A Memorial for Visitors to Oxford: Containing Views, Map of the City, List of the Principal Buildings & of Distances from Oxford, with Other General Local Information Useful to the Visitor and Tourist (Oxford: Spiers & Son, 1850s). Chromolithography. Graphic Arts Collection 2013- in process
On the back of the second frame is a browning sheet of paper written in a delicate hand, “Captain James West / Born / Died / My grandfather / Mary Nixon West
We believe the portrait at the top is the younger of the two. What do you think?
[above] Unidentified artist, Portrait of Captain James West (1808-1884), ca. 1840. Portrait miniature on ivory. Graphic Arts collection 2013- in process. Gift of W. Allen Scheuch II, Class of 1976
[below] Sarah Biffin (1784-1850), Portrait of Captain James West (1808-1884), 1844. Watercolor on paper. Graphic Arts. 2011- in process. Gift of W. Allen Scheuch II, Class of 1976, given in honor of Meg Whitman, Class of 1977
Dale Roylance died Sunday morning, 19 May 2013, at University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro, New Jersey. He was 89 years old and had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Born on 9 December 1924, in Salt Lake City, Utah, Dale Ronald Roylance was the youngest of Kenneth and Una Roylance’s three children. He was raised as a Mormon and enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1943. When he was released, Dale moved to San Francesco to study art history at the University of California, Berkeley.
In 1955, Dale came to Princeton University, where he was taken under the wing of Gillett G. Griffin, curator of graphic arts at Firestone Library. For several years, he served as Gillett’s assistant, working on a variety of exhibitions and research projects. Dale recalled, “In all that time, the influence of my first mentor, Gillett Good Griffin, was constant and inspirational. Few people in my experience can match his enthusiasm for the arts or his discernment for quality in the visual arts.”
From 1960 to 1979, Dale worked as curator of the arts of the book at Yale University’s Sterling Memorial Library but was persuaded to return to Princeton in 1979 to fill his mentor’s position as curator of graphic arts. Dale held this title until his retirement in 1995 and even then, continued to assist with exhibitions and projects until 2001. In the fall of 2004 Roylance joined Princeton Academy’s Manor House Library project where he helped to organize their book collection and mount small exhibits.
During his long and distinguished career, Roylance prepared over 100 exhibitions and worked on forty-four publications including European Graphic Arts: the Art of the Book from Gutenberg to Picasso (1986) and American Graphic Arts: a Chronology to 1900 in Books, Prints, and Drawings (1990).
Many of his friends will remember Dale’s a longstanding aversion to driving. He lived for many years on Scott Avenue in Princeton Junction specifically because of its proximity to the Dinky, which he rode to campus every day. As he told Town Topics in 1995, “I think having it go on such a pleasant route, sort of over the river and through the woods, is terrific. … it must be a very nice experience for someone coming from New York City who has never been here to get on the train and see the landscape change in front of his eyes.”
There will be a memorial service but a date has not yet been scheduled.
Japan paper. Signed, lower right. 59 5/8” x 30 7/8” (151.4 x 78.4 cm). Fern/O’Sullivan 180. Graphic Arts Collection GAX in process
How do you store fragile prints that are five or more feet long and nearly three feet wide? Unfortunately, the past solution was to roll them up and store them on top of various cabinets, in the few inches between the furniture and the ceiling. Keeping the prints “out of sight” was not the best idea, as no one was aware of the water damage being done by a leak. We have now rescued a number of these fine art prints, many by the artist Leonard Baskin, and saved them from further decay.
Thanks to our Special Collections Paper Conservator, Ted Stanley, they are being washed one-at-a-time because of their enormous size. We are rehousing them in large, flat folders stored on oversize shelves. Here’s an example of before and after.
Koninglyke Almanach. Beginnende van ‘t jaar 1705 … &c. : waar in zeer duidelyk vertoond word De Loop der Zon des ongerechtigheids, Ofte Tooneel des Oorlogs in Europa, Behelzende de zinnebeelden der VII. Helde-Deugden …. = Almanac royal … Le cours du soleil d’injustice, ou, Theatre de la guerre en Europe … VII. vertus heroiques (Brussels: ten Koste de Compagnie van L.v.S. L.L.T. F.G. M.D. F.d.L. C.l.C. en L.d.D.B. &c., 1705). Series title: ‘t Lust-hof van Momus.
One of a series of satirical pamphlets ridiculing Louis XIV, King of France (1638-1715) and the role of France in the War of the Spanish Succession from 1701 to 1714. The imprint is a fake but the Dutch art dealer, cartographer, and engraver Carel Allard (1648-1709) is assumed to be the publisher. The plates are generally attributed to Allard, Abraham Allard and Balthasar Goris, although several institutions have also attributed them to Romeyn de Hooghe (1645-1708) a Dutch painter and printmaker remembered, in particular, for his political caricatures of Louis XIV.
In the first plate, [above right] Louis XIV is sitting in the middle of the sun with twenty-four rays. For each ray is a crime committed by the king, with verses and explanation in Dutch and French.
Created under the artistic direction of Umberto Brunelleschi (1879-1949), La Guirlande is one of the rarest of the Art Deco magazines. Early in his career, Brunelleschi produced fierce caricatures for L’assiette au beurre, a satirical weekly published in Paris from 1901 to 1914. He signed his drawings Aroun-Al-Raxid.
Mainly successful as an illustrator, Brunelleschi combined elements from the eighteenth-century galanteries with the buffoonery of the Commedia dell’arte. He contributed illustrations to numerous publications including Gazette du bon ton and Le rire. Between his numerous voyages, he illustrated Goethe’s Werther, Alfred de Musset’s La nuit vénitienne, Diderot’s Les bijoux indiscrets and Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy stories, among others.—Benezit Dictionary of Artists
Wild Oats. Act IV, no date . Engraving. Graphic Arts
TC096 Theater Pictures Collection.
By the time the Irish playwright John O’Keeffe (1747-1833) wrote his most famous farce Wild Oats; or, The Strolling Gentlemen in 1791, he was already a celebrated author. Within two years, the Old American Company in New York City staged a production and an American edition of the play was printed by T. and J. Swords for Manhattan bookseller and stationer John Reid. To decorate the volume, American engraver Cornelius Tiebout was commissioned to create a frontispiece (seen here).
According to the historian D. M. Stauffer, Tiebout was the “first American-born professional engraver to produce really meritorious work, …significant for his role in introducing the English method of stippled portraiture to America.” Like many early printmakers, Tiebout apprenticed to a silversmith where he learned to carve in metal. Further training with the British artist James Heath led to his expertise in stipple engraving.
It is notable that Tiebout chooses to illustrate one of the humorous supporting characters rather than the leading man. His print offers a full-length portrait of the Quaker Ephraim Smooth and quotes his lines, “Why dost thou suffer him to put into the hands of thy servants, books of tragedies, and books of comedies, prelude, interlude, yea, all lewd. My spirit doth wax wrath.— I say unto thee, a play-house is the school for the old dragon, and a playbook the primer of Belzebub.”
For a contemporary production of Wild Oats, see:
Other sources on Tiebout: W. Dunlap: A History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United States (New York, 1834); American Engravers upon Copper and Steel, 3 vols (i-ii, New York, 1907; iii, Philadelphia, 1917), i, pp. 271-2; ii, pp. 520-33; iii, pp. 271-84 [vols i-ii by D. M. Stauffer, vol. iii by M. Fielding]; N. E. Cunningham jr: The Image of Thomas Jefferson in the Public Eye: Portraits for the People, 1800-1809 (Charlottesville, VA, 1981) [disc. of Tiebout’s Jefferson prts, incl. newspaper advertisements and publishers’ corr.]; W. C. Wick: George Washington, an American Icon: The Eighteenth-century Graphic Portraits (Washington, DC, 1982) and G. W. R. Ward, ed.: The American Illustrated Book in the Nineteenth Century (Winterthur, DE, 1987).
When William Heath published a satire on Sir Francis Burdett’s opposition to Gale Jones’s imprisonment, Heath represented Spencer Perceval and his associates as a hydra or monster with multiple heads. It is a strong visual image but Heath was of course not the first to use the device. Knowing who he stole it from is complicated since the caricaturists borrowed and stole their parodies quite freely.
Surely Heath was reading Samuel Tipper’s magazine The Satirist or Monthly Meteor, in which Samuel De Wilde presented another variation of the scene in The Opposition Hydra, or Brittania’s Worst Foe. This might be the most immediate inspiration for Heath.
Or perhaps it Thomas Rowlandson’s The Champion of Oakhampton, Attacking the Hydra of Gloucester Place, published on March 15 1809? Especially with the subtitle he added from Horace’s Epistles, “Bellva Multorum es Capitum!!” (Thou Art the Beast of Many Heads).
And what about Rowlandson’s 1784 print, The Champion of the People, in combination with James Gillray’s St. George & the Dragon two years earlier?
It’s hard to say.
Here are a few others.
William Henry Brooke, Dispute between Monopoly and Power, 1813. Published in The Satirist 1st March 1813. Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Cruik 1808
Peter Johann Nepomuk Geiger (1805-1880), Peter Joh. Nep. Geiger’s historische Original-Handzeichnungen bestehend in neunzig Blättern mit einem erklärenden Texte (Peter Joh. Nep. Geiger’s original historic drawings consisting in ninety leaves with an explanatory text) Herausgegeben von Anton Ziegler. [Vienna, 1861.] 6 vols, First edition, privately printed. Graphic Arts Collection 2013- in process
Using linear visual narratives, Gieger chronicles Austrian history from the Middle Ages to Archduchess Leopoldina’s 1817 arrival in Rio de Janeiro as Empress of Brazil. The work first began to appear that same year as Historische Handzeichnungen, Vienna, kaiserlich-königliche Hof- und Staatsdruckerei. Graphic Arts recently acquired a compilation of the entire set of Gieger’s history.
Peter Geiger (1805-1880) was a respected history painter and illustrator, producing popular images based on the works of Goethe, Schiller, and Shakespeare, as well as Austrian authors such as Grillparzer and Stifter. It was his work for an earlier project, Anton Ziegler’s Vaterländische Immortellen aus dem Gebiete der österreichischen Geschichte (1838-1840), which first brought him considerable public attention. Although Princeton does not own this multi-volume work, it is available through itunes. A note of caution when searching Geiger online: aside from Royal portraiture and literary illustration, he also had a lucrative business creating erotic art.
The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired sixty German diploma specimens collected and bound into an album with the gilt title Musterbuch B. Diplome (Pattern Book B. Diploma). Each sample was printed by the company Förster & Borries in Zwickau, which is south of Leipzig. The collection highlights various techniques and mediums, including chromolithographs, collotypes, wood engravings and embossing. The largest are 60 x 48 cm (or approximately 2 feet) and many offer bold art nouveau style borders. Here are a few of the samples:
Current Princeton University diplomas are written in Latin and have the University seal but no border or decoration. Here is Ryan Truchelut, Class of 2008, with his official document.
In the March/April 1920 issue of Proverbe. Feuille mensuelle pour la justification des mots (Proverb. A Monthly Pamphlet for the Justification of Words), editor Paul Eluard (1895-1952) selected two works by Francis Picabia (1879-1953) for the front page. “La jeune fille” (The Young Girl) features a hole or vagina in the paper surrounded by the words “Bracelet de la vie” (Bracelet of Life) at the top left and “Machine de bons mots” (Machine of Witticisms) frames the words “Oreille fatigante” (Tiring the ear) on the bottom right.
For his own contribution, Eluard wrote:
Hoo! Que disions-nous? Que disions-nous?
Nous avons perdu la mémoire
Hoo! Que faisions-nous? Que faisions-nous?
Nous avons perdu la mémoire
Hoo! What were we saying? What were we saying?
We’ve lost the memory
Hoo! What were we doing? What were we doing?
We’ve lost the memory
Also in March of 1920, the front page of Picabia’s magazine 391 featured his manifesto on Dada, proclaiming (here translated):
Art is a pharmaceutical product for idiots.
Tables turn, thanks to the spirits; pictures and other works of art are like strong- box-tables, the spirit is within them and gets more and more inspired as the prices rise in the salerooms.
Comedy, comedy, comedy, comedy, comedy, dear friends.
…Dada, on the other hand, wants nothing, absolutely nothing, and what it does is to make the public say “We understand nothing, nothing, nothing.”
“The Dadaists are nothing, nothing, nothing and they will surely succeed in nothing, nothing, nothing.”
Both Picabia and Eluard show the influence by their colleague Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), particularly the lines from his poem “Victoire”:
Ô bouches l’homme est a la recherche d’un nouveau langage
Auquel le grammairien d’aucune langue n’aura rien à dire
O mouths, humanity seeks a new language
Beyond the reach of grammarians
Our complete run of Eluard’s Proverbe has been digitized and will soon be available through Princeton Blue Mountain project.
“…Whenever I make a book,” said Amsterdam-based graphic designer Irma Boom, “I start by making a tiny one. Usually I make five, six or seven for each book, as filters for my ideas and to help me to see the structure clearly. I have hundreds of those small books and am so fond of them.”
Recently, Boom created a miniature flipbook for the Rijksmuseum, incorporating every self-portrait painted by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. Is it, as Mark Lamster called one of her miniatures, “a big book that is paradoxically small.”
Boom established the Irma Boom Company in 1991 and the following year, joined Yale University as a Senior Critic in the School of Art. Of the 250 books she has created, approximately 70 have been acquired by the Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Architecture and Design.
“I honor the tradition of the book,” said Boom, “but do not want to stop there. My ambition is to develop the significance and the limits of the book. Structures that come from new media, the way that text and images are treated have given the book a new impulse. It is important to experiment … the book will keep its vitality. There’s a lot to explore in a technical way and even more importantly in terms of content and form. Happily through books, the past, present and future can take on profoundly contemporary results and become part of our everyday.”
Thank you to Mathieu Lommen, curator at the Special Collections department of the Amsterdam University Library, for this rare Boom treasure.
To hear the designer talk about her work, see this video from the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis: