Unpublished Rowlandson Drawings

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“Shelved in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections in the Princeton University Library—and totally unexplored so far as I know—are sixty-three … [Thomas] Rowlandson drawings,” writes Joseph Rothrock, professor emeritus, University of New Mexico and former curator of graphic arts.

“Almost all are laid down in a mid-nineteenth-century album acquired from Scribner’s on July 13, 1920 and donated to the Library in 1933. Its leaves, without watermarks or identifiable collectors’ marks, measure 9 1/8 by 12 1/2 inches. The drawings themselves are on both wove and laid papers with various watermarks. A light-table reveals on the reverse of many of the drawings one pen sketch, a variety of inscriptions and money accounts, and that the backs of several were used as watercolor palettes.”


“The album was part of a major gift to the Princeton University Library of Rowlandson’s illustrated books and of around two thousand prints by Rowlandson, Bunbury, Woodward, and Gillray. Well over half the prints are by Rowlandson and include many of his earliest etchings as well as numerous proofs, proofs delicately hand colored, and prints not listed in the estimable Grego.”


“The collector was Dickson Q. Brown, Princeton Class of 1895. Brown donated most of the material in 1928 and continued to augment it until his death in 1939.” The rest of Rothrock’s article and a complete listing of the drawings can be found in Princeton University Library Chronicle 36, no. 2 (winter 1975): 87-110. http://libweb5.princeton.edu/visual_materials/pulc/pulc_v_36_n_2.pdf


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Thanks for this. Joe was an important figure to me when I was an undergrad at Princeton. Glad he's still up to new tricks.