Recently in Photography Category

Sarah Charlesworth 1947-2013

Princeton University professor and contemporary artist Sarah Charlesworth has passed away, according to an announcement made by the Susan Inglett Gallery and posted by Artforum, Art in America, and other online sources.

Born in East Orange, New Jersey, Charlesworth was appointed to the faculty of Princeton University in 2012 and was scheduled to teach FRS 101 (LA) “Photographies: A Visual Studies Workshop” at the Lewis Center for the Arts this fall semester. She taught on the graduate level for 20 years in the MFA Photography program at the School of Visual Arts and the MFA Photography Department at the Rhode Island School of Design.

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(c) Sarah Charlesworth

Artforum remembers she was considered part of the ‘Pictures Generation,’ and worked primarily with photographic series, through which she sought to explore “the ways in which public imagery forms a horizon of possibility.”

Charlesworth and Joseph Kosuth co-founded The Fox (complete run in Marquand Library (SA) N1 .F755), an art-theory magazine published 1975-1976. Her work appears in many museum collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and The Princeton University Art Museum.

In 1997, SITE Santa Fe organized a traveling retrospective of her work and she was the recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and two NEA grants. A memorial will be held in New York at date still to be determined.

For additional images, see her studio website: http://www.sarahcharlesworth.net/index.php

Edwin Booth and Laurence Hutton

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Not long after the actor Edwin Booth (1833-1893) finished performing the role of Brutus in the Tragedy of Julius Caesar, he purchased a townhouse on Gramercy Park for $75,000 and had the building converted into a club for men involved in the arts. On New Year’s Eve 1888, The Players Club opened as a private, invitation-only, men-only club with Booth as its first president; Augustin Daly (1838-1899) was the first vice-president; and Laurence Hutton (1843-1904) the first secretary. Mark Twain (1835-1910) was also among the original members.

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A few days after the opening of the Club, Booth had his portrait done at the Union Square studio of George Rockwood (1882-1911), who specialized in theatrical photography and was the first important photolithographer in the United States. One print was specially framed and signed for Hutton (now in the collection of Princeton University).

Princeton resident and lecturer Laurence Hutton was a close friend of Booth’s and published several biographies on the actor. Among these were the 1887 “Actors and actresses” column for The Dial and another in Harper’s, where Hutton was literary editor, and shortly before the actor died, a monograph titled simply Edwin Booth (1893).

Laurence Hutton (1843-1904), Edwin Booth (New York: Harper & brothers, 1893. Laurence Hutton Collection (HTN) 35702.198.49

George Rockwood (1882-1911), Edwin Booth, ca. 1889. Photolithograph. Theater Collection Rare Books and Special Collections

Note that Booth’s hand is hidden inside his coat. This is a sign that he was a Freemason.

Bomb-Proof Shelter in Graphic Arts

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Attributed to Timothy H. O’Sullivan (1840-1882), Bomb-Proof Shelter in Front of Petersburg [View 1]. Washington, D.C.: Brady National Photographic Art Gallery, no date [August 1864]. Albumen silver print, Half-stereograph. Gift of Augustin J. Powers through Charles Powers, Class of 1938.
Graphic Arts Collection GA 2010.00034


“The nine-month siege of Petersburg, which is the longest siege in the history of American warfare and involved nearly 150,000 soldiers in both Union and Confederate armies, saw some of the most sustained fighting and extensive building of fortifications of the Civil War. The Petersburg lines witnessed the further development of redoubts, lunettes, and redans, as well as bomb-proof shelters and powder magazines, covered ways, rifle trenches, and rifle pits. Mining was attempted by both armies, and resulted in the debacle of the Battle of the Crater on July 30, 1864. With the final collapse of the sparsely manned Petersburg lines on April 2, 1865, the Confederates evacuated their capital and one week later the remains of the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered at Appomattox Court House. The Civil War was over, and the face of warfare had changed forever.”
— Ron Field, American Civil War Fortifications (Osprey Publishing, 2005).

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Leon Trotsky, George Sherman, and Eli Wallach

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Leon Trotsky, ca. 1939

Born in New York City, George Sherman (1908-1991) moved to Hollywood as a young man and by the age of twenty-nine was directing his own films, specializing in Westerns. In 1958 Sherman was in Mexico, shooting The Last of the Fast Guns, when a journalist named Myron Gold offered him an introduction to Natalie Trotsky (1882-1962), the widow of Leon Trotsky (1879-1940).


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Natalie and Leon Trotsky

The Trotskys were forced to leave Russia in 1929 but thanks to the help of Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) and Diego Rivera (1886-1957), they were given political asylum in Mexico and settled in Coyoacán, a borough of Mexico City.

Natalie Trotsky told Sherman the terrible history of her husband’s assassination in the summer of 1940, how he had been attacked in their home and stabbed with an ice axe, how she had waited fifteen hours while doctors tried to save him, and how her husband finally died on August 21.


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Sherman told her that he wanted to make a movie about this and about the affair between her husband’s young Brooklyn-born secretary Sylvia Ageloff and Ramón Mercader (1913-1978, also known as Jacques Mornard, also known as Frank Jackson), who became Trotsky’s paid assassin.

Natalie Trotsky shared all her records with Sherman included her copies of unpublished police photographs of Mercader’s capture and Trotsky’s autopsy. Sherman took all this back to Hollywood, wrote a treatment for a full-length film and began raising money.


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Rivera, Ageloff, and Trotsky, ca. 1939

Louella Parsons’s April 11, 1960 newspaper column announced the project noting that Eli Wallach was set to play Trotsky and Richard Basehart was almost confirmed as the young reporter covering the murder. Perhaps someone could ask Mr. Wallach about this?

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Although the film was never made, Sherman’s wife, actress Cleo Ronson Sherman (1925-2011) held on to the material after her husband’s death, hoping it might still find a producer. A few years ago, she passed it on to a young filmmaker who brought the photographs and negative to the Graphic Arts Collection at Princeton University, where they will soon be available for research.



See also: Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), What is a peace program? Published by the Bureau of International Propaganda attached to the Commissariat for Foreign Affairs of the Provisional Workmen’s and Peasant’s Government of the Russian Republic (Petrograd [Printed by “Herold”] 1918). (Ex) 14094.28.914

Here is a home movie of the Trotskys with Kahlo and Rivera in Mexico City.



Ulli Steltzer

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Alfred Bush writes, “Ulli Steltzer was a Gerrman born photographer who came to Princeton in the 1960s and kept a studio on Tulane Street, where she photographed most the Princeton’s famous and not so famous for many years. With a keen social conscience, in the late 1960s she made photographic forays into the American south, coming back with images to document the plight of the black population there under segregation. These comprise the photographs now in the Graphic Arts Division, the gift of Bill Scheide, a good friend of Ulli.”

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Mr. Bush continues, “I then encouraged her to attempt to document American Indians of the Southwest. She bravely took on the Hopis, whose traditional life was then probably the least acculturated in the country, and also the tribe least tolerant of photography. Much to my surprise, after several summers living in the Hopi villages and joining in with the women’s work there, she came back with an extraordinary record of Hopi life. These photographs comprise the large body of work in the Western Americana collections.”

“Ulli subsequently moved to British Columbia and continued her photography among the native people in that area. She worked with the Tlingit and even later with the Inuit, rigging her camera to work in below zero temperatures. She produced a number of books of photography of indigenous Americans and toward the end of her photography career on the people of China. She earned many honors in Canada for her work.”



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Photographers Ulli Steltzer & West County Camera (Fred) taken during a workshop in 1987. (c) West County Camera.

Listen to the artist talk about her work:


Currently at Princeton University Library:

Coast of many face / Ulli Steltzer and Catherine Kerr ; [maps by Marta Farevaag]. Seattle : University of Washington Press, 1979. xii, 212 p. : ill. ; 28 cm. Annex A, Forrestal F1087.8 .S73 1979

Davidson, Robert, 1946- Eagle transforming : the art of Robert Davidson / [photographs by] Ulli Steltzer ; [text by] Robert Davidson. Vancouver : Douglas & McIntyre ; Seattle : University of Washington Press, c1994. x, 164 p. : ill. ; 28 cm. Marquand Library (SA) E99.H2 D3929 1994

A Haida potlatch / Ulli Steltzer ; foreword by Marjorie Halpin. Seattle : University of Washington Press, 1984. xiv, 80 p. : ill. ; 27 cm. Firestone Library (F) E99.H2 S74 1984

Health in the Guatemalan highlands / Ulli Steltzer ; introduction by Carroll Behrhorst. Vancouver : Douglas & McIntyre ; Seattle : University of Washington Press, c1983. xxxv, 80 p. : ill. ; 25 cm. Firestone Library (F) RA771.7.G9 S83 1983

Indian artists at work / Ulli Steltzer. Vancouver : J. J. Douglas, c1976. 163 p. : ill. ; 26 cm. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2006-0609Q

Indian artists at work / Ulli Steltzer. Seattle : University of Washington Press, 1977, c1976. 163 p. : chiefly ill. ; 25 cm. Rare Books Off-Site Storage E98.A7 S84

Inuit, the North in transition / by Ulli Steltzer. Seattle : University of Washington Press, c1982. viii, 216 p. : ill., maps, ports. ; 32 cm. Firestone Library (F) Oversize E99.E7 S824 1982q

Naanii Florence. [Vancouver, B.C.? : U. Steltzer, 1993?] 35, [1] p. : chiefly ill. ; 22 cm. Rare Books: Western Americana Collection (WA) NJPG94-B73358

The new Americans : immigrant life in Southern California / Ulli Steltzer ; introduction by Peter Marin.Edition: 1st ed. Pasadena, Calif. : New Sage Press, 1988. 175 p. : ill. ; 30 cm. Marquand Library (SAPH): Photography F867 .S83 1988

The spirit of Haida Gwaii : Bill Reid’s masterpiece / Ulli Steltzer ; foreword by Bill Reid ; introduction by Robin Laurence. Vancouver : Douglas & McIntyre ; Seattle, Wash. : University of Washington Press, c1997. 61 p. : chiefly ill. ; 22 cm. Marquand Library (SA) NB249.R44 S734 1997

Western Americana photographs collection, 1800s-1900s. Rare Books: Manuscripts Collection (MSS) WC064

Wo yan zhong he xin zhong de xing xiang : sheng huo zai Lijiang, Baidi, Yongning de ren men Sight and insight : life in Lijiang, Baidi, and Yongning / Wuli Site’erzi zhu ; Ling Man, An Li yi.Edition: Di 1 ban. Kunming Shi : Yunnan mei shu chu ban she, 2002. 142 p. : chiefly ill. ; 26 cm. Marquand Library (SA) DS793.Y8 S834 2002

The world of southwestern Indians; an exhibit of photographs by Ulli Steltzer. [Paterson, N.J.? 1970] [4] p. illus. 22 cm. Rare Books Off-Site Storage E78.S7 xW6

Carl Van Vechten's Third Career

vechten hartley.jpgCarl Van Vechten, Marsden Hartley June 7, 1939. Gelatin silver print. Graphic Arts Collection
vechten stieglitz.jpgCarl Van Vechten, Alfred Stieglitz April 17, 1935. Gelatin silver print. Graphic Arts Collection
vechten calloway.jpgCarl Van Vechten, Cab Calloway January 12, 1933. Gelatin silver print. Graphic Arts Collection
vechten cohen.jpgCarl Van Vechten, George M. Cohen October 23, 1933. Gelatin silver print. Graphic Arts Collection
An obituary for Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964) published in The New York Times pointed out that he had three consecutive careers (and some made him money): music critic, novelist, and finally photographer.

“Then, at the age of 52, he announced that he would never publish another word. And he didn’t with the exception of a few letters, short forewords for other people’s books, and short book reviews. That brought him to career no. 3, portrait photography, which had been a hobby for some time. Nearly all of his subjects were celebrities, and he did not charge them for his work. From time to time he would demand fees from magazines that wanted to reproduce a photo, but on the whole he gave them away.”

“‘I’ve photographed everybody from Matisse to Isamu Noguchi’ he used to say proudly. …He did his own darkroom work and was careful about it, and he always said proudly that he had never cropped a photo. Often, even into old age, he was up and in his darkroom at 6 A.M.”

“‘Mr. Van Vechten’s photography was darn good,’ Edward Steichen said last night. ‘He had a good opportunity to do the kind of work he was interested in, and he did it very well.’”— “Carl Van Vechten Is Dead at 84,” The New York Times December 22, 1964.

vechten matisse.jpgCarl Van Vechten, Henri Matisse May 30, 1933. Gelatin silver print. Graphic Arts Collection



Jessie Tarbox Beals

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Jessie Tarbox Beals (1870-1942), Christmas Greeting 1915 (New York: Jessie Tarbox Beals, 1915). Graphic Arts Collection 2013- in process. Single sheet with letterpress poem “A Nocturne of New York” and a silver chloride photograph
of the Flatiron Building.
Portrait-of-Jessie-Tarbox-Beals_credit-Schlesinger-Library1.jpg Jessie Tarbox Beals (c) Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

Jessie Tarbox Beals (1870-1940) moved to New York City in 1905 to become a professional photographer. Day and night, she carried an enormous box camera (weighing 50 pounds) throughout the city, creating negatives while her husband, Alfred Tennyson Beals, stayed home developing and printing the images. They sold her photographs in various sizes and format, alone and on cards, such as this one.

In 1915, the Beals were living and working in a studio at 71 West 23rd Street. Two years later, Jessie left Alfred, moved to Greenwich Village, and opened The Village Art Gallery on Sheridan Square, where she sold tea, photographs, photographic postcards, and postage stamps. Egmont Arens’s guidebook The Little Book of Greenwich Village dubbed her “The official photographer for Greenwich Village.”

The Flatiron Building at 175 Fifth Avenue opened in 1902, one block east of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower. If you watch this 1920 film closely you will see both skyscrapers around the middle of the reel. http://rbsc.princeton.edu/pathebaby/node/1629

Afghan Campaigns 1878-1880

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Sydney Henry Shadbolt (born 1853), The Afghan Campaigns of 1878-1880 (London: S. Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington, 1882). 140 woodburytypes. Contents: [v. 1] Biographical division.— [v. 2] Historical division.
Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2006-0006M

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Sidney Shadbolt was a barrister of the Inner Temple, an organization of lawyers dating back to the 12th century (see: http://www.innertemple.org.uk/history). Besides this extensive historical and biographical study of the Second Afghan Campaign, Shadbolt is also responsible for publishing a study of the South African Campaign of 1879 or the Anglo-Zulu War (Annex A, Forrestal DT1875 .M3 1995)

140 oval woodburytype portraits were cut and pasted into the front of Shadbolt’s two volume set, with biographical details following. Also included are descriptions the two expeditions sent to Kabul, along with 6 maps and accounts taken from both official and private sources.

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In a 1884 report on newly published books in Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, New Series, vol. 1 (1883-1884), p. 199, an unknown author writes, “The Afghan Campaigns of 1878-80 have furnished an interesting theme for Mr. Sidney H. Shadbolt, who has elaborated from official and private sources a sketch of the war, with maps illustrating the operations of the forces, a list of officers who fell in the campaigns and the recipients of the Victoria Cross, summaries of the movements in the field of the various regiments which were engaged, and separate records of every British officer employed in the war (2 vols. 4to, Low, 60s.).”

Many lives were lost during this campaign. “On July 27, 1880, Mohammad Ayub Khan decisively defeated a British force led by Brig. G.R.S Burrows at Maiwand, near Kandahar. Of the 2,476 British and Indian soldiers engaged in the fighting, 971 were killed in action and 168 wounded, in addition to 331 camp followers who were killed.”—Stephen Farrell “Kandahar More Than a Century Ago,” The New York Times, September 9, 2010.

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A Photicular Book

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Dan Kainen and Carol Kaufmann, Safari: a Photicular Book (New York: Workman Pub., 2012). Graphic Arts Collection 2013- in process.

Safari recently joined our collection of optical devices. Photographer and lighting expert Dan Kainen created the plates and Carol Kaufmann, a staff writer for National Geographic, wrote the commentary.

Kainen has a small website, http://www.dankainen.com/index.htm, where he describes his process. “Photicular, also known as Lenticular, or Integrated Photography, was first conceived in the early 20th century, but the basic concept has been around since 1692 when a French painter created paintings that revealed one, and then the other as the observer walked by. The simplest form of it is to cut two images into thin vertical strips and interleave them, placing in front of the composite image a plane of bars, like a picket fence, which only allows one to see one image at a time though the gaps. Instead of bars, lenses can be used, and more than two images - as many as dozens - can be interleaved.”

A lenticular image can easily be made using Photoshop and a number of tutorials are available on the internet. An image is broken into layers that are viewed from slightly different angles, tricking the eye into thinking the image is moving. Here’s one site: http://www.vicgi.net/lenticular-interlacing-algorithm.html

As an interesting sidebar, Kainen is the son of the painter and printmaker Jacob Kainen (1909-2001). In the 1930s, Jacob was a member of the Graphic Arts Division of the WPA and from 1942 to 1970, curator of the Division of Graphic Arts at the Smithsonian Institution. As the divisions of the Smithsonian grew, his collection moved to the Museum of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History).

First American Novel Illustrated with Photographs

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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882),
Hyperion: a Romance; Illustrated with Twenty-Four Photographs of the Rhine,
Switzerland, and the Tyrol by Francis Frith (London: A. W. Bennett, 1865).
Graphic Arts Collection GAX NE910. G7 F91 1865 c.1, c.2. Gifts of Frank Jewett Mather, Jr.

The first American novel illustrated with photographs was Longfellow’s Hyperion. Originally published in 1839, the narrative follows Paul Flemming as he travels through Germany and Switzerland, just as Longfellow had also done.

It’s hard to know if Frith was following Longfellow or Flemming when he made his own trip along the Rhine River over twenty years later. His photographs were first published in a travelogue called The Gossiping Photographer on the Rhine (ca.1864). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2005-0604Q.

With the negatives left over, Frith matched cityscapes and landscapes with particular moments in Longfellow’s narrative, illustrating what Flemming might have seen at various tourist sites along the way. Frith and his staff were casual about the negatives they printed. Slightly different views of the same scene appear in various books. It is possible the photographs were initially shot to form stereo views but were instead needed to fill-up the Hyperion volumes.

Princeton is fortunate is have several copies of the novel, allowing us to compare Frith’s prints. Look in particular at the far sides to see the changes from one copy to the other.

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Wiener Photographische Blätter

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Thanks to the Friends of the Princeton University Library, the graphic arts collection is the fortunate new owner of a complete run of Wiener Photographische Blätter, edited by Franz Schiffner (Wien: Herausgegeben von Wiener Camera-Klub, 1894-1898), 60 issues in 5 quarto volumes. The letterpress text is profusely illustrated with images in a variety of mediums including photogravures (many with chine-collé), lichtdrucks (collotypes), gelatino-chloride prints (printing-out-papers), early half-tones, stereographs, and rotogravures.


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In 1891 the Austrian Club der Amateur Photographen, founded specifically to foster relationships with photography clubs around the world, held the first International Exhibition of Photography in Vienna. Two years later, the organization simplified its name to Wiener Camera-Klub (Vienna Camera Club) and began publishing a lavish monthly magazine called Wiener Photographische Blätter, which continued until 1898.

This sumptuous journal offered scholarly articles relating to technical and aesthetic aspects of photography in addition to photographic plates, including photogravures by Robert Demachy (1859-1936), Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946), Heinrich Kuehn (1866-1944), and Baron Adolph de Meyer (1868-1946). Less studied but influential artists and wealthy amateurs are also represented, such as John Bergheim, Ludwig David, Dr. Hugo Henneberg, L. Hildesheimer, Baron Nathaniel de Rothschild, Baron Albert de Rothschild, A.R. Von Loehr, Dr. Federico Mallmann, Eduard Marauf, Philipp Ritter Von Schoeller, R. Severinski, Robert Ritter Von Stockert, Julius Strakosch, Oberst K. Sužnević, Carl Ulrich, Hans Watzek, and B. Widimsky.

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Thirty-year-old Alfred Stieglitz was captivated and offered four of his best negatives, including Wet Day on the Boulevard; Waiting for the Return; Winter, Fifth Avenue, which he was selling for $75 each; and The Net Mender, his personal favorite at the time. Late in 1897 (perhaps under that influence of Wiener Photographische Blätter), Stieglitz began to hand-pull his own photogravures for his first portfolio, Picturesque Bits of New York and Other Studies (held in the Princeton University Art Museum). In addition, the Austrian journal would have a profound influence Stieglitz’s serial publications, when he issued photogravure plates as editor of Camera Notes and later his own journal Camera Work.

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The Graphic Arts Collection holds a complete set of Camera Notes (1897-1903) and a complete set of Stieglitz’s quarterly journal Camera Work (1903-1917), both given to Princeton University by David H. McAlpin, Class of 1920. In addition, we hold a second incomplete set of Camera Work given by Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986).

In his 1978 book The Collection of Alfred Stieglitz: Fifty Pioneers of Modern Photography, J. Paul Getty Museum photography curator emeritus Weston Naef writes, “In January the first issue of the Wiener Photographische Blätter appeared, edited by F. Schiffner and published by the Camera-Klub in Wien with seventeen original photogravures by Hugo Henneberg, Hans Watzek, F. Mallman, J. S. Bergheim, and Adolph Meyer. Each gravure was printed with an ink of a different tone, and some like Meyer’s were mounted on colored paper, making this among the most carefully produced photography periodicals published anywhere in the world.”

Our sincere thanks to the Friends of the Princeton University Library.



La Parroquia de San José

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An early view of La Parroquia de San José, the church of Parral’s patron saint, was found in a small album of 27 photographs taken in and around Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico. We believe it was taken around 1910. The album also includes scenes of daily life, the iron works near Durango, and men working on the railroad.

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Parral album, box 6, Mexican ephemera collection, 1890-2000. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) WC130

Young Japan through Photographs

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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.

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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.

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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.

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See also Terry Bennett, Photography in Japan: 1853-1912 (Rutland, Vermont: Charles E. Tuttle, 2006). SAPH Oversize TR105 .B45 2006q

University Excursion Party

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Joseph LeConte (1823-1901), A Journal of Ramblings through the High Sierras of California by the “University Excursion Party” (San Francisco: Francis & Valentine, 1875). “Illustrated with nine mounted photographs (albumen prints) with red letterpress captions and borders; frontispiece group portrait identifies ten men in the excursion party.” Graphic Arts copy inscribed Fred W. Hadley, Grand Hotel, Feby 15/76. Previously owned by Robert Ormes Dougan. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2006-3091N

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Harvard educated Joseph LeConte moved to Berkeley California in 1869 to join the faculty of the newly established University of California as the first professor of geology, natural history, and botany. In 1875, he led a group of students from the university on a trip to the High Sierras and kept a journal of the “ramblings.”

On August 5 LeConte wrote, “To-day to Yosemite Falls. This has been the hardest day’s experience yet. We thought we had plenty of time, and therefore started late. Stopped a moment at the foot of the Falls, at a saw-mill, to make inquiries. Here found a man in rough miller’s garb, whose intelligent face and earnest, clear blue eye, excited my interest.”



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“After some conversation, discovered that it was Mr. Muir, a gentleman of whom I had heard much from Mrs. Prof. Carr and others. He had also received a letter from Mrs. Carr, concerning our party and was looking for us. We were glad to meet each other. I urged him to go with us to Mono, and he seemed disposed to do so.”— p. 41

Seventeen years later, John Muir and LeConte co-founded the Sierra Club, with LeConte as director from 1892 to 1898.



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Prague through the Eyes of Kafka

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Franz Kafka (1883-1924) first met Milena Jesenská (1896-1944) when she worked as the Czech translator of his early short prose work. In April 1920, he began a correspondence from a pension in Meran, which extended through March 1924, three months before his death. In one of the early letters, he describes his fears as a young boy of six walking across Prague to the elementary school.

Letters to Milena was published in New York and Frankfurt in 1953, edited by Willi Haas. The photographic essay, Prague Through Kafka’s Eyes, was shot by Ruth Ivor (1912-2008) while on assignment for Life magazine in 1965 and left on deposit at Princeton University Library in 1980.

With sincere thanks to the Ruth Ivor Foundation, a complete set of Ms. Ivor’s Prague photographs is now a permanent part of our Graphic Arts Collection. These are a few examples.


Franz Kafka (1883-1924), Letters to Milena. Edited by Willi Haas; translated by Tania and James Stern (New York: Schocken Books [c1953]) Firestone Library (F) PT2621.A26 Z5513 1953.

Margarete Buber-Neumann (1901-1989), Mistress to Kafka: the Life and Death of Milena; introduction by Arthur Koestler (London: Secker & Warburg, 1966). Firestone Library (F) PT2621.A26 Z6463 1966

Chaldaean Account of the Deluge

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Stephen Thompson (1831-1892) and George Smith (1840-1876), Chaldaean Account of the Deluge from Terra Cotta Tablets Found at Nineveh, and Now in the British Museum (London: W.A. Mansell, 1872). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2012- in process.

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Brothers Stephen and Thurston Thompson, along with Roger Fenton, were hired by the British Museum to photograph and document the Museum’s collection. During the 1850s and 1860s, they worked their way through the vaults, taking the objects outside (when the weather allowed) to get the best light. In 1872, Stephen took on the terra cotta tablets in the department of oriental antiquities. Two of his albumen silver prints were published in the Museum’s series, Album photographique, along with a translation and commentary by George Smith (1840-1876).

Smith had been hired to piece together the fragments of tablets from Ninevah and in 1871, published “The Phonetic Values of the Cuneiform Characters,” to assist in the transcription and translation of Assyrian documents. The following year, he found what he believed to be evidence of the biblical flood as accounted in the book of Genesis.

Read Smith’s paper “The Chaldean Account of the Deluge,” published in Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology 2 [1873] 213-34 online here: http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/chad/chad.htm

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National Types and Costumes

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National Types and Costumes, with explanatory text (London: Frederick Bruckmann, ca.1885) including 15 mounted albumen photographs. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2012- in process. Gift of Bruce C. Willsie, Class of 1986.

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In 1858, Freidrich (or Frederick) Bruckmann (1814-1898) founded one of the most important German publishing houses of the 19th century. The firm settled in Munich and around 1863, Bruckmann added both a photographic and a lithographic studio to his printing operation. This allowed him to control not only the text and binding of his books but also the illustrations. He was a pioneer in modern fine art publishing and branches of the firm opened in Vienna, Berlin, Paris, London, and New York.

An influential early project was a portfolio illustrating all of Goethe’s female characters. The volume featured albumen silver prints by Josef Albert, although Bruckmann was also a working photographer. They tried similar projects with the characters of William Shakespeare, Friedrich Schiller, and others. Soon Bruckmann Verlag developed a specialization in illustrated collections; groups of women, groups of painting, groups of decorative arts, etc.

Thanks to Bruce Willsie, Class of 1986, we recently acquired a charming example entitled National Types and Costumes. There is no information inside the volume to confirm this but it was published around the same time Bruckmann won a Silver Medal at an international competition and there is reason to believe the photographs are by Bruckmann himself.

Die Kunst für Alle. (München: F. Bruckmann, 1885-1944). Marquand Library (SA) Oversize N3 .K9q

Gustav Friedrich Waagen (1794-1868), Die Gemäldesammlungen in der Kaiserlichen Ermitage zu St. Petersburg (München: F. Bruckmann, 1864). Marquand Library (SAX) ND40.L52 W32

Wilhelm von Kaulbach (1804-1874), Goethe’s frauengestalten (München: F. Bruckmann, [1864?]) Rare Books Off-Site Storage Oversize 3445.753.11f

Ayún Músa (Wells of Moses)

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James McDonald (1822-1885), Ayún Músa (Wells of Moses), 1869. Albumen silver print on a title page from Ordnance Survey of the Peninsula of Sinai by Captains C.W. Wilson, and H.S. Palmer, R.E. … (Southampton: Ordnance Survey Office, MDCCCLXIX [1869]). Very large books (XL). Firestone C-i-J DT137.S55 O736 1869e
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The British photographer James McDonald was a Colour Sergeant with the British Army (that is, a non-commissioned officer). From 1868-69, he traveled with Captain Charles Wilson’s team of Royal Engineers to the Sinai Peninsula. This was McDonald’s second expedition, having been on an Ordnance Survey to Jerusalem in 1864.

The first survey was financed entirely by one woman, Baroness Burdett Coutts, who wished to have sites mentioned in the Christian bible identified and documented. The success of that survey’s publication, illustrated with McDonald’s photographs, resulted in the formation of the Palestine Exploration Society and funding for a second expedition.

Wilson’s Sinai Peninsula survey was charged, in particular, with the identification of Mount Sinai and the route taken by Moses and the Israelites out of Egypt. McDonald made hundreds of glass-plate negatives, which he carried back to England for printing. It is unfortunate that Princeton’s copies of these two surveys are incomplete, holding only a few of McDonald’s spectacular original photographs.


Grete Stern

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[above] Grete Stern (1904-1999), Juan Ramón Jiménez, 1949. Gelatin silver print. Graphic Arts Collection GA2012- in process. Purchased with fund provided by the Program in Latin American Studies.
[below] Grete Stern (1904-1999), Pedro Henríquez Ureña, 1942. Gelatin silver print. Graphic Arts Collection GA2012- in process. Purchased with funds provided by the Program in Latin American Studies

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In the 1930s, the German photographer Grete Stern (1904-1999) married the Argentine photographer Horacio Coppola (1906-2012) and settled in Buenos Aires. They brought with them the ideology of the Bauhaus workshop in Dessau where they met and were important agents in the spread of European modernist theory to South America.

Already a prize-winning artist and manager of an acclaimed Berlin photography studio (together with Ellen Auerbach), Stern opened a second studio in Buenos Aires, offering graphic design, advertising, and commercial portraiture.

“In 1940 the couple moved to a Modernist house built in the outskirts of the city, designed by architect Wladimiro Acosta …The house became a meeting place for young artists and writers … both Argentine and exiled foreigners. They met to show their work and discuss cultural matters. For example, in 1945 the Madi arts group (Movimiento de Arte Concreto Invención) exhibited for the first time at her house. Stern used the gatherings in her home as an opportunity to photograph her visitors. Among her subjects were exponents of the avant-garde in the arts and letters, including Jorge Luis Borges, Clément Moreau, Renate Schottelius and others.” (Jewish Women’s Archive)

Princeton is fortunate to have acquired two of Stern’s portraits. The first is a 1942 image of Pedro Henríquez Ureña (1884-1946) a Dominican intellectual, philosopher, and literary critic, known for his essay “La utopía de América” (1925), among many others. The second, taken in 1949, is a portrait of the Spanish poet Juan Ramón Jiménez (1881-1958), who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1956.

Below is a short video of Stern and her husband with a clip from Coppola’s film Ringl and Pit, in which Stern plays the part of the maid.



See also: Grete Stern (Valencià: IVAM Centre Julio González: Generalitat Valenciana, 1995). (SAPH): Photography TR680 .S914 1995
Sueños: Fotomontajes de Grete Stern: Serie Completa (Buenos Aires: Fundación CEPPA, Centro de Estudios para Políticas Públicas Aplicadas, [2003]). (F) TR647 .S789 2003

Apostles and Temples

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After George Edward Anderson (1860-1928), Apostles and Temples from 1835-1886:
Floral Record of the Apostles, Temples, Etc. etc. of the Church of Jesus Christ,
of Latter-day Saints,
1886. Albumen silver print of a broadside, which had letterpress and photographs mounted behind the board.
Graphic Arts GA 2008.00002

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“George Edward Anderson … was born 28 October 1860 in Salt Lake City and apprenticed as a teenager under renowned photographer, Charles R. Savage. … At the age of seventeen Anderson established his own photography studio in Salt Lake City with his brothers, Stanley and Adam. He subsequently established a studio in Manti, Utah …”

“He is perhaps best known for his traveling tent studio, set up in small towns throughout central, eastern, and southern Utah to capture the lives of the residents… . Although today we might think of Ed Anderson as a portrait photographer, his clear and artistic studio portraits are complemented by thousands of documentary portraits … “

“including the Scofield mine disaster, and the building of temples by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” — At Brigham Young University’s site, they note that the majority of this biographical information is taken from Rell G. Francis, The Utah Photographs of George Edward Anderson (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1979). (SAPH TR646.U6 F672 1979)

Shown above are photographs of Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, and several members of “the former and current Quorum of the 12 Apostles.” Also pictured: Salt Lake Temple; Kirtland Temple; St. George Temple (Saint George, Utah); Nauvoo Temple; Smith, Joseph, 1805-1844; Smith, Hyrum, 1800-1844; Young, Brigham, 1801-1877; Woodruff, Wilford, 1807-1898; Marsh, Thomas B. (Thomas Baldwin), 1799-1866 Johnson, Luke S., 1807-1861; Smith, William, 1811-1893; Boynton, John Farnham, 1811-1890; Johnson, Lyman E. (Lyman Eugene), 1811-1856; Page, John E.; Wight, Lyman; Lyman, Amasa M. (Amasa Mason), 1813-1877; Taylor, John, 1808-1887; Pratt, Orson, 1811-1881; Rich, Charles C. (Charles Coulson), 1809-1883; Snow, Lorenzo, 1814-1901; Snow, Erastus Fairbanks, 1818-1888; Richards, F. D. (Franklin Dewey), 1821-1899; Smith, Joseph F. (Joseph Fielding), 1838-1918; Carrington, Albert, 1813-1889; Thatcher, Moses, 1842-1909; Kimball, Heber Chase, 1801-1868; Hyde, Orson, 1805-1878; Patten, David W, 1799-1838; McLellin, William E. (William Earl); and Pratt, Parley P. (Parley Parker), 1807-1857.



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