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Finding a Cure for Influenza

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Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827) after a design by James Dunthorne, Ague & Fever, March 29, 1788. Etching. GC112 Thomas Rowlandson Collection. Gift of Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895.

Thomas Rowlandson published this print during the influenza epidemic of 1788 and four years later, its companion Hypochondriac (Nov. 5, 1792). In the room, we see Ague (an acute or high fever such as malaria) as a white serpent clutching the patient with its spidery hands and feet. Plain old Fever is the furry beast in the center. The doctor writes a prescription for them at the right.

Rowlandson includes a quote from John Milton, which I will place here in context:
All else deep snow and ice,
A gulf profound as that Serbonian bog
Betwixt Damiata and Mount Casius old,
Where armies whole have sunk: the parching air
Burns frore, and cold performs th’ effect of fire.
Thither, by harpy-footed Furies haled,
At certain revolutions all the damned
Are brought; and feel by turns the bitter change
Of fierce extremes, extremes by change more fierce,
From beds of raging fire to starve in ice
Their soft ethereal warmth, and there to pine
Immovable, infixed, and frozen round
Periods of time,—thence hurried back to fire.
Paradise Lost, Book II

Illegal Alien's Meditations on el Ser y la Nada

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Enrique Chagoya, Illegal Alien’s Meditations on el Ser y la Nada [Being and Nothingness], 2012. Color lithograph with chine collé and gold metallic powder. Edition: 30. Graphic Arts Collection GA2013.-in process.

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“In Illegal Alien’s Meditations on el Ser y la Nada, Chagoya continues his exploration of the codex format inspired by surviving pre-Colombian Mayan and Aztec books. In this, his twelfth book, Chagoya examines cultural realities with satire and humor. Using an historical lexicon of Mexican images with an overlay of abstract Buddhist meditation paintings and appropriated images from popular culture, Chagoya juxtaposes ordinary and spiritual life. The title is a comical tongue-in-cheek reference to Sartre’s On Being and Nothingness.“—Shark Press

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Chagoya’s book was printed by hand in eleven colors from ten aluminum plates with chine collé and gold metallic powder on 14 x 88 inch handmade Amate paper folded concertina-style. The lithographic plates were made from Mylars created by the artist that combine Xerox transfers with hand drawing, using pencils, toner and ink washes. The edition consists of 30 numbered impressions, plus proofs, pulled by Master printer Bud Shark, assisted by Evan Colbert, between August 21st and November 29th, 2012.

Oliver Messel's costume designs

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Oliver Messel (1904-1978), Costume design for Count Almaviva in The Barber of Seville by Rossini at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera June 1954. Watercolor and gouache. GA 2012.02354.

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The Graphic Arts Collection also holds Oliver Messel’s, Portrait of a house, no date. Watercolor and gouache. GA 2006.02664 and A costume design for Sleeping Beauty, Carabosse and the Dwarves, by Peter Tchaikovsky, no date [about 1946]. Watercolor and gouache. GA 2006.02667.

“In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Messel’s style was seen as complementing the new verse play movement, spearheaded by Christopher Fry. He designed costumes and sets for The Lady’s not for Burning (1949), Ring Round the Moon (1950) and The Dark is Light Enough (1954).”

“His lavish approach to costume and set design was also appropriate for opera; from 1951 to 1959 he worked as a theatre designer for the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, then under the artistic direction of Carl Ebert. His productions include Idomeneo (1951), Le Nozze di Figaro (1955) and Der Rosenkavalier (1959), productions which enabled Messel to use his imaginative pastiche of historical styles to good effect. Carl Toms assisted him during the Glyndebourne period, from 1952 to 1959.” (quoted from Victoria and Albert Museum Messel archive site)

A scene from The Barber of Seville, in Madrids Teatro Real with Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez as Count Almaviva.

Palser, Heath, and Lambeth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

William Parrott's London from the Thames

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Howard Cook and Willa Cather

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mitate-e by Utamaro

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

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

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

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Tenuguikake no kihan (Returning Sail at the Towel Rack)

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Suzuki Harunobu (1725-1770), Tenuguikake no kihan (Returning Sail at the Towel Rack), no date [ca. 1768]. Nishiki-e (Color woodblock print). From the series: Fûryû zashiki hakkei (Eight Fashionable Parlor Views). Purchased with funds from the Friends of the Princeton University Library in honor of Gillett Griffin.
Graphic Arts Collection GA 2008.01060

Why is the young woman in Harunobu’s print using tweezers to pluck hairs from her lover’s ear or nose? This is what we wanted to know as the print was being studied today.

We know the artist is associated with the early development of nishiki-e (full color woodblock prints). It was Harunobu who made nishiki-e popular and took the craft of Japanese woodblock printmaking to new heights. Within a few years, he used the new palette to create one of his most popular series, the Eight Fashionable Parlor Views or Fûryû zashiki hakkei.

The series is based on the Chinese model of the Shōshō hakkei (Eight Views of the Xiao and Xiang Rivers). Originally, the eight views were a group of poetic episodes that captured the natural beauty of specific scenes while evoking emotional reactions. The model was appropriated by Japanese artists in the early seventeenth century, who created many variations on the theme based on indigenous geographical areas, such as Ômi, Kanazawa, and Edo.

In this parody, Harunobu playfully replaces the traditional landscape view with an interior scene of an Edo pleasure house featuring a courtesan and her patron. At the top of the sheet, in the cloud-shaped register, we find the corresponding poem filled with innuendo: “The boat over there with sails / swelling to the front / Is it coming to the harbor? / Ah yes it is coming in.”

We understand the sails are reflected in the billowing towel in its rack. The sea is represented in the screen painting to the left. An intimate moment is being shared as we wait expectantly for the boat to reach the harbor and come in. But what is the significance of the courtesan plucking a whisker from the man’s face, not once but seen a second time in the mirror’s reflection? We are still searching for that sexual metaphor.

See also: Chris Uhlenbeck and Margarita Winkel, Japanese Erotic Fantasies: Sexual Imagery of the Edo Period (Amsterdam: Hotei Publishing, 2005); plate 18. Marquand Library Oversize NE1321.85.S58 U34 2005q

Baking a Batch of Ships

charles john bull making a new batch3.jpg William Charles (1776-1820), John Bull Making a New Batch of Ships To Send To the Lakes, 1814. Etching. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2012-in process

The American caricaturist William Charles drew several prints around the War of 1812. This satire focuses on King George III attempting to restore lost ships after battles on the Great Lakes in 1813 and 1814. Charles was clearly aware of his British contemporaries Thomas Rowlandson, James Gillray, and George Cruikshank, who each drew satires using the image of a politician as baker. Here are a few other caricatures with the same iconography.


Thomas Rowlandson (1757-1827), High Fun for John Bull or the Republicans Put to their Last Shift, 1798. Gift of Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895. Graphic Arts Collection GC112


James Gillray (1756-1815), Tiddy-Doll, the Great French-Gingerbread-Baker; Drawing Out a New Batch of Kings, 1806. Gift of Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895. Graphic Arts Collection GC108


George Cruikshank (1792-1878), The Allied Bakers or, The Corsican Toad in the Hole, 1814. (c) British Museum


George Cruikshank (1792-1878), Broken Gingerbread, 1814. (c) British Museum

Soldiers Don't Cry

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These are close-ups from the Battle of New Orleans and Death of Major General Packenham [sic] on the 8th of January 1815 by Joseph Yeager (ca. 1792-1859) after William Edward West (1788-1857). We are adding the second state of the print to show the change in Major General Lambert’s hand.

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As noted by John Carbonell, “It is usually claimed that there are two states of the West/Yeager engraving; we can tag them respectively the “handkerchief” state and the “finger” state. In the first, General Lambert … is holding a handkerchief to his face. In the second, the handkerchief is gone and Lambert’s exposed index finger points upward.” (John Carbonell, “Prints of the Battle of New Orleans,” in Prints of the American West (1983) (Marquand NE505 .P55)

Why? The folklore around the print states that officers in the Army complained about the view of a soldier crying for his lost comrade and demanded that the handkerchief be removed. The pointing figure was the best the engraver could do without altering more of the composition.

But which Army was complaining? Lambert was a British officer and this print shows the battle from the British point of view. It is, however, an American print published in Philadelphia. Was it the American Army that demanded the change in the British soldier? Was Lambert too sympathetic a figure when the focus of the image was meant to be the death of the British troops?

In addition to the complex iconography, there are five variants of the print, which we often categorize into two first states (with handkerchief) and three second states (without handkerchief). We believe our second print is the 2nd state, 2nd variation.

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Joseph Yeager (ca. 1792-1859) after a design by William Edward West (1788-1857), The Battle of New Orleans and Death of Major General Packenham on the 8th of January 1815. Philadelphia: Published and Sold by J. Yeager, [1816]. Hand colored engraving. 1st and 2nd state. Purchased in part with support of the Barksdale-Dabney-Henry Fund, 2012.

Leonard Baskin

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Printmaker Leonard Baskin (1922-2000) began a series of enormous woodcuts in 1952, shortly after returning to the United States and a teaching position at Smith College. The artist wrote, “I think of the series … as a kind of ambulatory mural. They are insistently black, complexly cut, and reasonably successful in causing alarm, misgivings, and exaltation.”

“I should say that the mastodon woodcuts are the capital achievement of my printmaking activity. Imbedded in those 12 blocks are the traces of my tangled vision.” quoted from Alan Fern, The Complete prints of Leonard Baskin (Boston: Little, Brown, 1984): 8. Marquand SA oversize NE539.B2 F47Q

Graphic Arts is fortunate to hold 7 or the 12 massive prints. Here are a few images.

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Saturn, 1970. Woodcut. 182 x 95 cm.

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Haman, 1955. Woodcut. 122 x 58.5 cm.

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Angel of Death, 1959. Woodcut. 156 x 78 cm.

The Criminal Lunatics Act

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Charles Williams (active 1797-1850), A Ward of Chancery, & a Commission of Lunacy Superseded, March 16, 1807. Etching with hand coloring. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2012.02667

This print, surprisingly, refers to the Criminal Lunatics Act of 1800, which required the indefinite detention of mentally ill offenders. It was passed thanks to chief counsel Thomas Erskine (1750-1823), who argued that an actor named James Hadfield (1771/72-1841) was insane when he tried to shoot King George III during a performance at the Drury Lane Theatre. Erskine convinced the judge that Hadfield had only pretended to kill the King because the actor wanted to die and knew he would be killed for the attempt.

Since the laws of the time had no provision for holding or treating criminals who were found to be insane, a bill was rushed to the House of Commons so that Hadfield would not be set free. No more than four days after the trial, “A Bill for Regulating Trials for High Treason … and for the Safe Custody of Insane Persons Charged with Offenses,” also known as the Criminal Lunatics Act was passed.

Erskine was made Lord Chancellor in the Ministry of All the Talents, although he had no background for the office and only lasted fourteen months in the position. He is seen here rescuing a dog that was being beaten by a group of boys. This actually happened in February 1807 and Williams finished the print a few weeks later, referencing Erskine’s history of rescuing mad men and mad dogs.

Joseph Knapp

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Continental Life Insurance Company of Hartford, Conn. Published by Major & Knapp, New York City, no date [after 1863]. Proof lithographs, one with hand coloring. Graphic Arts GC178.

It is ironic that Joseph Knapp (1832-1891), soon to be president of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, would work so hard to prepare and print the advertising for the Continental Life Insurance Company.

Sixteen year old Knapp took an apprenticeship with the New York City lithographic printing firm of Sarony & Major. When he turned twenty-one in 1852, Knapp became their general manager and then, a partner. Thanks to his considerable business skills, Knapp grew the business into one of the most successful lithographic presses in the United States.

It was at this time that Major & Knapp prepared several versions of an advertising poster for Continental Insurance. A revolutionary soldier was used on this and other print materials, which became the firm’s icon.

Knapp’s attention and his considerable fortune turned to the insurance business. He served on the board of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and was eventually named the second president of the company. When Knapp stopped printing, Continental Insurance transferred their business to Louis Prang (1824-1909), who redesign the company’s advertising (left) while maintaining the symbol of the revolutionary soldier.

Bal Olympique 1924

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Pavel Tchelitchew (1898-1957), Bal Olympique. Le 11 juillet 1924, à Olympia, Boulevardes des Capucines, 1924. 63.7 x 55.9 cm. Paper collage, gouache, pen and ink. Gift of Allison Delarue, Class of 1928. Graphic Arts Collection GC059 in process

During the 1920s, a number of Russian artists living and working in Paris formed the L’Union des Artistes Russes. To help raise funds they held several spectacular charity balls, organized primarily by Natalie Goncharova (1881-1962) and her husband Mikhail Larionov. These included the Grand Bal des Artists, (alternately: the Grand Bal Travesti Transmental) in 1923; the Bal Banal in 1924; the Bal Olympique (alternately: the Vrai Bal Sportif) also in 1924; and the Grand Ourse Bal in 1925.

A collage poster for the Bal Olympique was created by the Russian-born artist Pavel Tchelitchew (1898-1957), who was introduced to Goncharova through Sergei Diaghilev and the Ballet Russe. Tchelitchew lived in Berlin between 1821 and 1923, and had only just arrived in Paris when he collaborated with Goncharova on the Bal Olympique. She often asked fellow artists to create original posters for a pre-ball competition and charity auction. This may be one.

The program for the Bal Olympique featured dances and choreographic events by Olga Koklova and the Ballets Suédois; “danses du homard, crabe et crocodile” with costumes by Vassilieff and Léger; boxing matches overseen by Foujita; a “Spectacle sur l’Échelle” by Tristan Tzara; “poëmes en relief” by Iliazd and Kakabadze; a “nouveau système de projections fantastiques” by Larionov; and much more.

Tchelitchew only spent ten years in Paris before moving to the United States with his partner, the writer Charles Henri Ford (1913-2002). More of his work can be found in their journal View (RBSC EX Little Magazines).

Hugo David Pohl's Panorama

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Hugo David Pohl (1878-1960), Untitled [panoramic landscape], 1909. Gouache on board. Previously owned by Harold Fowler McCormick, Class of 1895, and given by Alexander Stillman. GA 2012- in process.

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The American inventor Cyrus McCormick (1809-1884) patented a mechanical reaping machine and in 1847, moved his business to Chicago to form the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company. When he died, his son Cyrus McCormick II (1859-1936, Class of 1879 H1887) took over and began hiring professional artists to decorate and promote the business. Albert Herter (1871-1950) and his assistant Bror Nordfeldt (1878-1955) were two of the artists commissioned to paint company murals.

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When McCormick merged the firm with J.P. Morgan’s Deering Harvester Company in 1902, forming the International Harvester Company (IHC), painters and printmakers were again used to promote the new company. Hugo David Pohl (1878-1960) was among the men hired to paint panoramic murals at IHC depicting harvests in various countries.

It took Pohl eighteen months to finish his commission and when it was done, he left Chicago for San Antonio, Texas. Pohl opened a studio specializing in mural decoration and eventually became president and director of the San Antonio Academy of Art.

The IHC passed to Harold Fowler McCormick (1872-1941, Class of 1895) and in 1966, the family’s collection of art and books was given to Princeton University Library, including one of Pohl’s panoramic paintings. Presumably a model for an IHC mural, the painting highlights a series of inventions including a steam engine, a horse-drawn McCormick reaper, and an early airplane (probably to please Harold, who was an aeronautics enthusiast).

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In a strong wooden box with the name Myers stamped on the side, we recently discovered a wrapped banner. When it was unrolled, we found this beautiful lithographic World War I recruitment poster (~5 x 8 feet) in perfect condition.

William Starr Myers (1877-1954) was a professor of history and politics at Princeton University and a noted historian of New Jersey and the Republican Party. Our Mudd Manuscript Library holds the William Starr Myers Papers documenting the history of his teaching career and published works [MC098].

The bulk of the collection was donated by Mrs. Margaret Myers in May 1956. Most likely, this box came later or perhaps was separated from the rest of the collection. Happily, it is now moving back to Mudd Library to be included with Mr. Myers’ papers.

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Julio Cortázar by Julio Silva

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This portrait of Argentine novelist and short story writer Julio Cortázar (1914-1984) was created from memory by his Argentine friend and frequent collaborator Julio Silva (born 1930).

They met in Paris, where Cortázar moved in 1951 and Silva shortly after in 1955. Their first published collaboration came in 1966 when Silva provided lithographs to complement Cortázar’s Les discours du Pince-Gueule. They worked closely on the collage books, La Vuelta al Día en Ochenta Mundos (1967) and Último Round (1969) and then Territorios (1978). In 1976, Cortázar dedicated Silvalandia to the artist, who provided the illustrations.

Jorge Luis Borges wrote, “No one can retell the plot of a Cortázar story; each one consists of determined words in a determined order. If we try to summarize them, we realize that something precious has been lost.”

Julio Cortázar (1914-1984), Ultimo Round (México: Siglo Veintiuno Editores, 1969) Rare Books (Ex) Item 4913202

Julio Cortázar and Julio Silva, Les discours du pince-gueule. Nouv. éd. (Saint-Clément-de-Rivière: Fata Morgana, 2002). Graphic Arts RCPXG-7055109

Julio Cortázar (1914-1984), La vuelta al día en ochenta mundos. 5. ed. ([Mexico] Siglo Veintiuno Editores [1969]) Firestone Library (F) PQ7797.C7145 V845 1969

Julio Silva (born 1930), Julio Cortázar, 1991. Ink and brush drawing. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2012- in process

Mr. Arthur Balfour wishing he had been born in a simpler age, 1907

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Each time he finished a new collection of drawings, Max Beerbohm (1872-1956) brought them to the Carfax Gallery for a public exhibition. Located on Bury Street in the fashionable St James district of London, Carfax & Co. was one of the most distinguished and progressive galleries of its day. Founded in 1898, the room was managed by More Adey (1858-1942) and Robbie Ross (1869-1918), both members of Oscar Wilde’s circle of friends. Beerbohm’s exhibitions were mounted in 1901, 1904, 1907 and 1908.

On May 4, 1907, an exhibition review in The Athenaeum declared, “Mr. Beerbohm’s exhibition at the Carfax Gallery is an unalloyed delight. The artist has the blessed gift of seeing the grey and monotonous people by whom we are surrounded as full of an outrageous variety; and were the present writer a millionaire, Mr. Beerbohm should be always in his train to reveal the extremes of character, the vortices of strange forces, that hide beneath a life that seems all self-repression.”

“When I draw a man,” Beerbohm wrote to a friend, “I am concerned simply and solely with the physical aspect of him … [But] I see him in a peculiar way: I see all his salient points exaggerated (points of face, figure, port, gesture and vesture), and all his insignificant points proportionately diminished … In the salient points a man’s soul does reveal itself, more or less faintly … It is … when (and only when) my caricatures hit exactly the exteriors of their subjects that they open the interiors, too.” (Letters, 35-6)

Max Beerbohm (1872-1956), Mr. Arthur Balfour Wishing He Had Been Born in a Simpler Age, 1907. Watercolor. Robert H. Taylor Collection (RHT), Rare Books and Special Collections. Gift of Robert H. Taylor, Class of 1930

Max Beerbohm (1872-1956), A Book of Caricatures (London: Methuen & co. [1907]) Rare Books: J. Harlin O’Connell Collection (ExC) Oversize NC1479 .B4q

The Journey of Dr. Johnson and James Boswell to Scotland

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James Boswell wrote, “On Saturday the 14th of August 1773 late in the Evening I received a Note from him that he was arrived at Boyd’s Inn at the head of the Cannon-gate, I went to him directly. He embraced me cordially, and I exulted in the thought that I now had him actually in Caledonia.”

Samuel Johnson wrote, “On the eighteenth of August we left Edinburgh, a city too well known to admit description, and directed our course northward, along the eastern coast of Scotland, accompanied the first day by another gentleman, who could stay with us only long enough to shew us how much we lost at separation.”

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For the next 83 days, Johnson and his young companion travelled the western islands of Scotland. Each kept a journal and each published an account of the trip:

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland (London: Printed for W. Strahan ; and T. Cadell in the Strand, 1775). Rare Books (Ex) 3804.3.35.14

James Boswell (1740-1795), The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (London: Printed by Henry Baldwin, for Charles Dilly …, 1785). Rare Books (Ex) 3804.

collings, dr johnson 3.jpg

Caricaturist and genre painter Samuel Collings (died 1795) was commissioned by the Marylebone publisher E Jackson to imagine scenes from this trip and come up with humorous illustrations. Princeton holds 22 of these original drawings. Thomas Rowlandson (1756/57-1827), who had collaborated with Collings on several other projects, was enlisted to etch the drawings.

A separate portfolio of 20 prints was released in May of 1786, under the title, Picturesque Beauties of Boswell, designed and etched by two capital artists ([London]: E. Jackson, 1786), Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Oversize Kane Room Rowlandson 1786q. Princeton holds the first edition, the reissue (around 1805), and a reprint (around 1860).

collings, dr johnson 6.jpg
collings, dr johnson 2.jpg
collings, dr johnson 1.jpg

Samuel Collings (active 1784-1789, died 1795), The Journey of Dr. Johnson and James Boswell to Scotland, no date [1780s], 22 ink wash drawings. Gift of Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2006.01985

The Diadem by Hablot Browne

browne, the diadem2.jpg
Hablot Browne (1815-1882), Original drawing for the title page of The Diadem: a Book for the Boudoir, 1838. Watercolor on paper. Robert H. Taylor Collection (RHT), Rare Books and Special Collections. Gift of Robert H. Taylor, Class of 1930.

browne, the diadem.jpg

Hablot (pronounced Hay Blow) Knight Browne (1815-1882) is best known to Charles Dickens fans as an illustrator called Phiz but the artist should also be remembered for a great deal of work beyond Dickens’s ten novels. Browne created images for books by Charles Lever, Frank Smedley, and Harrison Ainsworth, along with many others.

Browne’s career began as an apprentice in the early 1830s and he was already collaborating with Dickens when he took this commission to make designs for the British gift book series Diadem. He created more than this one drawing but since it is the one we have at Princeton, it is the one I am highlighting here. A very nice article about “gift books,” with a bibliography, was posted by Kevin Mac Donnell at

For more of Browne’s original art work at Princeton University, see also

browne, teh diadem3.jpg

The Diadem, edited by Miss Louisa H. Sheridan (London: Smith, Elder and Co. …, printed by Stewart and Murray, Old Bailey, [1838]). Transferred to Graphic Arts collection GA 2012- in process.

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