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Celebrity Hair

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The above is the hair of / Washington / presented to Miss Menitt [?] / by James A. Hamilton / June 10 1871 (EX 4795).

“Hair, that most imperishable of all the component parts of our mortal bodies, has always been regarded as a cherished memorial of the absent or lost. Impressed with this idea, it appears to us but natural that of all the various employment devised for the fingers of our fair country-women, the manufacture of ornaments in hair must be one of the most interesting. Why should we confide to others the precious lock or tress we prize, risking its being lost, and the hair of some other person being substituted for it, when, with a little attention, we may ourselves weave it into the ornament we desire?” From Elegant Arts for Ladies (London: Ward and Lock, [1861])

The largest collection of celebrity hair is held by John Reznikoff, the “world’s pre-eminent historical hair collector.” This 2009 video contains a little of the hair in Reznikoff’s collection.

French silent movies now available

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Click here for films:

Since the summer of 2008, when Professor Rubén Gallo first entered a tiny French antique shop and discovered a 1920s Pathé-Baby home movie projector along with approximately eight hundred 9.5 mm silent films, we have been working to bring this material into the classrooms of Princeton University.

Thanks to the generous support of Lynn Shostack and the David A. Gardner '69 Magic Project in both 2009 and 2010, we were able to partner with the Colorlab Preservation Laboratory of Rockville, Maryland, which is one of the few companies in the United States capable of undertaking the arduous process of hand-cleaning, replasticizing, and transferring the 9.5 mm film stock to a digital medium. Each film was treated individually, and a pause was inserted at a total of 11,067 title frames to give enough time for them to be read.

The first group of digitized films is now available for viewing. Each film is only two or three minutes long. You can either browse the pages of the website or search by key word using the box at the top right. Some films last through more than one reel and a few are hand colored. We will continue to add new films to the site as they are catalogued.


We are extremely grateful to Lynn Shostack and the Gardner fund, along with the entire Council of the Humanities, led by Executive Director Carol Rigolot, for their support and encouragement of this magical project.

[Don't miss The Voice of the Nightingale, A fairy tale in 4 parts adapted for the screen by M. Starewicz.]

The Story of Shakkyō (The Stone Bridge)


We recently unrolled a large, Japanese embroidery for the first time in many years. At the top of the ten-foot tapestry is a white mountain that might refer to Tendaisan, the holy mountain of the Tientai sect of Buddhism.

According to Carter Horsley, “The Mountain was a favorite pilgrimage site for generations of Chinese and Japanese monks and literary men, who extolled its beauty in a number of memorable accounts. One of the most impressive sights on the mountain was an extraordinary natural stone bridge, which is described in Chinese literature as rising to a height of eighteen thousand feet, its curve likened to the arc of a rainbow or the back of a giant turtle. Watered by the mist rising from nearby falls, its stone surface was covered with a slippery layer of ancient moss.”


This site is also found in the Japanese No play, Shakkyô (The Stone Bridge), by Kanze Motokiyo (1343-1443). The play tells the story of a wealthy Japanese businessman who renounces his life and becomes a priest. He makes a pilgrimage to Tendaisan and the grave of Monju Bosatsu, who is usually seen with an animal known as Shishi, similar to a lion.

The embroidery has many of these Shishi figures, climbing and tumbling down the design. According to one legend, the lioness would take her cubs to the Shakkyô and only the ones who were capable of climbing to the top would be nurtured by the mother.



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Edward Jones (1752-1824), A Selection of the most Admired and Original German Waltzes, never before Published; adapted for The Harp, or Piano-Forte; Most respectfully Dedicated, by Permission, to Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Wales, by Edward Jones, Harp Master, and Bard to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (London: Printed for the Editor, 1806). Frontispiece drawn and engraved by Thomas Rowlandson. Graphic Arts Collection, Kane Room Rowlandson 1806.4

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Welsh harpist Edward Jones dedicated this group of waltzes to ten-year-old Princess Charlotte of Wales, the daughter of his patron George, Prince of Wales later to become King George IV. At the time, Jones was living in St James’s Palace. A collector of music, Jones was clearly ahead of his contemporaries in his appreciation for the waltz. While popular in Austria and Germany, the dance had not yet penetrated British Society.

According to Erin Smith, writing for the Jane Austen Society, “dance historians can point to the exact moment the waltz was introduced officially into mainstream English society: the King’s Birthday Ball in July of 1816, almost to the day that Austen put her finishing touches on the first draft of Persuasion and just under a month before she finished it completely. In a review dated 16 July 1816, a writer from the London Times reported: ‘We remarked with pain that the indecent foreign dance called the Waltz was introduced (we believe for the first time) at the English court on Friday last.’” Erin Smith, “Dancing in a New Direction: Jane Austen and the Regency Waltz,” Persuasions On-line, v. 30, no. 2 (spring 2010)

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Jane Austen (1775-1817), Northanger Abbey: and Persuasion (London: John Murray, Albemarle-street. 1818). Rare Books (Ex) 3612.1.368.11

Stubborn Elephant Dead

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One of the headlines in the April 23, 1900, New York Times reads, “Stubborn Elephant Dead, Killed by Two Others at Madison Square Garden.” The article goes on to recount a Saturday performance by the Sells Brothers’ Circus, which was “bereft of one of its best dancing elephants. The animal, whose name was Dick, was killed while an attempt was being made to move him with two large ropes pulled by two other elephants. Ever since the show came here Dick has been misbehaving although his conduct had before that been most exemplary. Every now and then he became restive, refusing to perform his part in the elephant quadrille, and making the utmost precautions necessary to prevent him from harming the keepers.”

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The article ends, “From tip to tip he measured 12 feet 6 inches, his weight being two and a half tons. The measurement of his body crosswise was 3 feet 9 inches. After the body was cut up yesterday morning by Taxidermist H.H. Vogelsgan, it was found that there were 110 square feet of leather in his hide, 10 of his truck, and 5 in his ears. Sixteen men worked half the day on the carcass. Negotiations for the purchase of Dick’s frame for mounting are being carried on by the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.”

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Sells Brothers Millionaire Confederation of Stupendous Railroad Shows (Buffalo, N.Y.: Courier Company Show Printing House, 1880). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2012- in process

William Heath's signature

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The British caricaturist William Heath (1795-1840) liked to sign his prints with the tiny figure of the actor John Liston (ca. 1776-1846) in role of Paul Pry from the 1825 farce of the same name. So popular were Heath’s prints that pirated copies flooded the market, reproducing both the central image and the Paul Pry monogram (For the original image of Liston as Pry, see:

Dorothy George writes, “[Heath’s] prints were copied, his manner imitated, his signature forged and plagiarized. …After protests at ‘some scurvy rogue … robbing us of our Ideas & Just profit …’ Heath announced on 6 July 1829 that henceforth his prints would be signed with his full name … The false Paul Pry continues for a few months, then the signature ceases, but imitations go on.”

While many prints contain the simple figure with an umbrella shown above, there are also variations. Can you tell the real William Heath from the copyist?

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An Amateur of Fashion, 1813.

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The Parish Overseer
[Paul Pry Says: “from a Hint of W-R-V-s-, Esqer. Del.”], no date (1825?).

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A Wellington Boot or The Head of The Army, 1827.

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State of the Giraffe, no date (July 1828).

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I Was Lucky I Got Shelter At All, no date (1828-1830).

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Greedy Old Nickford Eating Oysters, no date (1828-1830).

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Innocent Amusements. Pitch in the Hole, no date (1825-1830).

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Modern Peeping Tom’s Who Deserve To Be
Sent To Coventry !!!,
no date (ca. 1829).

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The Slap Up Swell Wot Drives When Hever He Likes, April 1829.

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A Slap At The Charleys Or A Tom & Jerry Lark, May 26, 1829.

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The Cad to the Man Wot Drives the Sovereign, 1829.

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Come To My Harms [H Crossed Through] King of the Protocals!!!,
August 1, 1831.

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The Bears at Bay, 1831.

All prints from the Graphic Arts Collection, Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University.

Contemporary Playing Cards

Paul Smith, Christmas 1996. Promotional pack of cards designed by Aboud Sodano. Gift of William Drenttel, Class of 1976. Graphic Arts Collection GC146

The Uncards. Promotional pack of cards for Neenah Paper, 1991. Gift of William Drenttel, Class of 1976. Graphic Arts Collection GC146

Playing card pack of Champion Carnival paper samples, no date. Gift of William Drenttel, Class of 1976. Graphic Arts Collection GC146

Play Wojcik in Miniature. Promotional deck of cards for James Wojcik photography, 1991. Gift of William Drenttel, Class of 1976. Graphic Arts Collection GC146

52 Cards. Promotional deck of cards designed by Harris Bhandari Design Associates for Neenah Paper, no date. Gift of William Drenttel, Class of 1976. Graphic Arts Collection GC146


Playing Cards by Donald Sultan & A/D, 1989. Gift of William Drenttel, Class of 1976. Graphic Arts Collection GC146

Volume one, number one

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Elmer Adler, former curator of the graphic arts collection, was a connoisseur of publishing. One of the genres he collected was first issues of magazines. This collection is separate from the library’s own runs of serial and includes mostly American titles. Each issue is volume one, number one.

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One important exception is Adler’s copy of Fortune magazine, which is volume one, number 0. This September 1929 publisher’s dummy includes many of the articles but lacks some of the photographs and has no table of contents. The cover image by Stark Davis (1885-1950) is completely different than the one by T.M. Cleland (1880-1964) used when the magazine debuted in February 1930.

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A letter to advertisers included with this issue of Fortune reads in part, “The advertising manager has prevailed upon the editors to issue a few copies of this dummy, the fourth of ten steps in the publishers’ program for the artistic and mechanical evolution of Fortune. It will give advertisers some hint of what Fortune vol. 1 no. 1 will be like when it appears January, 1930.”

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Here is a list of the titles represented in Adler’s collection: Accordion World, April 1936; American Aviation, June 1, 1937; Americana, February n.d.; Apparel Arts, Christmas 1931; Atom, fall 1945; Atomic and Gas Turbine Progress, October 1945; Austria Invitans, 1951; Bean Home News, v.1 n.d.; Book Collector’s Quarterly, October 1925; Bulletin of Collectors of American Art, May 1938; Common Sense, December 5, 1932; Creative Typography News, October 1950; Ebony, November 1945; Esquire, autumn 1933; Fascination, February 1946; Flair, February 1950; Fortune, volume 1, no. 0, 1929 (prepublication); Gentle Reader, December 1931; Gilcrafter, December 1938; Harkness Hoot (Yale), October 1, 1930; Holiday, March 1946; Irish Review, April 1934; Island, June 15, 1931; Junior Bazaar, November 1945; Letters (New Hope), spring 1935; Life, November 23, 1936; Linonia, May 1925; Literary Observer Illustrated, April/May 1934; Literature: the International Gazette of Criticism, November 5, 1897; Lowdown, January 1939; Magazine World, November 1944; New Atlantis, October 1933; Panorama, October 1, 1928; Parade, spring [1937]; Princeton Athlete, October 3, 1941; Reading and Collecting, December 1936; Ringmaster, May 1936; Salute, April 1946; Scenic Trails, May 1937; Social Frontier, October 1934; Technocracy Review, February 1933; Typography (Shenval Press), n.d.; Warren Standard, 1924

Is it Grover Cleveland?

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Pyne Library, the sesquicentennial gift of Mrs. Percy Rivington Pyne, mother of Moses Taylor Pyne, Class of 1877 (1855-1921), was added to Chancellor Green in 1897. In one of its alcoves, a long-term exhibition was mounted of the Lawrence Hutton collection of death masks, donated to Princeton University that same year.

When the collection moved next door to Firestone Library, no such exhibit was created, to the regret of a reporter for The Daily Princetonian. “The collection, a gift of Lawrence Hutton, former lecturer in English, was at one time a prize exhibit in the Pyne Library but lack of space in the new building has prevented its display since it was moved to its present quarters.”

The article also mentioned that masks were added to the collection after 1897, noting that “Mrs. Grover Cleveland, longtime resident of Princeton, donated the likeness of her ex-president husband at the time of his death.”

Our collection includes an unmarked mask, unusually cast in cement rather than plaster and, because of its enormous weigh, permanently housed in a wood frame. Is the mask below (also in the center of the photograph above), the 1908 mask of the 22nd and 24th President of the United States?

StephenGroverCleveland.pngLibrary of Congress
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Death mask of Grover Cleveland?, 1908. Cement in wood frame. Donated by Mrs. Grover Cleveland.

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See also a photograph of Cleveland’s 1885 inauguration: /~graphicarts/2008/09/mammoth_inauguration.html

Guy J. Wells, “Firestone Houses Death Masks of Kings, Musicians, Presidents,” Daily Princetonian, 73, no. 136 (8 November 1949).

House Cleaning, no. 3. Arms and Armor

Various weapons held in Rare Books and Special Collections, Firestone Library, Princeton University.
rifle3.jpgThe top rifle belonged to John James Audubon (1785-1851), the French-American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter, best known for publishing Birds of America (Oversize EX 8880.134.11e).
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House Cleaning no. 2. The Family Jewels

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Josepha Weitzmann-Fiedler (1904-2000), the wife of Princeton University medievalist Kurt Weitzmann (1904-1993), was a scholar in her own right. She published Aktdarstellung in der Malerei (Annex ND3305 .W44); Romanische Bronzeschalen mit Mythologischen Darstellungen (Recap 29525.963); Romanische gravierte Bronzeschalen (Oversize NK7904 .W44q); and Zur Illustration der Margaretenlegende (SA ND3385.M25 W4).

She also worked as an assistant to Paul Frankl (1878-1962), helping to complete a study of Gothic Architecture for the Pelican History of Art (1956) and a study of Gothic literature (1960). Both Mr. and Mrs. Weitzmann donated material to Firestone Library (as recent house cleaning attests). Photograph:

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House Cleaning no. 1. Bonaparte et al.

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P. T. Barnum's Illustrated News

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P.T. Barnum’s Illustrated News (Buffalo, N.Y.: Courier Company, 1880). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2012- in process

P.T. Barnum (1810-1891) issued an annual newspaper, sent out in advance of the circus as an advertising circular. This one was prepared for Jefferson City, Missouri; you can see where the location has been dropped into the top of the front page.

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“To My Many Patrons. Season of 1880. During the season of 1879, Barnum’s Own and Only Greatest Show on Earth was exhibited to more people than attended the exhibition of nearly all the other show on the entire continent combined. Why was this? Because, I had the best show ever organized either in America, or Europe, and its various attractions gave instruction, pleasure, and healthy amusement to nearly two millions of people! So great was the popularity of this gigantic show, so vast its proportions, and so varied and novel were its attractions, that I could have sent out the same show this season and it would, undoubtedly, have received as large a patronage as it received last season. …” —P.T. Barnum

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What is history and what is stuff?

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“This table top was Oliver Cromwell’s camp table; it was taken by the Government forces at the battle of Chalgrove fields, where Hampden was killed and the followers of Cromwell were defeated; the effects of Cromwell were taken to Shirburn Castle, the seat of the Earl of Macclesfield, where it was with other things stowed in the garret pediment;

at the death of Thomas Parker, Earl of Macclesfield about 1850-52, the present Earl of Macclesfield in cleaning out the pediment gave the table to Wm. Wheeler (my wife’s father), who thinking we thought more of Cromwell in America, sent it over to me in 1864;

the table then had a pointed stem to drive into the ground, with a collar at top for the table top to rest on with a hole for a candlestick to set in; the top was in two halves and fastened together with hooks (one is lost) for convenience in packing.

Having lost the stem I suppose I unfortunately modernized it by putting on a new stem and feet and filling up the centre hold where it rested on the old stem with a white piece, and polished up the surface, and glued the two halves together; but the underside was not touched other than to put some screws into it to fasten it on a lathe so it could be turned.” [signed] Edwin W. Judge, New Haven

(Property of Mrs. George A. Hulett, ‘92; on deposit, 1934 for George Barker Hulett, ‘30). Museum objects collection

Dante Gabriel Rossetti


Death mask of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882), from the original by Domenico Brucciani (1815/18-1880) in possession of W. M. Rossetti. Previously owned by Janet Camp Troxell. Referenced in Princeton University Library Chronicle vol. 33, no. 3, p. 173.

The English poet and painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) was in poor health during the last years of his life, particularly after being cut-out of the Kelmscott decorative arts firm by William Morris (1834-1896). He was addicted to chloral hydarate, which he had begun taking to cure insomnia. In December of 1881 Rossetti suffered a mild stroke that left him largely paralyzed and on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1882 he died. The cause was listed as Brights Disease (kidney failure).

His friends not only had a death mask made by the leading plaster caster of the time, Domenico Brucciani, but also a cast of his right hand. A directory of British bronze sculpture founders and plaster figure makers has been mounted by the National Portrait Gallery, London. Under “B” you will find a complete history of the Brucciani family’s plaster cast business and Domenico’s work as a Formatore or modeller for what is now the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum.

Noah Webster

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Yale graduate Noah Webster, Jr. (1758-1843) is responsible for changing the word “colour” to “color” and “musick” to “music.” Webster wrote the first American dictionary, entitled A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language (1806) and followed it with An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828).

Before the age thirty, Webster had already published a three volume study: A Grammatical Institute of the English Language, including a speller (1783), a grammar (1784), and a reader (1785).

In its first fifty years in print, the speller sold 15 million copies.

Not all his ideas were accepted. In “An Essay on the Necessity, Advantages, and Practicality of Reforming the Mode of Spelling …”, Webster described the alterations he wished to make. Here are a few:

1. The omission of all superfluous or silent letters; as a in bread. Thus bread, head, give, breast, built, meant, realm, friend, would be spelt, bred, hed, giv, brest, bilt, ment, relm, frend.

2. A substitution of a character that has a certain definite sound, for one that is more vague and indeterminate. Thus by putting ee instead of ea or ie, the words mean, near, speak grieve, zeal, would become meen, neer, speek, greev, zeel.

3. Thus ch in French derivatives should be changed into sh; machine, chaise, chevalier, should be written masheen, shaze, shevaleer; and pique, tour, oblique, should be written peek, toor, obleek.

Attributed to John Henri Isaac Browere (1792-1834), Bust of Noah Webster, no date. Casting plaster. Gift of Mrs. Theodore L. Bailey. Ex 4766

The Original Writing Machine: The Remington Type-writer


Rare Books and Special Collection at Princeton, holds a Model No. 1 Remington Type-writer from 1874. The manufacture of this machine began at the gun works of Eliphalet Remington (1793-1861) in 1873 but the first sales were not made until the following year. Remington called his machine a Type-writer and it wrote capital letters only. Demand for a greater variety of fonts led to a second model in 1878.

The young Remington began working as a blacksmith in Kinne Corners, New York, where he invented a new barrel for an hunting rifle. Its success led Remington to build a factory, where he could manufacture the guns himself. Remington & Sons also produced and sold bicycles, farm ploy blades, and sewing machines but it is the type-writers for which they had their greatest success.

A Typewriter for Every Nation, for Every Tongue


On February 12, 1892, the Princetonian published this notice: “Mr. Barton Cruikshank has resigned the instructorship in Graphics to become superintendent of the Hammond Typewriter Co. Mr. F. C. Torrey, of the Electrical School, will succeed him for the remainder of the year.” Cruikshank had only just accepted the position of assistant professor the previous fall, teaching a “course of graphics” at the John C. Green School of Science, Princeton College.

The Hammond typewriter was still a fairly new machine, having been introduced in 1884 at the New Orleans Centennial Exposition. It differed from the Remington typewriter in its round, rotating type shuttle. To change fonts or languages, the owner purchased separate shuttles and switched between them as needed. The Hammond Company slogan was: “For every nation, for every tongue.”

Princeton’s Hammond is a variation on the Hammond No.1. The Hammond No. 2 was introduced in 1895 and No. 3 in 1896. The machines sold well into the 1920s, when the name was changed to the Varityper and continued for another fifty years.

See also: Darren Sean Wershler-Henry, The Iron Whim: a Fragmented History of Typewriting (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2007). Firestone Library (F) Z49.A1 W47 2007
Wilfred A. Beeching, Century of the Typewriter (London: Heinemann, 1974). Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Z49.A1 B43 1974


Hammond typewriter, 1880s. Museum objects collection.

Night Shadows

Edward Hopper (1882-1967), Night Shadows, 1921. Drypoint. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2007.01456

In October 1924, after ten years as the leading progressive American weekly, The New Republic magazine filed for bankruptcy. Founded in 1914 under the editorial leadership of Herbert Croly (1869-1930) and Walter Lippmann (1889-1974), the magazine was losing subscribers, Lippmann and other writers were being lured away by other publications, and The New Republic desperately needed a plan.

In December of the same year, the magazine ran an advertisement announcing a subscription bargain: if you purchase a two-year subscription to The New Republic, you will also receive a portfolio of six etchings by the American artists Peggy Bacon (1895-1987), Ernest Haskell (1876-1925), Edward Hopper (1882-1967), John Marin (1870-1953), Kenneth Hayes Miller (1876-1952), and John Sloan (1871-1951). The price was $12 (a regular one-year subscription was $5). They had no idea what a bargain this would be.

Hopper’s Night Shadows was completed at the beginning of 1921, just in time for the January 25 opening of the Chicago Exhibition of Etchings sponsored by the Chicago Society of Etchers. The drypoint was seen again that year in the National Academy of Design’s winter exhibition and in 1922 at the First International Exhibition of Etchings, organized by the Brooklyn Society of Etchers and held at the Anderson Galleries in New York City.

Hopper’s friend, Louis Bouché and manager of the Belmaison Gallery inside the Wanamaker Department Store, chose Night Shadows for a show in May of 1922 and again in May of 1923. It was easily Hopper’s best-known and best-loved print.

Surprisingly in 1923, Hopper stopped making prints and when The New Republic asked for a printing plate, he happily offered them one of his best. Most collections hold the 1924 reprinting, but the sheet in Princeton’s Graphic Arts collection is from 1921, printed by Hopper himself.

The collection holds one other print by Hopper, seen below.

Edward Hopper (1882-1967), Eastside Interior, 1922. Etching. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2007.01455

The Effects of Unco Gede Living

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Robert Seymour (1798-1836), Returning Fra the North, or, The Effects of Unco Gede Living, [November 1, 1834]. Lithograph with hand coloring. Published in McLean’s Monthly Sheet of Caricatures or The Looking Glass, no. 58. Graphic Arts 2012- in process

The Looking Glass was originally drawn by William Heath (ca. 1795-1840) while based in Glasgow from 1825 to 1826. The satirical newspaper was revived in 1830 by publisher Thomas McLean (1788-1875) under the title McLean’s Monthly Sheet of Caricatures or The Looking Glass.

Artist Robert Seymour (1798-1836) replaced Heath as the chief contributor and turned out hundreds of caricatures, large and small, colored and uncolored, to meet the ridged monthly deadlines for the next six years. Working primarily in lithography, Seymour was also producing weekly drawings for Figaro in London, edited by Abbott à Beckett and later, Henry Mayhew.

The caricature depicts Scottish judge and publisher Lord Jeffrey (1773-1850) who edited the Edinburgh Review from 1802 to 1829. Jeffrey was elected to parliament in 1831, living primarily in London, and introduced the Scottish Reform Bill in 1832. Two years later, not long before Seymour drew this image, Jeffrey was named Lord Jeffrey and returned to Scotland to served as a judge.

The words “Unco Gede” are a Scottish term for exceptionally good or strictly moral. Jeffrey had a reputation for his strict morality, which may account for the reference.

For the complete story of McLean’s magazine, through various titles and formats, see:

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