December 2012 Archives

Nouvelles heures

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Nicolas Duval (born 1634 or 5), Nouvelles heures: gravées au burin: dediées au Roy ([Paris]: … se vendent à Paris chez J. Mariette, 1670). Engraved throughout by Louis Senault (1630-ca.1680) with fine calligraphic sectional title-pages, decorated initials, head- and tail-pieces, ornaments and title-frames. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2012- in process

This all-engraved book of hours is dedicated to Louis XIV. The French writing master Duval and his brother, calligrapher Senault, created a number of calligraphic books of hours dedicated to various French dignitaries. Senault’s daughter Elizabeth assisted and continued in the profession after their death.

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Our collection includes several other French engraved books of hours:
Heures nouvelles tirées de la Sainte Ecriture écrites et grauées par L. Senault (Paris: Chez l’autheur rüe du Petie Lion au Fauxbourg St Germain en la maison de Mr Frontié, et chez Claude de Hansy sur le Pont au Change a l’Image St Nicolas, [not before 1680]). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2004-3308N

Heures nouuelles dédiées à Monseigneur Dauphin écrites et grauées par Elisabeth Senault (Paris: Chez de Hansy, libraire sur le Pont au Change à St. Nicolas, [ca. 1690]). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2004-3388N

Life and Death of an American Artist

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This graphic biography was created as a tribute to Murray Levy (1936-1990), who passed away from an AIDS related illness. A social activist who combined his art and politics, Levy acted with the Free Southern Theater in the 1960s, the Vermont-based Bread and Puppet Theater in the 1970s, and the Dragon Dance Theatre in the 1980s. The linocuts were designed by Sam Kerson, co-founder of the Dragon Dance Theatre and printed by Brian Cohen at Bridge Press. For more information on his theater see:

Sam Kerson, Life and Death of an American Artist ([Worcester, Vt].: Dragon Dance Theater, 1997). 19 linocuts by Kerson. Copy 13 of 20. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2012- in process

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Month by Month

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japan month feb.jpgFebruary
japan month mar.jpgMarch
japan month june.jpgJune
japan month nov.jpgNovember?
japan month dec.jpgDecember
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This unidentified Japanese artist recorded his/her year in watercolors, creating a different scene for each month.

Japanese sketchbook, 1900s. Watercolor. Graphic Arts Collection GA2013- in process

Elmer Adler's Entre Nous

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For Christmas in 1906, twenty-two year old Elmer Adler (1884-1962) conceived, printed, and published this small volume in an edition of 35 copies. Although the title page indicates it is the second issue of Entre Nous, no other copies have (yet) been found at Princeton or in other libraries. If you know of any, please let us know.

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Palser, Heath, and Lambeth

lambeth.jpgA segment from John Fairburn’s 1802 Map of London and Westminster. (

Lambeth has been home to many artists over the years. It is to London what Brooklyn is Manhattan. Whitman went to Brooklyn, Blake went to Lambeth. This post will add a small amount to the history of Thomas Palser (ca.1776-1843) and his Lambeth print and book shop, which served these artists. If you missed the beginning, see The Print Shop Window

When British watercolorist David Cox (1783-1859) first moved to London in 1804, he rented rooms at 16 Bridge Row, described as six doors down from Thomas Palser’s print and book shop. Cox visited Palser regularly, who was one of the first to buy and sell the artist’s work. Visitors to the shop would also find the work of Samuel Prout (1783-1852), John Mortimer (1740-1779), and many others.

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John Hamilton Mortimer (1740-1779), A Series of Twelve Heads after Shakespeare ([Lambeth]: published by Thomas Palser, 1812).(Ex) Oversize 3925.8245f

Caricaturist and military painter William Heath (1794-1840) lived much of his early life at 5 Stangate, Lambeth. If you zoom in on the map above, you will see that Palser, Cox and Heath all lived at the bottom of the Westminster Bridge on the Surrey side. This was the perfect position to take advantage of the crowds traveling from the wealthy neighborhoods around St James’s and the Strand to the theaters of Lambeth.

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William Heath (1794-1840), The Artist, 1812. Etching.
Graphic Arts Collection GA 2012- in process

This is a self-portrait of William Heath in his studio on Stangate Street. Fifteen-year-old Heath designed, printed, and self-published eight caricatures during 1809-10 before he gratefully joined Palser’s shop. He was one of several local artists who benefited from their neighbor’s help with promotion and distribution.

During the 1790s, William Blake (1757-1827) and his wife lived a few block away at 13 Hercules Buildings (now Hercules Road) and knew the Palser family (Thomas’s son became an important collector of Blake’s drawings). In 1800, the bookseller and satirist William Hone (1780-1842) opened a book and print shop with a circulating library a little further south in Lambeth Walk but was not as well situated as Palser and soon moved across the Thames.

The performer Joseph Grimaldi Senior (died 1788), father of the famous clown Joseph Grimaldi (1778-1837), lived down Stangate street from Heath. The Grimaldi family retained the house and that relationship probably led Palser and Heath to publish a series of prints celebrating Grimaldi’s Covent Garden successes in 1812.

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William Heath (1794-1840), Grimaldi’s Leap Frog, in the Comic Pantomime of The Golden Fish, January 12 1812. Etching. Published by T. Palser; Bridge Road, Lambeth. Graphic Arts Collection GA2011.00894

Poor reproduction of John Bromley’s The Lambeth End of Westminster Bridge, ca. 1800. Found in Country Life November 1983, p. 1319.


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In 1980, the French surrealist and ethnographer Michel Leiris (1901-1990) refused to accept the National Grand Prize of Letters, commenting that he did not want to be a topic for the media. In his obituary, The New York Times noted that Leiris compared the process of writing to a bullfight and likened the writer to a matador.

“He admitted that he had an obsessive desire to make literature ‘into an act, a drama by which I insist on incurring, positively, a risk - as if this risk were the necessary condition for my self-realization as a man.’”

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In a 1975 interview, Leiris spoke about his early career. “The first writer that I knew personally was Max Jacob. He’s a man whom I’ve always considered to be a truly great poet and a great writer, and who,” Leiris recalled, “in a tattered, fragmented life full of contradictions had something quite exemplary. He was a poet in the true sense of the word…. It is through him that I came to know the painter André Masson, the one I refer to as my mentor in L’Age d’Homme; and, it is shortly thereafter, following an exhibition of Masson’s work, that I made contact with Breton, and that our whole little group of friends became surrealists.”

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired several early, limited editions by Leiris and the Surrealist circle, including:
Michel Leiris. Miroir de la tauromachie. [Paris]: Éditions G.L.M., 1938]
André Breton. Trajectoire du rêve. [Paris]: Éditions G.L.M., 1938
Michel Leiris. Le point cardinal. Paris: Éditions du sagittaire chez Simon Kra, 1927
Michel Leiris. Tauromachies. Illustrations by André Masson. Paris: Éditions G.L.M., 1937
Robert Guiette. Mort du fantôme: avec un dessin de Fernand Léger. Paris: Éditions G.L.M., impr. G. Lévis Mano, 1937

William Parrott's London from the Thames

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William Parrott (1813 - 1869), London from the Thames (London: Henry Brooks, 87, New Bond Street, printed by C. Hullmandel [1841]). Graphic Arts Collection GAX oversize 2012- in process.

Parrott’s lithographic title page vignette shows the Tower of London at the time of the Lord Mayor’s embarkation, with ceremonial barges at the wharf. An 1843 journalist noted, “Since the first mayoralty procession, in the year 1215, probably there have been few finer pageants than that of Thursday last, when the November sun even gilded with his beams the somewhat tarnished splendour of the City state.”

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“…The next day the various officials assembled at the Guildhall, and, the procession being formed, proceeded … to Southwark Bridge, where his lordship embarked at the Floating Pier for Westminster. This somewhat unusual arrangement arose from the new lord mayor being the alderman of Vintry Ward, wherein the bridge is situated, and his lordship being desirous that his constituents should witness the progress of the civic procession. The embarkation was a picturesque affair; the lord mayor’s state barge, the watermen in their characteristic costume, and the lord mayor and his party were, in civic phrase, ‘taking water.’” —recorded by Francis Miltoun in Dickens’ London (2010)

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Copies of this very rare portfolio differ and so, I’m listing our copy’s plates for comparison with others:
1. [Title] London from the Thames, Undated
2. Chelsea with Part of the Old Church & Sir Hans Sloane’s Tomb, November 1841

3.Lambeth & Westminster From Millbank, November 1841
4. Waterloo Bridge from the West with Boat Race, June 1841
5. Somerset House, St Paul’s & Blackfriars from Waterloo Bridge, Undated
6. Southwark Bridge from London Bridge, April 1841
7. The Pool. From London Bridge. Morning., April 1841
8. London Bridge from the Pool-, November 1841
9. The Pool looking towards London Bridge, May 1841
10. West India Docks from the South East, October 1840
11. Westminster & Hungerford from Waterloo Bridge, Undated
12. Ship Building at Limehouse, the President on the Stocks, March 1840
13. Greenwich and the Dreadnought, Undated.

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Only three copies of the complete volume are listed in OCLC including Princeton, Yale, and the Corporation of London Libraries.

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le mot

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In August 1914, when war was declared with Germany, Jean Cocteau was twenty-five years old. Like many patriotic young Frenchmen, Cocteau tried to enlist but was turned down because of his health. Looking for other ways to serve his country and the war effort, he joined with the illustrator Paul Iribe (1883-1935) to publish a fortnightly journal, called Le Mot (The Word).

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As a teenager, Iribe drew illustrations for the popular caricature journal L’Assiette au Beurre (The Butter Plate), which ran from 1902 to 1912 (Ex Oversize 0904.133q). He also freelanced for Rire, Sourire and other periodicals, so Iribe was enthusiastic about starting a journal of his own.

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Cocteau contributed both image and text, signing his drawings with the pseudonym Jim (the name of his dog). The first issue was released on November 28, 1914 and by January, the magazine had gone weekly. Other contributors included Léon Bakst (1866-1924); Raoul.Dufy (1877-1953); Albert Gleizes (1881-1953); André Lhote (1885-1962); and SEM (Georges Goursat 1863-1934).

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Unfortunately, both Iribe and Cocteau were involved with too many projects to keep Le Mot flourishing for long and after only 20 issues it ended on July 1, 1915.

Paul Iribe (1883-1935) and Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), Le Mot (Paris: Société Générale d’Impression, 1914-1915). Gift of John W. Garrett, Class of 1895. Graphic Arts Collection GAX Oversize 14094.00.647f

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Sangorski x 4

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With thanks to Stephen Ratchliffe and John Bidwell, we have now confirmed that Princeton University holds four volumes with original calligraphy and illumination by Alberto Sangorski (1862-1932), elder brother of bookbinder Francis Sangorski (1875-1912).

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They are:
The Sermon on the Mount. Being the King James Version of the Gospel of Matthew, Chapters 5, 6, and 7, 1911. 14 leaves (23 pages) as designed, written, and illuminated by Alberto Sangorski. Onlaid morocco binding by Riviere & Son with morocco onlay doublures and watered silk free endleaves. Housed in a velvet-lined morocco clamshell case. Gift of an anonymous donor. Graphic Arts Collection GAX2012- in process.

Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892). Morte d’Arthur, a Poem, 1912. 14 leaves (24 pages). Onlaid morocco binding by Riviere & Son with morocco onlay doublures and watered silk free endleaves. Housed in a velvet-lined morocco clamshell case. Gift of an anonymous donor. Graphic Arts 2012- in process

Dante Gabriel Rosetti (1828-1882), The Blessed Damozel, no date. 10 leaves. Rare Books: Manuscripts Collection (MSS) C0199 (no. 923)

And pictured here, Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892), The Lady of Shalott, 1908. Scheide Library, owned by William Scheide, Class of 1936.

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Howard Cook and Willa Cather

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Howard Norton Cook (1901-1980), Governor’s Palace, Santa Fe, 1926. Woodcut. Signed and dated. Graphic Arts Collection GA2007.01052

Biographies for the American artist Howard Cook often repeat the note that he was commissioned by The Forum magazine to go to New Mexico and create illustrations for Willa Cather’s novel Death Comes for the Archbishop.

During the 1920s, Forum regularly published portfolios of prints by contemporary artists. The magazine printed a series of Cook’s prints made during a trip to Maine in 1926 and the following year, three other groups of prints made in New Mexico. Our print, seen above, was part of ‘Dobe and Pueblo in Santa Fe - Wood and Linoleum Cuts printed in the March 1927 issue.

1927 was also the year that Forum serialized Cather’s novel from January to June. Her illustrator was Harold von Schmidt (1893-1982), who went on to create additional prints for the edition of Death Comes for the Archbishop organized and designed by Elmer Adler for Knopf.

Below are the microfilm pages for each of these separate, unrelated features:

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Willa Cather (1873-1937), Death Comes for the Archbishop; with drawings and designs by Harold von Schmidt (New York: A.A. Knopf, 1929). Copy inscribed from the artist to Elmer Adler, who gave it to Princeton. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2009-0257N

cook self portrait.jpgHoward Norton Cook (1901-1980), Self-portrait, 1919. Lithograph. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2007.01060

Graphic Arts Collection Scrapbooks

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Pictured here are a few of the American scrapbooks recently found and catalogued in the Graphic Arts Collection. Most hold examples of chromolithographic trade cards, valentines, and pretty girls. One is filled with wood engraved cartoons and one with engraved portraits. All are available for viewing in our reading room.

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“But those people who are choosing to print out their photos and make scrapbooks may have the last laugh because the materials they are working with now are much more [durable] than they were before. Archivists are struggling to maintain
old scrapbooks, but in 100 years these things will last, they are indestructible. There will be an entire world of material culture studies that looks at just this, these scrapbooks.” Jessica Helfand, author of Scrapbooks: an American History (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008). Firestone Library (F) Oversize TR465 .H445 2008q

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"The Practice of Piety" illustrated by James Franklin

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Lewis Bayly (1565-1631), The Practice of Piety: Directing a Christian How to Walk, That He May Please God (Boston in New-England: Reprinted by B. Green, for Benj. Eliot, and Daniel Henchman, sold at their shops, 1718). Graphic Arts Collection, Hamilton 11. Gift of Sinclair Hamilton.

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Sinclair Hamilton was one of the first to attribute the allegorical title page woodcut to James Franklin (1697-1735), Benjamin Franklin’s older half-brother. Twenty-one year old James returned to Boston after an apprenticeship with a London printer and opened his own printing shop at the corner of Queen (now Court) Street and Dassett Alley (now Franklin Avenue). Twelve-year-old Benjamin became his apprentice and his wife managed the office.

One of James’s first jobs, in the spring of 1718, was to draw and print the allegorical woodcut for the title page of Lewis Bayly’s The Practice of Piety. Written originally in 1611, the devotional manual was now in its fifty-third edition when Franklin cut the illustration. By 1842, the book had gone through eighty English editions and had been translated into several other languages.

Born in Wales, Bayley became Treasurer of Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London and Chaplain to King James the First. In 1616, he was appointed Bishop of Bangor, remaining there until his death in 1631. “Deeply influential on the Puritan movement, The Practice of Piety systematically investigates piety, beginning with a detailed account of God and Christ. In it, Bayly contrasts the ‘misery’ of someone not reconciled to Christ with the happiness of the ‘godly man’ who is reconciled to God.” —Tim Perrine.

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Young Japan through Photographs

young japan7.jpgSamurai, fully armed
John Reddie Black (1826-1880) was born in Scotland but lived most of his life in China and Japan. Of the many newspapers and journals he published, The Far East (founded in 1870) is appreciated in particular because of the original photographs used as illustrations. Black was himself a photographer and although he employed both English and Japanese photographers, Black also published his own work from time to time.

young japan9.jpg His Highness the Last Shogun
In his memoir, entitled Young Japan, Black writes about the portrait [above], which he chose for the frontispiece of his book:
“I well remember the excitement in Kioto as the time approached for opening Osaka and Hiogo to foreigners. I was but 15 years old, and yet I fully recollect that my prejudices against foreigners were as strong as those of others of my countrymen. I never heard the Tycoon make any remark about them; although I was present when at Osaka the French Minister visited him, and received a sword with the Tokugawa badge as a gift, which he immediately transferred to his sword-belt and wore as he left the palace. I also was present when an English photographer from one of the English men-of-war, was invited to take the Tycoon’s portrait, and I had the honour of receiving a copy of the portrait, in conjunction with my adopted father. I have it still. (A reduced copy of it serves as the frontispiece to the first volume of this work.)”

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Black’s memoir was widely published and reprinted (it can easily be found today), but only a few copies were issued with original albumen photographs pasted into the book as illustrations. The Graphic Arts Collection is fortunate to have recently acquired one of these rare editions.

The first volume holds fifteen photographs, only one of which is almost completely faded (a map of Japan). Black died before volume two of the memoir was completed and so, perhaps, only had a hand in selecting images for the first volume.

young japan 1.jpgUragawa

John Reddie Black (1826-1880), Young Japan. Yokohama and Yedo. A Narrative of the Settlement and the City from the Signing of the Treaties in 1858, to the Close of the Year 1879 (London and Yokohame: Trubner and Kelly & Co. [printed at the private printing office of the author, Yokohama], 1880-1881). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2012- in process.

young japan 4.jpgKamakura
young japan 2.jpgAt Osaka, Castle
young japan6.jpgKubota Sentaro
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See also Terry Bennett, Photography in Japan: 1853-1912 (Rutland, Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle, 2006). SAPH Oversize TR105 .B45 2006q

Honesty is the Best Policy

hamilton 64c.jpgThomas Dilworth (died 1780), A New Guide to the English Tongue (Boston: Printed by J. Kneeland, in Milk-street, for A. Ellison, MDCCLXXIII, [1773]). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Hamilton 64. Gift of Sinclair Hamilton.
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Charles Dickens remembered his copy of A New Guide and mentioned Dilworth’s frontispiece portrait in his Sketches:
“But the party arrives, and Dando, relieved from his state of uncertainty, starts up into activity. They approach in full aquatic costume, with round blue jackets, striped shirts, and caps of all sizes and patterns, from the velvet skull-cap of French manufacture, to the easy head-dress familiar to the students of the old spelling-books, as having, on the authority of the portrait, formed part of the costume of the Reverend Mr. Dilworth.”

—from Charles Dickens (1812-1870), Sketches by “Boz,” [pseud.] illustrative of every-day life, and every-day people … Illustrations by George Cruikshank (London: J. Macrone, 1836). Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Cruik 1836

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“Perhaps the most successful of the spellers of this period was Thomas Dilworth’s A New Guide to the English Tongue. The first edition of this book was issued in England in 1740. The first American reprint was made by Benjamin Franklin in 1747. Fourteen additional reprints were made in America between this date and 1778. The 1770 edition was 4 by 6 inches in size and was bound in leather. The typographical features were the same as in all other books of the period. This speller, however, had one feature which none of the contemporary spellers displayed—a series of 12 crude little woodcuts, 2 ¾ by 3 inches.” —Nila Banton Smith (1889-1976), American Reading Instruction (2002)

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View an animation of early relief printing:

Mitate-e by Utamaro

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Kitagawa Utamaro (喜多川歌麿) (1753-1806), Women restrain a young man who has struck down an older rival, a parody of the first scene in Chushingura, no date, ca. 1795/95. Woodblock print (color). Format: Ôban tate-e triptych. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2009.00773. Gift of Gillett G. Griffin.

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Although the exact title of this triptych by the wonderful Japanese artist Kitagawa Utamaro has not been identified, specialist Sebastian Izzard recognized it as one of his many parody pictures or mitate-e.

Mitate-e require considerable understanding of the classics to recognize the original subject matter and for this reason were often used as intellectual games, providing those privy to such information with a sense of belonging to a special intellectual group. The most popular Japanese mitate were taken from Genji Monogatari (The Tale of Genji); Ise Monogatari (The Tales of Ise); and the Chushingura.“— JAANUS, the on-line Dictionary of Japanese Architectural and Art Historical Terminology

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The Event of a Thread


The exhibition catalogue for Ann Hamilton: the Event of a Thread, which opened last night at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City, is published in the form of a twenty-four page newspaper. A copy is currently being accessioned into the Graphic Arts Collection.



Hamilton has transformed the 55,000-square-foot drill hall of the armory into a world of light and shadows, of text being written, text being spoken, and text being heard. The elements of the project are recorded in your catalogue: 11 steel trusses; 3,000,000 cubic feet of air; a white cloth; a field of swings; bells and bellows; a flock of pigeons; a reading table; a writing table; two readers; a concordance; a writer; a mirror; radio transmissions; a singer; a record lathe; a cloak of animal hair; a scroll; a pencil; a page; a score; a line of benches; a flock of radios; [and] a collection of coats.

“The readers’ scroll is constituted by a field of words whose graphic organization follows the structure of a concordance. Unlike indices which locate subject matter, concordances alphabetize the principal words used in a single text within the context of the sentence in which they appear. the alphabetized words run like a spine through the text, allowing the reader to examine the intersections of context and the frequency of their usage. a concordance is also an agreement, a harmony.”

It’s worth a trip just for the swings.


Listen to Hamilton talk about her work:

Speaking Ruins by John A. Pinto

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A few fortunate students are wrapping up their semester in ART 445 / ARC 445 with Prof. John Pinto, focusing on the Rome of Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778). For the rest of the world, you can now have the pleasure of hearing Prof. Pinto’s insights into this fascinating artist and his city, with the publication of Speaking Ruins: Piranesi, Architects, and Antiquity in Eighteenth-Century Rome.

We are especially excited to see the book, as it draws on the Princeton University Library collections (among many other institutions) and our rich holdings of Piranesi’s books and prints.

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John Pinto is the Howard Crosby Butler Memorial Professor of the History of Architecture at Princeton University. A Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, Pinto’s research interests center on architecture, urbanism and landscape in Rome, especially in the eighteenth century. Among his other publications are The Trevi Fountain (1986) and Hadrian’s Villa and its Legacy (1995), the latter co-authored by William L. MacDonald. Pinto makes extensive use of technology in his teaching, including the Nolli project, an inter-relational database of texts and images linked to a digital version of Giambattista Nolli’s 1748 plan of Rome.

“As they had during the Renaissance, ruins in the eighteenth century continued to serve as places of exchange between antiquity and modern times and between one architect and another. Rome functioned as a cultural entrepôt, drawing to it architects of the caliber of Filippo Juvarra, Robert Adam, Charles-Louis Clérisseau, and Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Through their collaboration, on-site exchanges, publications, and polemics, architects contributed notably to fashioning a more critical and sophisticated view of the material heritage of classical antiquity, one that we associate with the Enlightenment and the origins of modern archaeology.”—book jacket

John A. Pinto, Speaking Ruins: Piranesi, Architects and Antiquity in Eighteenth-Century Rome (Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 2012).

Company D, 7th Regiment, Maryland Volunteers

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Soldiers Memorial. A Memorial Register of the 7th Regiment Maryland Volunteers, Company D, 1863. Chromolithographic broadside. Gift of Russell E. Marks Jr., Class of 1954. Graphic Arts Collection broadsides, in process.

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“This [company] was organized and mustered into the U.S. Service for the term of three years at Baltimore, Md., Aug. 26, 1862, for the 7th Regt. Md. Volunteers. The Regt. joined the Army of the Potomac Sept. 19, 1862, but were [sic] soon after detached from it to guard the fords of the Upper Potomac, where it remained until ordered to Md. Heights.”

“The Co. and Regt. remained in this vicinity doing duty during the months of Jan., Feb., March and April, 1862. They rejoined the Army of the Potomac at Frederick City, Md., July 1, 1963, in which Army they have since remained, participating in all its battles and marches under Generals Grant and Meade.”

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See also:
T. Stephen Whitman. Antietam 1862 Gateway to Emancipation. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Praeger, 2012. Firestone Library (F) In the Pre-Order Process

George Brinton McClellan (1826-1885). Report of Major-General George B. McClellan, upon the organization of the Army of the Potomac, and its campaigns in Virginia and Maryland, from July 26, 1861, to November 7, 1862. Boston: Published at the office of the Boston Courier, 1864. Rare Books: John Shaw Pierson Civil War Collection (W) W49.734.6.13

Jules Chéret's design for Scaramouche

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Maurice Lefèvre (1863-1917), Scaramouche. Conte suivi de l’argument du ballet (Paris: P. Ollendorff, 1891). Libretto for Scaramouche with lithographic title page by Jules Chéret. Graphic Arts GAX 2012- in process

Jules Chéret (1836-1932), Nouveau théâtre, 15 rue Blanche, Scaramouche, 1891. Lithographic poster.

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The Parisian ballet/pantomime Scaramouche had a story written by Maurice Lefèvre and Henri Vuagneux together with music composed by André Messager (1853-1929). For the show’s opening on October 17, 1891 at the Nouveau-Théâtre 15, rue Blanche, the celebrated artist Jules Chéret (1836-1932) was commissioned to design a poster.

Within the same year, publisher Paul Ollendorff simplified Chéret’s design and used it as a frontispiece for the publication of the libretto. There was a vogue for the artist’s brightly colored designs and Ollendorff knew the image would sell the book.

“The man who places something good where before was nothing but bad, something beautiful where before was ugliness, is a veritable missionary. Jules Chéret went out into the desert and produced an oasis—beauty where none was expected. Reds, yellows and blues are not tractable; yet they are a part of the language of the advertiser. He sounds a trumpet in prismatic colors; he announces a bargain sale, a cure-all, a new book, a play, a singer.”
—Louis H. Gibson, “Jules Chéret,” Modern Art 1, no. 1 (Winter 1893).

See pp. 68-72 in Julies Chéret (1836-1932), La Belle Époque de Jules Chéret: de l’affiche au décor / sous la direction de Réjane Bargiel et Ségolène Le Men (Paris: Les Arts décoratifs/BNF, 2010). Marquand SA ND553.C582 B374 2010q

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  • Colin Wicks: I have a copy of “A Round Game.” And it read more
  • Laurence Hilonowitz: I was a Customer, Friend of Bob Wilson. I Live read more
  • allen scheuch: Absolutely STUNNING! Those colors, those designs made my day! Thanks, read more
  • Olivier: Hello Diane, If you are still looking for an examplare read more
  • Stella Jackson-Smith: I have a framed picture by A.Brouet, signed with the read more
  • John Podeschi: I remember Dale fondly from my days at Yale (1971-1980). read more
  • Joyce Barth: I have some or all of this same poem. I read more