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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.

The Stonemasons Guild of Strasbourg

Johannes Striedbeck (1707-1772), Certificate from the Stonemasons Guild of Strasbourg. Engraving. 1771. Graphic Arts division GA 2008.00111

This view of Strasbourg, France, set within an elaborate border, includes the arms of the Upper and Lower Alsace. There was once a large wax seal at the bottom center, no longer attached. The inscription reads:

Wir Geschwohrne Ober- und andere Meister des Ehrs. Handwercks derer Steinmetzen, Steinhauser und Maurer in der Stadt Strassburg bescheinen hiermit, das gegenwartiger Gesell Nahmens Johann Samuel Imhoft … .

A guild is an organization of men and women in a particular occupation. Guilds were first formed in the Middle Ages and craftspeople would have been unable to work without being a member of the guild. Members were bound by a code of quality and price, but could also obtain assistance from the guild, such as funeral costs. Guilds oversaw a craftsman’s progress from apprentice to master, maintained the quality and ownership of the craft. A stonemason’s “lodge” was located at the job site and was the place where masons gathered, received instruction, and stored their tools.

Until the capture of the city by France in 1681, the headquarters of the German stonemasons was in Strasbourg (even as late as 1760 the Strasbourg lodge still claimed tribute from the lodges of Germany).

Manhattan 3

Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956), Manhattan 3, stone 2, 1955 (L19). Lithograph. Graphic Arts division GAX 2008- in process

The American artist Lyonel Feininger made a name for himself in the early years of the twentieth century working in Germany alongside members of the Fauves and later the Blaue Reiter. In 1919, he joined Walter Gropius (1883-1969) serving as the first master of the Bauhaus printmaking workshop in Weimar.

Late in the 1930s, Feininger resettled in New York City and his imagery reflected his interest in the growth of that urban center. In 1940, he began a series of abstract oil paintings entitled Manhattan. Master lithographer George C. Miller (1894-1965) collaborated with Feininger to transfer the images to stone for a second series of Manhattan cityscapes on paper. The final view seen here, Manhattan 3, stone 2 was completed by the two men a year before Feininger’s death. This print is one of only eight early impressions left unsigned.

The Sword is Drawn!

Kenyon Cox (1856-1919), “The Sword is Drawn, the Navy Upholds It!”, published by the H.C. Miner Lithograph Company, New York, 1917. Graphic Arts division GC156 World War Posters Collection.

In 1914, when war broke out in Europe, the American painter Kenyon Cox joined the American Artists’ Committee of One Hundred, founded to help French artists and their families. Three years later, when the United States entered the war, Cox assisted President Wilson in the design of propaganda to help unify the country.

His most important work was a recruiting poster for the U.S. Navy, seen above. The finished painting was reproduced in an enormous lithograph, 42 x 26 inches. When a copy of the finished poster was sent to him by the Navy Publicity Bureau, he wrote, “It’s very well reproduced, on the whole, by lithography. They’ve weakened and prettified the head a little, but it was either that or caricaturing it into a plug-ugly, and perhaps it’s best as it is.”

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

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.

Ticket to Pasquin: A Dramatick Satire On The Times

The Author’s Benefit Pasquin, etching, 1736 or after. Formerly attributed to William Hogarth; currently attributed to Joseph Sympson. Graphic Arts division GA 2008- in process

This print appears to be an admission ticket for a benefit performance of Henry Fielding’s Pasquin, first performed in April 1736. It depicts a stage scene with seven performers, a dog and a cat, and in the background, two tightrope walkers accompanied by an ape; framed with a satyr on either side.

Originally attributed to William Hogarth (a friend and colleague of Fielding), the etching is a forgery. It was later attributed to Joseph Sympson, although that attribution is also questioned by some historians. In particular, Ronald Paulson wrote two different explanations for this print in Hogarth’s Graphic Works, if you look at both the 1965 and 1989 editions (Marquand Library (SA) ND497.H7 A35 and ND497.H7 A35 1989q).

Henry Fielding (1707-1754) was a British writer, playwright and journalist. His satirical comedy Pasquin; A Dramatick Satire On The Times Being The Rehearsal Of Two Plays: Viz., A Comedy Called The Election, And A Tragedy Called The Life And Death Of Common Sense, opened at London’s Haymarket Theatre.

A year earlier, Fielding had taken over management of the Little Theatre in the Haymarket and formed a company he called “Great Mogul’s Company of English Comedians.” That winter, he launched Pasquin to enormous success. His play was a brutal satire of the contemporary British government under Sir Robert Walpole, who retaliated with the Theatrical Licensing Act of 1737 and effectively ended Fielding’s brief West End career.

It may have been this political drama that built a market for the forged Fielding ticket.

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.


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.


Al Capp (1909-1979), Fust is thar anyone else yo’druther come home to?, 1976. Screen print. Graphic arts division GA 2008.00735

The cartoon character Li’l Abner was created in the 1930s by Alfred G. Caplin (1909-1979), better known by his pseudonym Al Capp. At that time, Capp was the youngest syndicated cartoonist in America and Abner was the most popular of all American cartoon characters. The strip ran from 1934 to 1977, when Capp stopped drawing it.

Graphic arts holds a number of cartoons, both contemporary and historical. Several years ago, our good friend and a splendid cartoonist Henry Martin, class of 1948, mounted a website of selections from the collection, which can still be viewed at:

Les costumes grotesques


Nicolas de Larmessin II (ca. 1638-1694), Habit d’Imprimeur en Lettres (The Printer’s Costume), ca. 1680. Engraving. Graphic Arts GA 2007.04409.

This copper plate engraving is from Les costumes grotesques et les metiers or the Fancy Trade Costumes series. In the series, over 70 artisans are dressed in the materials of their occupation, in this case the tools of a printer.

Nicolas de Larmessin II is one member of a family of printmakers and booksellers, many with the same name, leading to much confusion in attributing their work. The family had their own publishing house in Paris, where they designed and printed books, prints, calendars, and other popular works on paper.

To see more of Larmessin’s work, look at: Les avgvstes representations de tovs les roys de France depvis Pharamond ivsqv’a Lovys XIIII: dit Le Grand, a present regnant, 1679: auec vn abrège historique sous chacun, contenant leurs naissances, inclinations et actions plus remarquables pendant leurs regnes (Paris: Bertrand, 1679). Engraved portraits of the Kings of France. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2008-0170Q

A Drawing for Blake to Engrave, But Who Made It?

Portrait of Johann Lavater, ca.1787. Attributed to Johann Lavater after a drawing by Johan Lips. Graphite. Graphic Arts division GA2008- in process .

The Swiss minister Johann Caspar Lavater (1741-1801) was convinced that the science of physiognomy made it possible to know about a person’s interior self from their exterior body. This included both the physical skull itself and the visual representation of it. He published his beliefs in three major editions, Physiognomische fragmente (1775-78) RBSC Oversize 6453.568.15q, Essai sur la Physiognomonie (1781-1803), and Essays on Physiognomy (1788-99) GAX Oversize 2007-0002Q. These volumes are lavishly illustrated with profile portraits, silhouettes and linear profile outlines.

Johan Heinrich Lips (1758-1817) was the principal engraver of the plates, working from his own drawings and after drawings by Georg Friedrich Schmoll. Lavater’s close friend Henry Fuseli (1741-1825) added a few illustrations and brought in the young William Blake (1757-1827) to complete a few additional plates.

Joan K. Stemmier, writing in The Art Bulletin (March 1993), asserts that Lavater planned a lavish folio edition of his Physiognomonie and prepared several drawings on folio sheets for this project. Ultimately, trouble between Lavater, Fuseli, and the publisher, Joseph Johnson, brought a halt to the project.

This was around 1787, at the point when Blake was called in to engrave, among other things, a large portrait of Lavater. The question is, who made the drawing that he used for the image? There is a chalk drawing by Lips in the Kunstsammlungen at Weimar that resembles this engraving, but not exactly.

Reproduction of William Blake’s engraved portrait of Lavater.

The graphic arts division at Princeton University holds a second large profile drawing of Lavater. This is believed to be the source for Blake’s engraving. According to Stemmier, Lips drawing was engraved by Adam Ludwig Wirsing in 1787 and sent to Lavater but the author was not satisfied with the sharp angles and lack of overall harmony in composition. Working from either the drawing or the engraving, Lavater made his own drawing with the harsh lines altered and jowl softened. It is this drawing that was sent to Blake to engrave, which is now owned by Princeton.

When the folio edition fell through, Johnson published Blake’s engraving as a single print in several editions from 1787 through 1800. Now it was Blake’s turn to be dissatisfied. “I find on all hand great objections to my doing any thing but the meer drudgery of business …” he wrote to his patron Thomas Butts and vowed to give up reproductive engraving for projects on which he could have complete artistic control.

A Paper Museum

Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677), Muscarum scarabeorum, uermiumque uarie figure & formae / omnes primo ad uiuum coloribus depictæ & ex collectione Arundelian a Wenceslao Hollar aqua forti æri insculptæ, Antuerpiæ, anno, 1646. [Antwerp, Belgium: s.n., 1646]. Gift of Elmer Adler. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2004-3713N

Named Václav but called Wenceslaus when living in London, Hollar was a Czech printmaker who published his first book etchings in 1635. He traveled with the renowned art collector Thomas Howard, the Earl of Arundel, who finally settle in London.

Hollar assignment was to etch copies of each individual item in Arundel’s collection, in an attempt to create a visual inventory or a paper museum. He never finished, although Muscarum scarabeorum … includes some of Arundel’s massive collection.

Thomas Sprat (1635-1713), The History of the Royal-Society of London, for the Improving of Natural Knowledge (London: Printed by T. R. for J. Martyn … and J. Allestry … printers to the Royal Society, 1667). Frontispiece etched by Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677) after design by John Evelyn (1620-1706). Gift of Elmer Adler, signed by Albert Einstein. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2004-3215N

When Lord Arundel left England in 1642, and Hollar passed into the service of the Duke of York, working alongside other royalist artists, such as Inigo Jones. Over his lifetime, Hollar created nearly 3,000 etchings. He was one of the most skilled printmakers of his time, despite being almost blind in one eye.

The following anecdote is difficult to prove but fun to repeat. Holland struggled all his life to make a living, charging four pence an hour for his work (measuring his time with a sandglass). As he was dying, his last recorded words were a request to the bailiffs that they would not carry away the bed until he was entirely dead.

Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677), Le triomphe de la Mort / gravé d’apres les desseins de Holbein par W. Hollar ([London: s.n., 1790]) The 32 plates are interleaved with the text Explication des sujets de triomphe de la Mort de Jean Holbein. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2006-2648N

To see more of Hollar’s work, see

Shopping at the Bazaar

George Cruikshank (1792-1878), A Bazaar [London]: J. Johston [sic] Cheapside. Published, June 1st, 1816. Etching with hand coloring. Graphic Arts division GAX 2008- in process

This is one of George Cruikshank’s earliest etchings. In it we find John Bull (who always personified the English public), along with his family, enjoying a day at the Soho Bazaar. Around them, a mob of fairly rakish buyers are working their way through the stalls.

According to our rare book friends at Marlborough, the Bazaar was established by John Trotter in 1815 to enable the widows and daughters of Army officers to dispose of their handiwork. Counter space was rented at 3d. per foot per day, with open counters arranged on both sides of aisles or passages, and on two separate floors of the building. This market was the first of its kind and extended from the north-west corner of Soho Square to Oxford Street.

The items sold at these stalls were almost exclusively something for the dress or personal decoration of ladies and children; such as millinery, lace, gloves, or jewelry. At the height of the season, the long line of carriages alongside the building testified to the number of wealthy visitors who enjoyed browsing through the merchandise.

Some of the rules of the establishment were very stringent. A plain, modest style of dress was required for the young, female workers and a matron was always on duty to check on this.

Eternally I labour on

The Graphic Arts collection includes original work by the British artist William Blake (1757-1827). Among these is an over-painted monotype entitled “Eternally I labour on” for his Urizen project. This Blake came to Princeton in a small bound volume (4to) with a letter written by A. Edward Newton: “This is a hand colored plate by William Blake, not an original drawing, from Urizen. I bought it from Gabriel Wells when we were in London together in the summer of 1921. And I paid a pretty stiff price for it, too. Edward Newton, May 1922.”

When the painted print was exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1939, the catalog noted, “Los striving to lift the Stony Roof, the 10th plate of Urizen. Painted with strong opaque pigments, printed by Blake’s monotype process. The background, showing clearly the reticulation of the mill-board, is especially brilliant, being executed in a wonderful variety of bright colors. Surrounded by framing lines, and inscribed below by Blake, ‘Eternally I labour on’.”

How this image fits into the published and unpublished copies of Urizen has been a subject of much research. Here are a few comments.

“Although considered a monotype because of Blake’s unique color-printing techniques, the image of “Eternally I labour on” originally belongs to one of Blake’s Illuminated Books printed around the 1790’s entitled The Book of Urizen - also known as The First Book of Urizen. Blake created seven copies … only two of which contain all twenty-eight plates. The Princeton Collection’s … image also belongs to Blake’s Small Book of Designs copy B, a compilation of 23 impressions of images without text from Blake’s other books commissioned by Ozias Humphry. Therefore, when Blake first began experimenting with this image, his intention was not to create a print for individual sale.” Elizabeth R. Lemoine, class of 2009

“Many thanks for the image of Urizen plate 9 from Small Book of Designs, copy B. Actually, copy B of both the Large Book and Small Book is a bibliographical invention, because most of the impressions are second pulls, impressions pulled from the plate while the ink was still wet. However, your impression does not have a corresponding impression in copy A (there are one or two others like that in copy B). All the B impressions have the three or four frame lines, and the impressions are, as you say, monotypes. He could get a good second impression from the plate without replenishing colors between pulls, but the second impression was usually lighter and required more finishing in pen and ink and watercolors. Even a second impression from the plate, though, is still technically a monotype because the impressions are not exactly repeatable.” an email from Blake expert Joseph Viscomi

For more information see, The William Blake Archive, Editors Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi

Joseph Viscomi, Blake and the Idea of the Book, Firestone NE642.B5 V57 1993

Thanks to Mrs. Gerard B. Lambert of Princeton, RBSC also holds several Blake poems in manuscript, including:

I asked a thief to steal me a peach.
He turned up his eyes.
I ask’d a lithe lady to lie her down.
Holy & meek she cries.

As soon as I went an angel came:
He wink’d at the thief
And smil’d at the dame,
And without one word spoke
Had a peach from the tree,
And ‘twixt earnest & joke
Enjoy’d the Lady.

Robert Nanteuil

Nanteuil, Robert (1623-1678), Francois-Antoine Dulieu de Chenevoux, Maitre des Comptes, 1667. Engraving. Gift of John Douglas Gordon, Class of 1905. GA 2005.00673

Nanteuil, Robert (1623-1678), Marie-Jeanne-Baptiste de Savoie-Nemours, Duchesse de Savoie, 1678. Engraving. Gift of John Douglas Gordon, Class of 1905. GA 2005.00584

In 1966, collector and Francophile John Douglas Gordon, class of 1905, donated a collection of 134 seventeenth-century engravings by Robert Nanteuil to the Graphic Arts collection in memory of his wife, Janet Munday Gordon. Nanteuil was Royal Engraver to Louis XIV and the outstanding portraitist of his age. Thanks to Mr. Gordon, Princeton holds impressions from approximately one half of the plates completed by Nanteuil.

We recently digitized this entire collection and all of Graphic Arts’ Nanteuil engravings can be viewed at
To see his complete works, you might consult: Charles Petitjean, Catalogue de l’œuvre gravé de Robert Nanteuil (Paris: L. Delteil et M. Le Garrec, 1925) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Oversize 2005-0487Q.


John Thomas Smith (1766-1833), Vagabondiana; or, Anecdotes of Mendicant Wanderers through the Streets of London; with Portraits of the Most Remarkable, Drawn from the Life (London: Published for the proprietor; and sold by J. and A. Arch [etc.] 1817) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Oversize Rowlandson 929.3q

In the early years of the nineteenth-century, John Thomas Smith was the Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum as well as a professional illustrator. He lived on Chandos Street near Covent Garden, a rather seedy part of London, where he liked to sketch portraits of his neighbors.

Smith’s 1833 obituary printed in The Gentleman’s Magazine noted “Mr. Smith had much pleasure in tracing out and examining the peculiar manners and costumes of the inhabitants and visitors of this district of the metropolis. The procuring of information from various sources occupied many years of his life; and he meditated the publication of this interesting mass in two volumes, which we regret he never completed… but in 1817 he published a work on which he had been some time employed, entitled Vagabondiana”. For more information, read Smith’s autobiography: A Book for a Rainy Day (London: Richard Bentley, 1845). Firestone Library (F) 1459.863.1845

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).

"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.

Twenty Volumes of "Phiz"

David Croal Thomson (1855-1930), Life and Labours of Hablôt Knight Browne “Phiz” (London: Chapman and Hall, 1884). 1 vol. in 20, extra-illustrated with 1250 plates. Graphic Arts (GAX) 2008- in process

Newly acquired by the graphic arts division is this unique twenty-volume extra-illustrated copy of Life and Labours of Hablôt Knight Browne. Browne was the 19th-century illustrator best known for his steel-plate etchings and wood engravings for ten books by Charles Dickens.

Dickens was already a popular author when his illustrator Robert Seymour committed suicide. The practically unknown Browne was selected to complete The Pickwick Papers and went on to collaborate with Dickens until 1859. Browne took the nickname “Phiz” to complement Dickens’ penname “Boz.”

As it was originally published in 1884, Thomson’s single volume biography contained an engraved portrait and 130 illustrations (GA Rowlandson 946). Princeton’s unique copy has been vastly expanded to 20 volumes, extra-illustrated with the insertion of more than 1250 plates, including 11 watercolours, 81 pencil and ink drawings (a few with a touch of colour or double-sided), and 11 autograph manuscript items signed by Browne.

Among the manuscripts are a group of charming illustrated letters to Frederick William Cosens, an avid collector of Dickens. Cosens commissioned Browne to furnish him with watercolor drawings of every image he had created for a Dickens novels (more than 400 in all). It has been speculated that this 20 volume set is the work or commission of Cosens, although the provenance is not certain.

These volumes present to researchers not only a wonderful collection of art by one of the great illustrators of the 19th century, but also a number of variant states of the final plates. The sketches and letters provide documentary information about Browne that cannot be obtained elsewhere.

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