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Mexican News

Alfred Jones (1819-1900) after a painting by Richard Caton Woodville (1825-1855), Mexican News. Published by the American Art Union, 1851. Hand colored engraving. Gift of Leonard L. Milberg, Class of 1953. Graphic Arts division GA2008- in process

Between 1846 and 1847, the United States was at war with Mexico. Artists of the extremely influential American Art Union (AAU) created a number of prints, paintings, and maps showing the events and characters involved in the war to satisfy an engaged public.

One of the most successful was the oil painting by Richard Caton Woodville (1825-1955) entitled War News from Mexico, which shows a dapper-looking man reading the news aloud to a small crowd on the porch of the American Hotel. Painted in 1848 while Woodville was an art student in Düsseldorf, the canvas was exhibited at the AAU’s gallery in 1849 and reproduced in the AAU Bulletin, which circulated to its nearly 19,000 members.

George Austen, the AAU treasurer, purchased the painting and commissioned Alfred Jones (1819-1900) to create two color engravings of the scene—a large folio and the other a small print—which were published by the AAU in 1851. Princeton owns copies of both prints.

Note: This work is by the American artist Woodville who died at the age of 30, not to be confused with the British artist of the same name (1856-1927) who created many war and genre scenes for the Illustrated London News.

Fonografik Korespondent

The Fonografik Korespondent … (Lundun: Fred Pitman, 1844-1858). Published monthly, edited by Sir Isaac Pitman (1813-1897). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2006-2922N

Books written in shorthand began to appear as early as the sixteenth century. But it was the eighteenth-century invention of lithography that provided the ideal medium for their printing, along with books of music and those written in some non-Latin scripts. More than any other individual, it was Sir Isaac Pitman (1813-1897) who was responsible for the writing and distribution of these lithographic books.

Pitman was a great proponent of alternative writing systems. His plan for phonic writing or phonography has dominated the shorthand world since 1830s, while his design for simplified spelling, which he called phonotype, never caught on — unless you count twenty-first-century texting. If Pitman had his way, we would have dropped the k, q, and x long ago.

He was a zealot for these writing systems and published dozens of books and journals promoting them, including the Fonographic Korrespondent seen here. Over the years, the journal was also called the Phonographic Correspondent, Fonografic Corispondunt, Fonografic Corispondent and Riportur, Fonografic Corespondent and Reporter, and many other variations.

The text was written by hand on transfer paper, which could be pressed onto a lithographic stone surface alleviating the need to write the text backwards. Some transfers were taken from letterpress type, border elements, and signatures, giving the title pages the look of letterpress books, although they were always printed lithographically.

For more information on fonography, see Michael Twyman, Early Lithographed Books: a study of the design in the and production of improper books in age of the hand press (London: Farrand Press & Private Libraries Association, 1990). Graphic Arts Collection (GA), NE2295 .T99

In memory of Enid Mark 1932-2008

Artist, editor, and publisher Enid Mark passed away this week. She will be missed.

The Bewildering Thread, poems selected by Ruth Mortimer and Sarah Black, lithographs by Enid Mark (Wallingford: Elm Press, 1986). Graphic Arts division GAX Oversize NE539.M37B48 1986Q.

The Elm Press, founded by Mark in 1986, is devoted to publishing fine press artists’ books. Most featured Mark’s delicate lithographs although she was an adventurous bookmaker who explored many printing techniques and technologies. She had a special affinity to the relationship between word and image, and knew how to complement a poem rather than just illustrate it.

Enid Mark, An Afternoon at Les Collettes (Wallingford: Elm Press, 1988) Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize NE539.M37 A77 1988q

She wrote, “I imagine the book as a continuous picture plane on which word, image, sequence and structure all reinforce each other. What interests me most is the relationship between word and image. I plan no hierarchy of them. An artist’s book is a unique form of visual disclosure. It must be slowly savored. It should be held in the hand and carefully considered. Only then are its contents fully revealed.”

Grace from Simple Stone, poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) and lithographs by Enid Mark (Wallingford: Elm Press, 1992). Graphic Arts division GAX Oversize NE539.M37M54 1992Q.

For more information, see:

In memory of Hayden Carruth 1921-2008

Anything ends
In its beginning,
The circles turning
Slowly, so slowly,
Quern of the beat
Of the downrunning heart.
The sunlight fell like diamonds
But did not slacken
Remembrance’s forewarning
Of cold and dark to come,
The journey retaken
Without end,
Without end.
—from IV. “Ignis” in Journey to a Known Place (1961) Graphic Arts division GAX Z232.M54C37 1961. Gift of Daniel and Mary Jane Woodward.

Tweedledee and Sweedledum

Thomas Nast (1840-1902), “What are you laughing at? To the victor belong the spoils,” Published by Harper’s Weekly, 25 November 1871. Wood engraving. Graphic Arts division GAX Nast Collection

From 1868 to 1871, four Tammany Hall Democrats ran the government of New York City: William Marcy Tweed, alias “Big Bill” or “Boss Tweed”; Peter Barr Sweeny, also called “Brains”; Richard B. Connolly, known as “Slippery Dick”; and A. Oakey Hall, referred to as “O.K. Haul”. It has been estimated that these men stole from $75,000,000 to $200,000,000 from the NYC treasury.

The German-American cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840-1902) referred to Tweed and Sweeny as Tweedledee and Sweedledum, as he waged a campaign to remove the corrupt officials from power through his caricatures in Harper’s Weekly and The New York Times.

Nast’s assault was so sharp and successful that Tweed presented a bill to the State Legislature as an official protest against “an artist encouraged to send forth in a paper that calls itself a “Journal of Civilization” pictures vulgar and blasphemous, for the purpose of arousing the prejudices of the community against a wrong which exists only in their imagination.” There is no doubt that Assembly Bill No. 169 of March 31, 1870, was directed at the “Nast-y artist of Harper’s Hell Weekly—a Journal of Devilization.”

When this did little to stop Nast, Tweed gave orders to his Board of Education to reject all Harper bids for schoolbooks and to throw out those already purchased. More than $50,000 of public property was destroyed and replaced by books from the New York Printing Company (controlled by Tammany Hall).

Harper’s continued publishing Nast’s political cartoons, although Nast moved his family to New Jersey after receiving death threats.

Tweed and his compatriots were finally removed from office in November 1871. One of several celebratory cartoons drawn by Nast depicts Tweed as Marius among the ruins of Carthage, seen above. While Tweed is defeated, the New York Treasury is left demolished and empty.

For more details, see Albert Bigelow Paine, Th. Nast: His Period and His Pictures (New York: Macmillan Company, 1904) Firestone NE 539.N18 P16

The Comic Almanack

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The Comic Almanack. An Ephemeris in Jest and Earnest, containing All Things Fitting for Such a Work by Rigdum Funnidos, Gent (London: David Bogue [etc.], 1835-1853). Graphic Arts (GA) Cruik 1835.81. Presented in memory of DeWitt Millhouser by Mr. and Mrs. William M. Cahn, Jr., Class of 1933.

A man named Rigdum Funnidos is given credit for a number of the issues of the Comic Almanack, but who was he? Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable lists Funnidos as “A quick, active, intrepid little fellow, … full of fun and merriment, … all over quaintness and humorous mimicry, ….” Sir Walter Scott gave the name to his publisher, John Ballantyne, after a character in Henry Cary’s, Chrononhotonthologos (Robert Taylor collection 19th-305).

George Cruikshank (1792-1878) also used the name rather than credit himself for the editing (compiling?) of Comic Almanack from 1935-48, when Horace Mayhew took over. Cruikshank served as the principle illustrator for most of the annual’s nineteen years, creating issues “adorned with a dozen of ‘Righte Merrie’ cuts, pertaining to the months, and an hieroglyphic.” Text authors included William Thackeray (1811-1863), Albert Smith, Gilbert Becket, (1811-1856) and others.

Thackeray wrote a commentary entitled “George Cruikshank,” for the Westminster Review, June 1840, which spoke about their project:

Twelve admirable plates, furnished yearly to that facetious little publication, the Comic Almanac [sic], have gained for it a sale, as we hear, of nearly twenty thousand copies. The idea of the work was novel; there was, in the first number especially, a great deal of comic power, and Cruikshank’s designs were so admirable that the Almanac at once became a vast favorite with the public, and has so remained ever since.

…In the earlier numbers of the Comic Almanac all the manners and customs of Londoners that would afford food for fun were noted down; and if during the last two years the mysterious personage who, under the title of “Rigdum Funnidos,” compiles this ephemeris, has been compelled to resort to romantic tales, we must suppose that he did so because the great metropolis was exhausted, and it was necessary to discover new worlds in the cloud-land of fancy.

…it is very difficult to find new terms of praise, as find them one must, when reviewing Mr. Cruikshank’s publications, and more difficult still (as the reader of this notice will no doubt have perceived for himself long since) to translate his design into words, and go to the printer’s box for a description of all that fun and humor which the artist can produce by a few skilful turns of his needle. …thank heaven, Cruikshank’s humor is so good and benevolent that any man must love it, and on this score we may speak as well as another.

More digital images of the Comic Almanack are at

The Pantograph

Christoph Scheiner (1575-1650), Christophori Scheiner, e Societate Iesu Germano-Sueui, Pantographice, seu, Ars delineandi res quaslibet per parallelogrammum lineare seu cauum, mechanicum, mobile (Romae: Ex typographia Ludouici Grignani, 1631). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2004-2933N

If you want to enlarge one of these images, you can just click on the thumbnail and a larger image will appear. In the seventeenth century, for the first time, artists had a device, called the pantograph, to help them mechanically copy a design on an enlarged or reduced scale.

Christopher Scheiner, a German Jesuit, was responsible for designing and building the first pantograph in 1603. An illustration of the device can be seen in his 1630 book, Rosa ursina Sive Sol, along with other instruments he invented including a refracting telescope. The following year, Scheiner published a manual on the construction and use of the device, entitled Pantographice, seen here.

There are several types of pantographs, each consisting of parallel and intersecting rods. Scheiner’s frontispiece engraving depicts it being used both horizontal and vertical. To make your own pantograph, see

A Murder Mystery Illustrated by A.B. Frost

A.B. Frost (1851-1928), illustration for “On the Altar of Hunger” by Hugh Wiley (Scribner’s Magazine, August 1917, p. 177). Ink wash with gouche highlights. Graphic Arts division GAX 2008-

The American artist Arthur Burdett Frost produced illustrations for nearly 100 books from 1876 until his death in 1928. He worked alongside Howard Pyle and Frederic Remington for the leading publishers of the day, including Harper & Brothers and Scribner’s. While he made his living primarily as a commercial artist, Frost studied painting with Thomas Eakins and William Merritt Chase at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art and lived for awhile in Paris, hoping for success as a “serious painter” [his words]. Although he never gave up painting entirely, in 1914 Frost and his family returned to the United States and he resumed work as an illustrator.

In 1917, Frost wrote “… am going to take up caricaturing with a view of getting into the syndicate job. If it all goes at all it means better pay that I could get in any other way. Caricature is with me a separate thing from my life. I can draw absurd things that amuse others but do not affect me. I am wretchedly unhappy and always will be but I can make “comic” pictures just as I always did.”

One of the commissions he recieved that year was to illustrate a short story by the mystery writer Hugh Wiley. Wiley is best known today for his character James Lee Wong, who was the focus of a series of stories in Collier’s magazine and then, in movies as played by Boris Karloff. Wiley’s short story “On the Altar of Hunger,” illustrated by Frost, appeared in the August issue of Scribner’s Magazine, and later, unillustrated, in 50 Best American Short Stories 1915-1939 edited by Edward O’Brien (New York: Literary Guild of America [1939]) Firestone Library (F) 3588.684.2

Page 177 of Scribner’s shows the published version of Frost’s ink wash drawing, now in the collection of graphic arts. The choice of blue is interesting, since in the 20th century, magazine illustrators made corrections in blue, which could then be screened out of the published image. Here those elements are included as an added tone.

Rowlandson's Distillers

Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827), Distillers Looking into Their Own Business (London: Thos. Tegg, 111 Cheapside. October 10, 1811). Etching. Inscribed in plate: Price one shilling coloured. Tegg no. 100. c.1 Gift of Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895. c.2 Gift of Bruce Willsie, Class of 1986. GA 2006.00684

Thomas Rowlandson was one of several prolific artists who sold satirical designs to the London publisher Thomas Tegg (176-1846). Tegg's bookshop was well-placed at 111 Cheapside--known for its cheap reproductions of remaindered or out-of-copyright books. He often reissued the same plate over several years, each time hand colored by whatever colorist was on staff at the time. We often collect several issues of the same image, to compare the result of different coloring.

Rowlandson's print is one of many commenting on the underground distribution of gin in London after the Gin Act of 1751, which prohibited distillers from selling to unlicensed merchants and charged high fees to those with a license. This led to hundreds of illegal stills across the city. The alcohol was often flavored with turpentine . . . or anything else that was handy.

These operations closed in 1830, when the Duke of Wellington's administration passed the Sale of Beer Act, removing all taxes on beer and allowing retail sale of beer on payment of a two-guinea fee.

Mammoth Inauguration

GA 2008-01237

Although it may be difficult to tell from a thumbnail, this is a mammoth plate (23 x 17 inch) collodion on glass positive photograph of Grover Cleveland’s 1885 inauguration as the twenty-second president of the United States. The spectacular image represents the end of one era and the beginning of another for American photography.

Mammoth glass plates had been used with great success since the 1860s when Carleton Watkins and other members of the government expeditions carried them through the West. Commercial photographers in the East, such as Mathew Brady, also used mammoth plates to make celebrity portraits on a grand scale.

However, for most photographers, glass plates were heavy, difficult to handle, and easily broken. Even with the development of an emulsion-coating machine in 1879, there was a demand for better, cheaper materials to support the light-sensitive chemistry. In 1885, George Eastman introduced his Eastman American Film and in 1888, offered a camera that held a pre-coated roll of his flexible film. Now anyone who could afford to buy the camera could make photographs.

It is not surprising to find this seminal photograph at Princeton. When he retired from office, Cleveland chose Princeton, New Jersey, for his home and served for a time as a trustee of Princeton University. When he died in 1907, he was buried in the Princeton cemetery of the Nassau Presbyterian Church.

Cleveland’s papers are available in the Grover Cleveland collection, 1860-1907 (Manuscripts Collection MSS C0237). In addition, the books from his personal library are now part of Princeton’s rare books collections, including his copy of the 1885 Message from the President of the United States to the two Houses of Congress at the commencement of the first session of the forty-ninth Congress (Rare Books (Ex) CL 1090.24.9).

For more information on Cleveland’s connections with Princeton, see


Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901), Cover of the portfolio L’estampe originale, no. 1 1893. Lithograph. Graphic Arts division, French prints G9

Toulouse-Lautrec contributed two designs for covers to L’estampe originale, which offered an original lithograph to its subscribers three times each year between 1893 and 1895. This lithograph is the first. It shows dancer and singer Jane Avril studying a fresh impression at the Paris lithography studio of Édouard Ancourt. The master printmaker at the press is Père Cotelle

Although only around 100 copies of this print were made, it has become one of the iconic images of the 1890s. Indeed, Toulouse-Lautrec’s colorful lithographic posters are almost synonymous with the Belle Époque. Inspired by Japanese woodblock prints, note the flatness of the design, a strong diagonal, and the large areas of muted color.

Lace Making in the Seventeenth Century

Sigismundus Latomus, Schön newes Modelbuch: von 600. ausserwehlten künstlichen so wol italiänischen, frantzösischen, niderländischen, engelländischen als teutschen Modeln, allen Seydenstickern, Nähterin vnd solcher Arbeit gefliessenen Weibspersohnen zu Nutz zugerichtet = Un beau et nouueau liure à patrons: enrichie de six cens belles pourtraitures et patrons exquises, tant à la mode italiène, françoise, du Pais Bas, angloise, qu’allemande, fort profitables à tous brodeurs, cousières, & autres dames & ieunes filles desireux de ceste besoigne (Getruckt zu Franckfurt am Mayn [Frankfurt am Main]: Durch Sigismundum Latomum, M.DC.VI. [1606]). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2005-0157Q

This unrecorded first edition pattern book contains 17 fullpage and 96 vignette woodcuts on 34 leaves of plates. Latomus catered to an international clientele of women and girls, offering both favorite designs and the latest in needlework patterns. An elaborate opening woodcut cartouche with contemporary hand coloring was commissioned by Latomus specifically for this edition. The design features Virtues and Senses in the four corners: Labor, Diligence, Sight, Touch. In the central scene, six women can be seen weaving, measuring, and cutting fabric, while also attending to a wealthy customer and his page.

For more information on this and other of model books, see Arthur Lotz, Bibliographie der modelbücher (Leipzig: K. W. Hiersemann, 1933). Marquand Lib.NK8804 .L9

The Whole Duty of Woman

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The Whole Duty of Woman. A new edition, with considerable improvements. (Philadelphia: Printed by J. Ormrod …, 1798). Gift of Michael Papantonio. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX), Hamilton SS 247

This miniature courtesy book was pulled recently for a researcher. First published in 1695 by Lady Mary Cressy, under the title The Whole Duty of a Woman; or, A Guide to the Female Sex, from the Age of Sixteen to Sixty, &c. For a new edition in 1753, the author was simply listed as “A Lady.” In fact, this author was William Kenrick (1725?-1779), English novelist, playwright, and founder of the book review digest The London Review. Kenrick was described by Paul Fussell in PMLA (June 1951) as “one of London’s most despised, drunken, and morally degenerate hack writers in the later eighteenth century.”

In this tiny volume, Kenrick assumes the persona of a fallen woman, now reformed, who wants to persuade other women to live a life of virtue. Chapters include Curiosity, Reflection, Vanity, Knowledge, Reputation, Applause, Censure, Insinuation, Affectation, Modesty, Chastity, Complacence, Acquaintance, Friendship, Elegance, Frugality, Employment, Virginity, Marriage, Education, Authority, Widowhood, and Religion.

While courtesy books are, in general, books of etiquette for young women, they often went further by offering a philosophy of life, a code of principles, and ethical behavior by which to live. Kenrick was certainly having a good laugh as this volume was reprinted in over 20 editions.

Winslow Homer's Eventful History of Three Little Mice

Author unknown. Eventful History of Three Little Mice and How They Became Blind (Boston: E. O. Libby & Co., [1858]) Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Hamilton 848(a)

Winslow Homer (1836-1910) was twenty-six before he seriously took up painting and nearly forty before he depended on it for a living. How did he pay the rent before this? His early career was as an illustrator, designing more than 160 illustrations for books and literary journals.

Homer apprenticed with the Boston lithographer, John Henry Bufford, until his twenty-first birthday. For the next two years, working independently, he designed at least forty-two small drawings for thirteen different books, all juveniles. One of these was the Eventful History of Three Little Mice. Homer created seventeen illustrations for the book, which was released in April 1858, priced at 12 ½ cents as printed or double that if the illustrations were hand-colored.This project was something of a rip-off of the Remarkable History of Five Little Pigs, engraved by the Dalziel Brothers.

Homer’s frontispiece shows the climax of the story, the cutting of the mice’s tails—talk about giving away the ending. He did not draw the cover, which may explain the difference in the title.

This is how the production was often handled: For each drawing, a blank wood block was sent to Homer’s studio. The block usually consisted of a number of closely fitted pieces of boxwood bolted together. Homer drew directly on the block’s whitened surface and returned it to the publisher (later he was allowed to submit a drawing on paper). The master wood engraver cut the lines that ran across the joints. Then, the blocks were separated and assistants would engrave the different parts of the design. The blocks were then reassembled and electrotyped, to create a metal plate for printing.

If you are interested in Homer’s career as a book illustrator, take a look at: David Tatham, Winslow Homer and the Illustrated Book (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1992) Graphic Arts NC975.5.H65 T38 1992

Stephen Rea's Field Day

This posting is in honor of Stephen Rea’s brilliant performance at the Public Theater in Kicking a Dead Horse.

Rare Books and Special Collections holds a large collection of Irish theater plays, playbills, posters, and manuscripts given by Leonard L. Milberg in honor of the Irish poet and Princeton professor Paul Muldoon.

Shown here is a poster from an early production by Stephen Rea’s Field Day Theatre Company, The Cure at Troy written by Seamus Heaney and directed by Stephen Rea. His company also originated the production of Translations by Brian Friel. Field Day now publishes books.

For more information on the Irish Theater Collection, see the website Here is a finding aid to the posters:

Coming in 2011, a new collection of Irish novels.

First Things First

First American Woodcut, ca. 1670

John Foster (1648-1681), Portrait of Richard Mather. Woodcut, first issued ca. 1670. Given in memory of Frank Jewett Mather Jr. by his wife, his son, Frank Jewett Mather III, and his daughter, Mrs. Louis A. Turner. Graphic Arts division, GA 2006.00728

At the age of twenty-two, John Foster had completed his education at Harvard and was teaching English grammar in Dorchester, Massachusetts. When his friend and minister, the influential Richard Mather, passed away, members of the congregation planned a publication in his honor. Foster offered to design and print a woodcut portrait of Mather for a frontispiece to The Life and Death of That Reverend Man of God, Mr. Richard Mather. Only six copies of the print are known. It is considered the first woodcut printed in the United States.

First American metamorphosis book, ca.1775

[Metamorphosis] ([Philadelphia, ca.1775])

Graphic Arts holds three different editions of this ealy American juvenile. This one contains eight woodcuts by James Poupard. The prints are arranged into sections with four of the plates cut through the center so that the top and bottom can be raised. The lion turns into a griffin, the girl into a mermaid, etc. According to Sinclair Hamilton’s Early American Book Illustrators and Wood Engravers, some later 19th-century editions carry the title Metamorphosis; or, a Transformation of Pictures with Poetical Explanations for the Amusement of Young Persons.

First American picture of a baseball game, 1838

The Boy’s Book of Sports: or, Exercises and Pastimes of Youth. New Haven: S. Babcock, 1838. Wood engraving by Alexander Anderson (1775-1870). Graphic Arts Collection. Gift of Sinclair Hamilton, Class of 1906.

In the 1820s, a group of men from Philadelphia, prevented by an obscure ordinance from enjoying their favorite pastime in their own city, began playing an early version of baseball in Camden, New Jersey. By the 1830s, other teams had formed along the East Coast, and rules to the game were published in Robin Carver’s Book of Sports (1834). Carver’s book included this wood engraving depicting a baseball game played on Boston Common. The same block was used to illustrate several publications over the next few years, including the first and second editions of The Boy’s Book of Sports (1835 and 1838).

Aesop's Fables







Aisōpou tou Phrygos ho bios kai hoi mythoi: auxēthentes te kai pro sapēkribōmenoi pros antigraphon palaiota ton to ek tēs basilikēs bibliothēkēs = Æsopi Phrygis vita & fabulæ : plures & emendatiores, ex vetustissimo codice bibliothecæ Regiæ (Lutetiæ [Paris]: Ex officina Rob. Stephani typographi Regii, M. D. XLVI. [1546]). Greek title and Greek subtitle in Greek characters; text in Greek. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2004-3189N

Robert Dodsley (1703-1764), Select Fables of Esop and Other Fabulists …(Birmingham [Eng.]: printed by John Baskerville, for R. and J. Dodsley, 1761). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Baskerville 1761b

Fables of Aesop and Others, translated into English with instructive applications, and a print before each fable by Samuel Croxall (Philadelphia: S. Probasco, 1831). engravings by James Poupard. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2003-0490N

Selections from Aesop’s Fables, versified by Clara Doty Bates; accompanied by the standard translations from the original Greek; illustrated by E.H. Garrett … [et al.] (Boston: D. Lothrop, c1884). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2003-0369N

The Subtyl Historyes and Fables of Esope, Translated out of Frensshe in to Englysshe by William Caxton at Westmynstre in the yere of oure Lorde. mcccc.lxxxiij ([San Francisco]: The Grabhorn Press at San Francisco, 1930) “Two hundred copies… Initialed and decorations by Valenti Angelo …” Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2004-3609N

12 Fables of Aesop (New York: Museum of Modern Art, c1954) “Linoleum blocks by Antonio Frasconi to illustrate Twelve fables of Aesop newly narrated by Glenway Wescott, Adapted from a limited edition designed by Joseph Blumenthal.” Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Z232.B654 A37 1954

Native American Taxonomy

The Potawatomie Indian Tribe occupied various lands in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin as they were pushed further and further west by U.S. government treaties. As hunters and farmers, one of the many things they were known for was their medicinal herb gardens. This is a nineteenth-century Potawatamie herbarium, or medicine stick, identifying the plant specimens from one area or territory. Note the hand-coloring.

Western Americana collection WC086

"the reality of sensation alone remains" -Arthur Dove

Arthur Dove (1880-1946), Untitled, ca. 1930s. Pastel on paper. GA 2006.02661

This untitled and undated pastel by the American modernist Arthur Dove found its way into the graphic arts collection without even a mention in the department's annual "new and notable" commentary. It has never been published and was not included in the artist's catalogue raisonné.

The pastel has been attributed on the verso to the 1930s, which is fitting. In 1920s, Dove lived with Helen Torr in a houseboat on Huntington Harbor, off Long Island, and he often included abstracted landscapes of the water and shore in his work. Dove also included elements of collage in his work of this period, none of which are present in this pastel.

At the end of the 1920s, Dove wrote to his dealer Alfred Stieglitz, "Am more interested now than ever in doing things than doing something about things. The pure paintings seem to stand out from those related too closely to what the eye sees there. To choose between here and there--I should say here." Dove to Stieglitz, October 1929, Beinecke Library.

In 1933, Dove moved to rural Geneva, New York, and produced a number of formal color studies based on the wildlife of the area, emphasizing shapes and lines in an effort to move closer to an organic abstraction. When he returned to Long Island in 1938, Dove's work changed once again; his color pallet became bolder and his abstractions more geometric. It is from somewhere within the early 1930s period that I believe Princeton's pastel was created.

Picturing the Moon

The Inconstant Moon: Poems to the Moon by Mark Jarman … [et al.]; with a Homeric hymn translated by Apostolos N. Athanassakis; lithographs by Enid Mark. (Philadelphia: ELM Press, 2007) Limited edition of 45 signed copies, 8 poets’ copies numbered I-VIII, and 10 artist’s proofs. (GAX) Oversize 2007-0662Q

James Nasmyth (1808-1890) and James Carpenter (1840-1899), The Moon, Considered as a Planet, a World, and a Satellite. 2d edition. (London: J. Murray, 1874). Illustrated with woodburytypes and wood engravings. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2003-0202Q

Nasmyth photographed his own hand to demonstrate the similarity between the shrinking of the molten surface of the moon and the wrinkling of his own skin.

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