeds, and things done, performed, and committed in the British metropolis.” The pleasures are separated between male, female, and neuter, “interspersed with various anecdotes, and expounded by numerous annotations.”

Britton went on to become an celebrated advocate of historic preservation and in 1845, a Britton Club was formed in his honor.

Edward Gordon Craig's first publications

Edward Gordon Craig (1872-1966), Gordon Craig’s Book of Penny Toys (Hackbridge, Surrey: Published at the Sign of the Rose; London : Sold by Lamley, 1899). 43 prints.Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize NE1326.5.T68 C73 1899q

The British actor, director and artist Edward Gordon Craig (1872-1966) was the son of actress Ellen Terry and designer Edwin Godwin. He began his professional career as an actor with Henry Irving’s company at his Lyceum Theatre in London. Craig played Hamlet in 1894 and again in 1896, but gave up acting soon after. His interest in art and design became more important to him and ultimately, occupied all his time and energies.

It was in Uxbridge around 1893 that Craig met the artists James Ferrier Pryde and William Nicholson, from whom he learned to make prints and in particular, fell in love with the woodcut. In 1898, Craig started a magazine, The Page, which he edited, illustrated, and published as an outlet for his own work. In less than two years, he had completed nearly 200 woodblocks and published Gordon Craig’s Book of Penny Toys.

Craig printed 500 copies of Penny Toys and began to hand color them but before long, tired of this work. His solution was to burn 250 copies to reduce the edition size. Craig continued coloring the books and is said to have finished approximately 100 of the remaining 250 before he turned the rest of the coloring over to Jess Dorynne.

Craig moved to Germany in 1904, where he wrote and published On the Art of the Theatre. A few years later, Constantin Stanislavski invited him to direct Hamlet with the Moscow Arts Theatre. Craig also designed the sets, using a series of neutral, movable screens. He later presented a set to William Butler Yeats for use at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland.

The Page (Carshalton, Eng.: E.G. Craig, 1898-1901) Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) NE1000 .P333

While most publishers content themselves with one form of illustration in any individual book, a few select titles include a variety of illustrative techniques. This account of surgical pratices during the American Civil War includes etchings, wood engravings, lithographs, chromolithographs, albumen photographs, heliotypes, and woodburytypes. In short, almost every reproductive process available at the time can be found somewhere within these six bound volumes. Here are a few samples.

United States. Surgeon-General’s Office. The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1870-1888). John Shaw Pierson Civil War Collection W Oversize W53.923q

Eugène Grasset, Nouveau Illustrator

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Histoire des quatre fils Aymon, très nobles et très vaillans chevaliers [The Story of the Four Sons of Aymon: Noble and Valiant Knights] (Paris: H. Launette, 1883). De luxe edition: 200 copies. Illustrated with watercolor designs by Eugène Grasset (1841-1917) transferred to zinc relief plates and printed in color by Charles Gillot (1853-1903). The binding, by Henri Noulhac (1866-1931), is brown half morocco and marbled boards with gilt filet borders. Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Oversize 2005-0158Q

Eugène Grasset merges decoration and illustration in the designs for his late nineteenth-century books and posters. His borders spill inward, overlapping with the text and vying for the reader’s attention. It took the artist over two years to design 250 unique pages for this Art Nouveau version of the chansons de geste of Charlemagne and the book remains a signifiant moment in the history of the French illustrated book. Other examples of Grasset’s designs can be seen in:

Eugène Grasset. La plante et ses applications ornementales. Paris: Librairie Centrale des Beaux-Arts, [1896?]. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) oversize 2004-0004E and oversize 2004-0003E
Anatole France. Le procurateur de Judée. Paris: Édouard Pelletan, 1902. Rare Books (Ex) 3253.3.372
Eugène Grasset. Méthode de composition ornementale. Paris, Librairie centrale des beaux-arts [1905] NK1510 .G7q
Mathurin Méheut. Études d’animaux. Paris: Librarie centrale des beaux-arts, c1911. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2006-0085F

Picasso Block


Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850), Le chef-d’oeuvre inconnu (The Unknown Masterpiece) (Paris: Vollard, 1931). 13 etchings and 67 woodcuts by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). Copy no. 154 of 340, with an additional suite of 13 etchings. Book is a gift of Monroe Wheeler. Graphic Arts collection GAX oversize PQ2163.C4 1931q. Block is a gift of Elizabeth Roth in honor of Karl Kup.

Le chef-d’oeuvre inconnu is a short story by Honoré de Balzac, which was originally called “Maître Frenhofer” or “Master Frenhofer” when it was published in 1831. The character of Frenhofer is a painter who has been working on the same painting for ten years. Over that time, he develops a complex relationship with his model who is also his mistress. The story ends sadly, with the artist burning his canvas before he dies.

In 1927, the French art dealer and publisher Ambroise Vollard commissioned Picasso to illustrate a deluxe edition of Balzac’s text, intended for fine art print collectors. Picasso connected with the story on a very deep level, to the point that he moved his studio to the street where the hero of the story had lived. On the centenary of the story, the Picasso/Balzac edition was released.

Along with this masterpiece in 20th-century book design, the collection of graphic arts holds a woodblock designed by Picasso for Le chef-d’oeuvre inconnu that was never included in the published edition.

Amadou Bamba Day in Harlem


Touba / New York (New York: Khelcom Press, 2004). Edition: 45; printed on Kumohadamashi paper. Graphic Arts GAX 2008- in process.

Touba / New York is an examination of the Murid Brotherhood, a Sufi Muslim movement dedicated to the promotion of peace. The word Mouride in Arabic means “one who desires,” and the Mourides are one of the fastest growing religious movement in West Africa.

Once a year, Sheik Mourtada Mbaké, the youngest son of Amadou Bamba and the spiritual leader of the Mourides, travels to Harlem. The growing community of Senegalese expatriates gather around a red-brick building named the House of Islam on 137th Street and Edgecombe Avenue. They come to pay homage to the Sheik and receive his blessing. The week-long celebration begins on July 21 and ends on July 28, Amadou Bamba Day, with a huge parade down 116th street, through Little Senegal. The overwhelming majority of the men and women in this parade were originally from Touba (pronounced ta-wa-ba), the second largest city in Senegal and the location of Bamba’s sacred burial place.

This book grew out of the artist Peter Bogardus’ encounters and travels with descendants of Sheik Bamba and his foremost student, Ibra Fall. Text is printed from woodcuts cut by Peter Bogardus after calligraphy by Sherif Fall and Shaykh Ndiguel Fall. Illustrations include 35 photogravures by Bogardus.

Printed Paintings and Engraved Drawings

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Le Couronnement
(The Crowning)

Antoine Gautier de Montdorge (1701-1768), L’art d’imprimer les tableaux (Paris: Le Mercier, 1756). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2004-3391N. Gift of Elmer Adler.

In 1725, the German artist Jakob Christoffel Le Blon (1667-1741) published Scheme of Colours in Coloritto, outlining his discovery of a multi-color intaglio printing technique, which he used to print reproductions of chalk and pastel drawings. For the first time, full-color prints could be created from just three colors: blue, yellow, red (and later black) printed in that order, one on top of the other. Many eighteenth-century French printmakers learned and practiced this technique, which became known as chalk manner engraving. Variations were developed to also reproduce gouache and watercolor paintings.

Philibert-Louis Debucourt (1755-1832) was particularly able at wash manner printing and a good example of his work is “Le Couronnement” or “The Crowning” [at the left] from Héro et Léandre, translated by Le Chevalier de Quérelles (Paris: Pierre Didot l’ainé, 1801). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize PQ2384.Q45 H4 1801q. This particular print required six different plates with six different inks: blue, green, yellow, red, brown, and black, in that order.

In the nineteenth century, these time-consuming and expensive printing techniques were replaced with stencil and hand coloring, which was usually done by low-paid female workers.

Princeton owns a later publication by Antoine Gautier de Montdorge with Le Blon’s text in English and French, along with a complete explanation of the technique. For additional information on chalk manner printing, see the exhibition catalogue: Margaret Morgan Grasselli, Colorful Impressions: the Printmaking Revolution in Eighteenth-Century France ([Washington, D.C.]: National Gallery of Art, 2003). Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Oversize 2005-0445Q

For more on color, see the new rare books acquisition announced at

Polychromatic Decoration

W. & G. Audsley, Polychromatic Decoration as Applied to Buildings in the Mediaeval Styles (London: H. Sotheran & Co., 1882). GA Oversize NK2180.A8F

The Audsley brothers, William James (born 1833) and George Ashdown (1838-1925), were Scottish architects who practiced in Liverpool from 1856 to 1880, in London during the 1880s, and in New York City beginning in 1892.

Throughout their career, the brothers wrote, lectured, and published their designs and their beliefs, including the beautiful color-plate book Polychromatic Decoration. Intended as a pattern book and practical guide to the painted decoration of medieval-style buildings, the volume was an instant success. The brillient chromolithographs were printed by Firmin-Didot, who also published a French edition. Although the two editions were meant to be released simultaneously, La peinture murale décorative, dans le style du moyen age (Marquand Library (SA) Oversize NK2140 .A7f) actually came out weeks earlier, at the end of 1881 and so, has an earlier date. Each contains 36 chromolithographed plates, offering 166 designs.

In 1895, George Audsley presented a talk at the Architectural League of New York on “The Polychromatic Decoration of Churches,” which was reprinted in Architecture and Building. This may have led directly to the commission to design the painted ornamentation for Our Lady of Grace Roman Catholic Church of Hoboken, New Jersey. For Princetonians who want to see the Audsleys’ work in situ, this remains the closest example.

To see more digital images, go to:

Pro-Slavery Demonstrators Destroy Pennsylvania Hall

Pennsylvania Hall Association, History of Pennsylvania Hall, which was destroyed by a mob, on the 17th of May, 1838 (Philadelphia: Printed by Merrihew and Gunn, 1838). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Hamilton 1295

“It is with reluctance we come before the public with the story of our wrongs,” begins the final chapter of History of Pennsylvania Hall. “Were we to consult our own feelings, we should draw a veil over the disgraceful transactions we are about to disclose.”

Pennsylvania Hall opened its doors on Monday, May 14, 1838. The building was constructed to provide a safe place for organizations to meet and discuss the abolition of slavery. By Thursday evening, the building was demolished.

The first group to meet in the Hall was the Female Anti-Slavery Society and the next morning, a group of pro-slavery demonstrators began posting placards around Philadelphia, urging citizens to interfere, forcibly if they must, with further meetings. When the Society met again on Wednesday, demonstrators yelled and threw bricks through the windows.

On Thursday, the Society sent a letter to the mayor of Philadelphia, asking for his protection. A series of letters went back and forth all day and around sunset the mayor addressed 15,000 demonstrators who had gathered outside the Hall. He told them he would not stop them, in fact he said, “I look upon you as my police, and I trust you will abide by the laws, and keep order.” With that, the mob attacked the building and set it on fire.

The History is illustrated with three views of the Hall: a color lithograph frontispiece before the fire (top); a mezzotint by John Sartain depicting the fire (bottom); and a wood engraving of the ruins, drawn by John Archibald Woodside, Jr. and engraved by Reuben S. Gilbert (not shown here).

Eggs, Nests, and Beaks


Illustrations of the Nests and Eggs of Birds of Ohio. Texts by Howard Jones and illustrations by Virginia Jones. (Circleville, Ohio, 1886). GAX 2008- in process.

“Nest and Eggs” is a beautiful color-plate book that began in 1877 as the project of Genevieve Jones and Eliza Shulze, two young women in Circleville, Ohio. Jones’ father offered to finance the publication and to collect the birds’ nests for the girls to illustrate. None of them had any previous experience but it was their hope to produce a scientific work in twenty parts, illustrated with hand-colored lithographs, which would sell for $5.00/part.

According to the research of Ernest Wessen, published in The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America 47, no. 3 (1953), some of the production and most of the credit for the publication was taken over by Genevieve’s younger brother, Howard. Even their mother, Virginia, who help out after 1879, received more credit than her daughter.

Regardless, the production of the book was exceptional. Adolph Krebs, a professional lithographer, shuttled 65 pound stones back and forth between Circleville and his studio in Cincinnati. Josephine Klippart, a professional colorist, was paid $3/print. Robert Clarke, a Cincinnati publisher, printed the text and wrappers.

The first part was released in July of 1879 and the final part in December of 1886. In the end, the biggest loser might have been Dr. Jones, who put up $13,181 for the edition of 90 copies (23 parts, 60 plates). Records indicate sales over ten years returning just $2,000. The Smithsonian has digitized all the plates at

Alexander Wilson (1766-1813), American ornithology; or, The natural history of the birds of the United States (Philadelphia: Bradford and Inskeep, 1808-25). Rare Books (Ex) Oversize 8880.975q

At the other end of the spectrum, is Alexander Wilson’s color-plate book American Ornithology, published from 1808 to 1825. Under the instructions of his neighbor, the naturalist William Bartram, Wilson began painting birds of the area. Engraver Alexander Lawson was employed to translate the designs to engravings. Either dissatisfaction or lack of funds led Wilson to fire the colorists and he did most of the hand-coloring himself.

In a recent exhibition at the Library Company of Philadelphia, curators presented the discovery that Wilson also used some color printing to supplement the hand work. If this is the case, Wilson’s Ornithology is the first American book with plates printed in more than one color.

To see more on Wilson and his coloring, go to

Brody Neuenschwander, Calligrapher

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Princeton University alumnus Brody Neuenschwander, class of 1981, has a new book, Textasy (Ghent: Toohcsmi, 2007), which is reviewed in the most recent issue of baseline magazine (Paul Shaw, “The Work of Brody Neuenschwander,” baseline 53 (autumn 2007) Firestone Oversize Z250 .B37q). The book is in process and will be housed in Marquand Library.

Born in Houston 1958, Neuenschwander was appointed University Scholar while at Princeton, a position that allowed him to devote almost all his time (when he wasn’t rowing) to art history. He graduated in 1981 with high honors for his thesis on the techniques of medieval manuscript illumination. His graduate work was completed at the Courtauld Institute in London, writing on the methodology of German art history.

More importantly, while in London, Neuenschwander began studying calligraphy at the Roedhampton Institute. It was as a calligrapher, rather than an art historian, that he made a career for himself.

Over the last two decades, Neuenschwander collaborated on numerous projects—films, operas, and installations—with the English film director Peter Greenaway, including “Prospero’s Books”, “Pillow Book”, “Flying over Water”, “Bologna Towers 2000”, “Columbus”, and “Writing to Vermeer.” Greenaway contributed one of the essays in Textasy, noting that the artist stretches the boundaries of calligraphy, “exploring the possibilities of text in motion, and of writing as a filmed performance.”

Miró/Eluard Exhibition Now Open

This spring, we are celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of À toute épreuve, one of the most beautiful books of the twentieth century, created by the French poet Paul Éluard and the Catalan artist Joan Miró. The entire unbound volume is on exhibit in the Milberg Gallery for the Graphic Arts, Firestone Library, through June 29, 2008.

The exhibition opening will be celebrated on Sunday, March 9, 2008, with Elza Adamowicz, Professor of French and Visual Culture, School of Modern Languages, Queen Mary, University of London, presenting the talk “The Surrealist Artist’s Book: Beyond the Page” in the Betts Auditorium, School of Architecture, at 3:00. A reception will follow at 4:00, in the Leonard L. Milberg Gallery for the Graphic Arts on the second floor of Firestone Library.

Paul Éluard (1895-1952). À toute
épreuve. Gravures sur bois de
Joan Miró
. Première édition
illustrée. Geneva: Gérald Cramer, [1958]. 79 woodcuts by Joan Miró, printed in Paris at Atelier
Lacourière; text printed by Marthe Fequet and Pierre Baudier. Image: © 2008 Successió Miró / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

From its humble beginnings in 1930 as a plain paper miniature, this simple collection of poems was transformed into an extraordinary deluxe edition folio. The cries of loneliness expressed in Éluard’s verse, “Je suis seul je suis seul tout seul” (I am alone I am alone all alone), are answered on each page with the buoyant companionship of vibrantly colored prints, resulting in a new sense of wholeness and optimism. The title of the work, roughly translatable as “ready for anything” or “foolproof,” conveys a sense of durability and perseverance. Éluard’s poems represent strength in the face of emotional turmoil just as the book survived production challenges and setbacks to become a monument to the art of bookmaking and the possibilities of collaboration.

The project began in 1947, when the Swiss publisher Gérald Cramer approached Éluard with the idea of publishing an illustrated edition of his poetry. For the art, Éluard suggested his friend Miró, with whom he had already collaborated. It took Miró eleven years to create the 233 blocks needed to print 79 woodcuts. He used planks of wood collaged with plastic, wire, old engravings and bark paper to achieve images that practically dance across the page. “I am completely absorbed by the damn book,” wrote Miró to his publisher, Gerald Cramer, “I hope to create something sensational… .” The final volume has a brilliance of invention and a vitality of form and color, rarely found inside the cover of a book.

Special thanks go to Ainsley Brown, Ph.D. candidate, Department of French and Italian, for her work on all aspects of this exhibition and its keepsake. In the gallery, we will offer English language translations of the poetry, some by Ms. Brown and some by the Irish writer Samuel Beckett, who was a great admirer of Eluard’s work. Here is a sample:

Villages de la lassitude
Où les filles ont les bras nus
Comme des jets d’eau
La jeunesse grandit en elles
Et rit sur la pointe des pieds.

Villages de la lassitude
Où tous les êtres sont pareils.

Paul Eluard
Villages of weariness
Where the arms of girls are bare
As jets of water
Where their youth increasing in them
Laughs and laughs and laughs on tiptoe.

Villages of weariness
Where everybody is the same

Translation by Samuel Beckett

A New Translation of Jayadeva's "Gita-Govinda"

The Gita Govinda or Song of Krishna is considered by many experts to be among the finest examples of Sanskrit poetry. It was written in the 12th century by the great poet, Jayadeva, and describes the relationship between the Krishna and his lover, Radha. The poetry is organized into 12 cantos or chapters, each sub-divided into 24 divisions called Prabandhas, containing couplets grouped into 8, called Ashtapadis.

Kamini. A Cycle of Poems from Jayadeva’s Gita-Govinda. Translated by Andrew Schelling. Designed and printed by Ken Botnick (St. Louis: emdash, 2007). Edition: 65. GAX 2008

The first English translation of Jayadeva’s 1000-year-old songs was by Sir William Jones in 1792. This new translation was completed by the contemporary poet, Andrew Schelling, who selected 29 poems from the 12 cantos to create a suite of poetic images of desire and longing, embracing both introspection and eroticism.

Schelling lives in Boulder, Colorado, where he teaches poetry, Sanskrit, and wilderness writing at Naropa University. He was the 1992 recipient of the Academy of American Poets award for translation and received a Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry grant in 1996 and 2001. For more of his translations, see: Amaru, Erotic love poems from India. A translation of the Amarushataka by Andrew Schelling (Boston; London: Shambhala, 2004). Indo-European Philology Coll. (Indo). Firestone, PK3791.A43 A812 2004

Printed at emdash Press, Kamini employs 20 colors to capture the various blue manifestations of Krishna. The text is printed in English and Sanskrit, hand-set in Dante type on Bugra paper. The images, photographed by Ken Botnick last spring during a trip to India on a Fulbright grant, were transfered to photo-polymer plates and printed with the letterpress text.

Botnick is professor of visual communications and director of the Nancy Spirtas Kranzberg Studio for the Illustrated Book, at Washington University in St. Louis. He is also the director, designer, and master printer of emdash Press. His career began at the University of Wisconsin, where his classmate Steve Miller had just launched Red Ozier Press. In the fall of 1979, Miller and Botnick received an NEH grant and moved the press New York City, where it ran successfully until 1988. Miller went to the University of Alabama as director of book arts, while Botnick joined Yale University Press as head of art book design and production. In 1997, he moved to St. Louis and Washington University.

Graphic Arts holds a number of Red Ozier editions and two other recent emdash books: Kavya (2003), a series of classical Sanskrit poems collected by Octavio Paz; and In Defense of the Book (2001) by William Gass. These wonderful books are available, without appointment, in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collection reading room.

Flowers for the Faculty

Count Franz Pocci (1807-1876), Viola tricolor: in picture and rhyme (New York: Stroefer & Kirchner, [1876]). Chromolithographs. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2006-0315Q

Franz Pocci, a high official in the Court of King Ludwig I, was also a musician, artist, and writer. He collaborated with “Papa Schimid”, founder of the Munich marionette theater, designing and painting the sets, curtains, and props, as well as writing a number of the stories. Pocci went on to publish many illustrated children’s books, which can be found in the Cotsen Library and the Graphic Arts division here at Princeton. In Viola tricolor, printed in astonishing chromolithography, Pocci replaces all the faces with flowers. He is responsible for both the art and the verse.

Faculty Professors
Here stand the University chaps,
In their grand official gowns and caps;
And thinks full sure, each learned elf:
“The cleverest here? - ‘tis I myself!”

The Painter at His Easel
Thus many a painter once gay and glad,
Sits before his picture, and says full sad:
“Oh had I but turn’d this work in to cash!”
“But nobody buys since the last great smash!”

La Orquesta

GAX Oversize 2007-0582Q

La Orquesta: Periódico Omniscio, de Buen Humor y con Cariaturas, often referred to as the Mexican Punch, was a satirical journal published out of Mexico City between 1861 and 1877. Graphic Arts holds 106 consecutive issues, each consisting of four pages of text and a full-page lithographic caricature.

Most of these caricatures were drawn by painter and social satirist Constantino Escalante (1836-1868), who was also one of the journal’s editors. Orquesta’s constant criticism of the Mexican government led to Escalante being arrested and jailed on more than one occasion.

For more information on Escalante, see Salvador Pruneda, La caricatura como arma política; caricaturas anónimas y de los artistas: J. G. Z., Constantino Escalante [et al.] (México, 1958). Firestone Library, NC1320 .P944

Walter Arnold, The Life and Death of the Sublime Society of Beef Steaks (London: Bradbury, Evans, & Co., 1871). 7 plates (incl. 6 mounted albumen silver prints). Graphic Arts division GAX 2008 in process.

“Like Briton’s island lies our steak,
A sea of gravy bounds it;
Shalots, confus’dly scattered, make
The rockwork that surrounds it.
Your isle’s best emblem these behold,
Remember ancient story:
Be, like your grandsires, first and bold,
And live and die with glory.”

I am posting this Saturday at 5:00 p.m., in honor of the weekly meeting of the Sublime Society of Beef Steaks. From 1735 to 1869, the 24 members of this London dining club, along with their 24 guests, met to eat a beefsteak dinner, drink plenty of wine and sing. Needless-to-say, it was for men only.

Their visual identity was the gridiron and as the location of their dinners changed over 134 years, the original gridiron of the society moved along with them. In each venue, it was ceremonially hung in the centre of the ceiling, over the presidents chair. An albumen photograph of the gridiron is seen above, tipped into Arnold’s book as its frontispiece.

Some of the best known members of the Sublime Society include David Garrick, William Hogarth, The Prince of Wales (soon to be King George IV), and Samuel Johnson. More about the group can be found at:
and in John Timbs (1801-1875), Clubs and Club Life in London. With anecdotes of its famous coffee houses, hostelries, and taverns, from the seventeenth century to the present time (London: Chatto and Windus [1872]). Firestone Library (F) 1465.906.11

Longstreet: The Writer who also Painted or the Painter who also Wrote

Stephen Longstreet (1907-2002), Sportin’ House: New Orleans and the Jazz Story, A History of New Orleans Sinners and the Birth of Jazz. (Los Angeles: Sherbourne Press, [1965]). Extra illustrated with watercolors by the author dated 1978. GAX ML 3561.J3 L63.

Stephen Longstreet wrote more than 100 books, collaborated on a dozen screenplays, and created an uncounted number of painting, drawings and watercolors. Over half of his books are available on Firestone’s shelves; 68 of his colorful watercolors, primarily portraits, can be found in the Graphic Arts division
; and perhaps, most interesting of all, is this copy of Sportin’ House. Princeton’s copy is extra illustrated with watercolors drawn by the author directly onto the pages of the book, including the title page which he signed and dated.

Born in New York City and raised in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Longstreet moved to Paris in the 1920s to study painting. It was there he began creating watercolor portraits of such luminaries as Gertrude Stein and James Joyce. His evenings were spent at the Paris jazz clubs where he got to know the music and the musicians. Today, some of his best known books include Storyville to Harlem: Fifty Years in the Jazz Scene (1986) Oversize Rare Books: Western Americana collection ML87 .L66 1986q and Jazz From A to Z: A Graphic Dictionary (1989) Graphic Arts division Oversize ML102.J3 L66q.

His semi-autobiographical novel, The Sisters Liked Them Handsome, became a Broadway musical entitled High Button Shoes, starring Nanette Fabray and Phil Silvers. A complete list of his films can be found at:

The Potential of Paper and Ink

Albert de Rochas, Le livre de demain (Paris: Raoul Marchand, 1884). 432 pages, complete in 44 fascicles. Full morocco binding by Wendling. One of 250 copies signed by De Rochas and the publisher.

What were the options for book publishers and printers in the late nineteenth century? This ‘Book of Tomorrow’ answers that question by offering the reader an amazing mixture of paper, ink, color, graphic arts and typography spread throughout 44 meticulously printed sections. Divided by physical elements (color, paper, ink, etc.), each section offers examples of French poetry or short prose printed on a variety of paper colors, weights, and textures, using a multitude of fonts and inks, with diverse illustrative formats such as photolithography, collotype, etching, and collage. Not a single ornamental border is repeated in the same colors or patterns throughout the 432 pages, and many decorative elements are heightened with gold or silver. The last principal fascicle contains 10 paper samples from papyrus to Chinese and Japanese papers.

Next time you find yourself in a graphic rut, check out Le livre de demain, Graphic Arts division, GAX 2008 in process.

The Natural History of the Lion

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Wood-engraved block by John S. Horton, for John J. Harrod, The Introduction to the Academical Reader (Baltimore: Harrod, 1830). Hamilton 1742. Woodblock is a gift of David B. Long in honor of Gillett Griffin.

This engraved wood block is signed in the block ‘Horton’. It was produced by the New England wood-engraver John S. Horton to head the chapter “The Natural History of the Lion” in publisher John J. Harrod’s 1830 The Introduction to the Academical Reader. A history of the lion is just one essay in this compilation of “pleasing and instructive pieces … intended to induce and promote the love of learning, virtue, and piety in the minds of juvenile classes of readers.”

The title page offers the inspirational text: “By reading we learn not only the actions and sentiments of different nations and ages, but we transfer to ourselves the knowledge and improvements of the wisest and best of mankind.” Credited to Watts on the Mind, the actual source is The Improvement of the Mind: Containing a Variety of Remarks and Rules for the Attainment and Communication of Useful Knowledge, in Religion, the Sciences, and in Common Life, by Isaac Watts (1674-1748)

Harrod’s book is one of several thousand American imprints illustrated with wood-engravings, identified in the Sinclair Hamilton collection within the graphic arts division. The collection is searchable online as well as in the published catalogue: Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers, 1670-1870 (GA Z1023 .P9 1968).

The process of wood engraving involves the cutting of an image in relief on a hard, end-grain block of wood. The engraver cuts away the parts of the block that are to remain white in the finished image. The hardness of the wood allows the engraver to cut multiple thin lines, creating a more complex image than was possible with the soft matrix used for woodcuts. Wood engraving was the technique of choice for book illustration in the early nineteenth century.

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