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Drawing by Emily Brontë

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Emily Brontë (1818-1848), Guwald Tower, Haddington, 8 December 1832. Pencil on paper. Inscription by Ellen Nussey. 164 x 149 mm. Robert H. Taylor Collection (RHT), Rare Books and Special Collections. Gift of Robert H. Taylor, Class of 1930.

Quote from Christine Anne Alexander and Jane Sellars, The Art of the Brontës (Cambridge [Eng.]: Cambridge University Press, 1995). (SA) N6797.B758 A4 1995

“This drawing is identical (except for very minor stylistic differences) to one by Charlotte Brontë, entitled ‘Guwald Tower Haddington’ and made as an art exercise while she was a pupil at Roe Head in June 1831. Emily’s signature on this second drawing is genuine; yet it is curious that it has been inscribed ‘Miss Brontë’, a nineteenth century formality usually reserved for the eldest daughter of a family, the younger ones signing only with their Christian names. It appears that Ellen Nussey failed to see Emily’s minuscule signature, written in faint pencil and tucked away in an unusual place close to the actual drawing.”

“Ellen would have remembered Charlotte doing the same drawing at School and, at a later date, attributed it to her, also recording the date and place of execution from memory. It is possible the dating is based on a similar drawing by Ellen herself, made as a school exercise from the same original print, at the same time as Charlotte’s copy. Emily probably copied Charlotte’s drawing at home, some time after Charlotte left Roe head in May 1832. Emily herself did not attend the school until 29 July 1835, staying there for less than three months.”

Alas Brother Mace, We Are Undone

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William Heath (1794-1840), Greedy Old Nickford Eating Oysters, Leaving the Poor Devils from Minor Hells in a Starving Condition, ca. 1829. Etching with hand coloring. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2011.00893

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In 1827, William Crockford (1775-1844) opened a gambling club at 50 St. James Street, just off Pall Mall. The exclusive Crockford Club was designed and built by the British architects Benjamin and Philip Wyatt, who were also responsible for Londonderry House, the Oriental Club in Hanover Square and the Duke of York Column.

Crockford became a millionaire but is pictured here as a devil with cloven hooves and horns. At his left, within the flames of hell are his assistants: one with billiard ball eyes, one with dice eyes, and one with playing cards for a head. A few pigeons (gamblers) are flying away with half their feathers plucked. Two such reported cases were Sackville Tufton, the ninth Lord Thanet, who lost £200,000 and Lord Sefton who died having lost a similar amount.

At the bottom right, the artist signs with his “Paul Pry” figure who says “Gad he seems to astonish the natives tho…”

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Henry Blyth, Hell and Hazard or William Crockford Versus the Gentlemen of England (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1969). Firestone Library (F) HV6722.G8 L6

Arthur Lee Humphreys (1865-1946), Crockford’s; or, The Goddess of Chance in St. James’s Street, 1828-1844 (London: Hutchinson [1953]). RECAP 14653.486

Henry Turner Waddy, The Devonshire Club—and “Crockford’s,” (London: E. Nash, 1919). Firestone Library (F) DA560 .W15 1919



[above] Samuel Laurence (1817-1884), Anthony Trollope, 1864. Charcoal drawing. Parrish Collection, Rare Books and Special Collections.

[below] Samuel Laurence (1817-1884), Anthony Trollope, 1864. Oil on canvas. National Portrait Gallery, London. NPG 1680

“Such a week as I have had in sitting!” wrote Anthony Trollope to his editor George Smith. “Only that he is personally such a nice fellow, & has so much to say for himself, I should have been worn out. I have been six times, or seven I think, —& am to go again. He compliments me by telling me that I am a subject very difficult to draw. He has taken infinite pains with it. Of course I myself am no judge of what he has done. Yours always Anthony Trollope” — Trollope to Smith, July 1, 1864 in The Letters of Anthony Trollope,
v. 1 (1983)

From these chalk sketches, Samuel Laurence also created an oil painting, now in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Smith had a series of prints engraved, to be used as frontispieces for various editions by and about Trollope.

Anthony Trollope (1815-1882), The Small House at Allington (London: Smith, Elder, 1864). Rare Books: South East (RB) RHT 19th-641

The Inconvenience of a Blow Up

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Unidentified artist, New Principles or the March of Invention, 1820s. Hand colored etching. GC014 Aeronautical Illustrations Collection

AN00685909_001_l.jpg The Pleasures of the Rail-Road, Showing the Inconvenience of a Blow-Up, 1831. British Museum

AN00075842_001_l.jpgCharles Williams (1797-1830), Travelling by Steam, 1817.
British Museum

In the early 19th century, exploding steam engines were responsible for many deaths. Artists and print dealers throughout London seized on these colorful spectacles, with clouds of smoke and body parts, to make a series of comic prints.

British inventor Walter Hancock (1799-1852) designed and constructed steam powered cars. He patented a steam boiler in 1827 that would split rather than explode so that the passengers being carried on his steam vehicles would be able to travel in safety. In 1831, with a ten-seater called the Infant, Hancock began a regular commercial bus service between Stratford and London. The bus was ultimately lost during an explosion.

In another tragedy, reported by the Manchester Guardian, “the inhabitants of Camberwell were thrown into great consternation by a shock so tremendous that it broke the glass in many houses. It resulted from the baneful practice of using high pressure steam engines. One of these engines was erected at the new glue manufactory of Messr.

Cleaver and Yardley, on the banks of the Surrey canal, at the back of the Albany road; and when at 38 degrees it burst, causing a terrific explosion! The whole north wing of the building was blown down’ five of the workmen received dreadful fractures, and two were killed on the spot.”—- “Bursting of a Steam Boiler,” The Manchester Guardian, September 28, 1822.


Unidentified artist, Something Wrong, ca. 1825. Science Museum Group

Total Destruction of the Democratic Platform

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Unidentified artist, Total Destruction of the Democratic Platform. Terrible Shipwreck and Loss of Life in Salt River, 1868. Lithograph. Graphic Arts Collection GA2012- in process.

If a political party was in trouble in the 19th century, they were said to be “up the Salt River.” This was the case for the Democrats in the presidential election of 1868. Their ticket of Horatio Seymour (1810-1886) and Francis Blair (1821-1875) ran against the Republican Party’s nominees Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) and Schuyler Colfax (1823-1885).

An unsigned political cartoon shows the Democrats on a sinking platform, along with their shipmates Jefferson Davis, Andrew Johnson, Wade Hampton, Henry Wise, and newspaper publisher Marcus Mills “Brick” Pomeroy. Blair says he wishes he “had never come aboard.”

Meanwhile, Grant and Colfax watch calmly from the shore, not far from the White House. An important aspect of the Republican platform that year was their endorsement of the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which allowed African Americans to vote. Thanks to a provision that kept many ex-confederates (and Democrats) from voting, Grant won the election by 52.7 % of the popular vote and became the 18th President of the United States.

William Heath's signature

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

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

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

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An Amateur of Fashion, 1813.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Bears at Bay, 1831.

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

Mr. Woodward and Mr. Shuter, Two of His Majesty's Comedians

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Unknown artist, Mr. Woodward and Mr. Shuter, Two of His Majesty’s Comedians, in the Characters of Capt. Bobadil, and Master Stephen, in the New Reviv’d Comedy Called Every Man in His Own Humour, ca. 1752. Etching and engraving. Graphic Arts Collection British Prints GC106.

During London’s 1751-52 theater season, a revival of Ben Jonson’s renaissance comedy, Every Man In His Humour, was performed at the Theatre-Royal in Drury Lane. The role of Captain Bobadil was played by Henry Woodward (1714-1777). Just over twenty years earlier, Woodward had received his first recognition a few blocks away playing Ben Budge in John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera.

Specializing in comedy and the character of the Harlequin in particular, Woodward’s stature grew to include leading roles in theaters throughout London. During the 1747-48 season, Thomas Sheridan invited Woodward to perform at the Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin, after which the actor join David Garrick’s company at Drury Lane. At the age of 34, his Romeo was declared a masterpiece of acting.

“Woodward now added to his repertory in quick succession Ananias (1749-50), Face (1752-3), and Subtle (1755-6) in The Alchemist and Sir John Daw in Epicoene; but it was as Bobadil in Every Man in his Humour (1751-2) that he again struck gold, the seedy, down-at-heel braggart with the expansive imagination calling on all his expertise in low comedy, his verbal brilliance, and his capacity for subtlety of characterization in roles that might easily invite mannerism or caricature.” - Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

Ben Jonson (1573?-1637), Every Man in His Humour. A Comedy. Written by Ben Jonson. With alterations and additions. As it is perform’d at the Theatre-Royal in Drury-Lane (London: J. and R. Tonson and S. Draper, 1752). Rare Books (Ex) 3806.351

Destruction of the Royal Exchange by Fire

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Attributed to William Heath (1795-1840), Destruction of the Royal Exchange by Fire, on the 10th of January, [1838]. Etching with hand coloring. Published by Robert Havell’s Zoological Gallery, London. Graphic Arts Collection GA2012 in process

On the night of January 10, 1838, the Royal Exchange, at the corner of Threadneedle and Cornhill Streets in the City of London, burned to the ground. It was one of the most spectacular fires of the 19th century and many artists got out of bed to sketch the scene, including William Heath. At least two prints are derived from Heath’s drawings, an etching published by Robert Havell at his Zoological Gallery [above] and a lithograph published by Rudolph Ackermann at his Eclipse Sporting Gallery [below].


The Destruction of the Royal Exchange by Fire on Jany 10th 1838
British Museum

See also: Effingham Wilson (1783-1868), Wilson’s Description of the New Royal Exchange, including an Historical Notice of the Former Edifices … (London: E. Wilson, 1844). DA687.R69 W557 1844.

Jean Berté's Water Colour Printing Process



Not long after the French printer Jean Berté (1883-1981) immigrated to the United States, he applied for a patent to his watercolor printing process. The technique was similar to other letterpress methods, except plates were cut in soft rubber and the inks were water-based rather than oil. As in Japanese woodblock printing, a separate plate was cut for each color and the color was laid on in a particular order of translucent layers.

The patent was granted on August 10, 1926 and Berté began looking for a commercial distributor for his process. That’s when he found Fred A. Hacker in Belleville, New Jersey.

Through their partnership Hacker not only provided American commercial printers with a license to use the process but he also sold “engraving equipment, plate material, inks, and rollers … [for] the type and size of presses you wish to equip.” Perhaps Hacker got the best of the deal because the 1930 census has changed Berté’s occupation from artist to clerk and by 1940, he is teaching French in a private school.


Der blaue Vogel comes to London, 1923

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In the 1920s, Der blaue Vogel (The Blue Bird) was a theater/cabaret founded by Russian émigrés living in Berlin. Their performances combined Russian folk songs, modernist theater, and satirical sketches. Three of the men active at The Blue Bird were L. E. Duban-Tortsov, a former Moscow Art Theatre actor; Jasha Jushny (also written Sasha Yuzhny or J. Yuzhny); and the director André Andrejew (1887-1967). It was Jushny who took the company on a European tour in 1923, reaching London’s Scala Theatre in October.

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The Entire Blue Bird Company, [1923]. Lithographed poster. Printed by J. Weiner Ltd., London. Theater Collection GAX 2012- in process

One reviewer noted, “There are no people like the Russians for making us feel artistically ashamed of ourselves. We Westerners … have been taught to forget the evidence of any drama other than the fidgety compositions of our own stage. And then … Russia will send over one of her operas, her ballets, or her vaudevilles, and after the first gasp all our critical standards have to be adjusted to make room for the new-comer—at the top.”

“…The latest came from Moscow by way of Berlin. It is the Blue Bird Company under the direction of Mr. Yuzhny, who presents what is really a glorified cabaret performance consisting of a heterogeneous mass of singing, dancing, and mimic turns, with a running commentary from the director at the footlights.” (Manchester Guardian, October 5, 1923)

Another reviewer was less enthusiastic, “The ear, practically every time, comes off worse than the eye… . The Volga Boat Song, like a page torn from Gorky, is a cry from the depths. Only an artist with a strong sense of humanity and pity could have conceived those seven outcasts in their rags straining at a barge rope against a sunset sky… . As music supplies the basis of these “dramatizations,” surely it ought to be treated less as an intruder in the theater and more as an honored guest.” (The Christian Science Monitor, October 27, 1923)

The Montclair Theatre, Montclair, N.J.

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The Montclair Theatre opened on Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, New Jersey, early in the 20th century. The first newspaper reference ran on August 17, 1913, when the New York Tribune reported on the development of “…that section of the town, which has recently been benefited by the erection of the new municipal building, the art museum, and the Montclair Theatre.”

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Along with legitimate stage productions, the auditorium was used in 1915 for a sermon by the evangelist Billy Sunday; in 1917 for a “mass meeting to protest against the deportation of Belgians by the Germans”; and in 1938 for “Fol-De-Rol,” a presentation by the Princeton Triangle Club.

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Leo Sielke Jr. (1881-19??), Montclair Theatre, N.J., no date (ca. 1913). Watercolor with gouache highlights on board. Theater Collection GAX 2012- in process

In March 1921, the New York Times announced that H. H. Wellenbrink, lessee of the Montclair Theatre, had purchased another plot to erect a second theater. This would become the Wellmont Theatre, which is still operating today. Unfortunately, the Montclair Theatre was torn down to provide room for a parking lot.

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Yoshu Chikakazu (active late 19th century), [Japanese battleships sink Chinese fleet], no date. Three color woodblock prints.
Graphic Arts Collection GA 2009.00794

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Migita Toshihide (1863-1925), [Heroic Japanese troops march across a pontoon bridge], 1894. Three color woodblock prints. (Meiji 27).
Graphic Arts Collection GA 2009.00775

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Unidentified Artist, [Sino-Japanese War scene depicting the heroic Japanese battling the Chinese], no date. Two of three color woodblock prints.
Graphic Arts Collection GA 2009.00781

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Hashimoto Chikanobu (1838-1912), [Emperor Meiji meeting with his Imperial Council], 1888. Two of three color woodblock prints. (Meiji 21).
Graphic Arts Collection GA 2009.00765

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Unidentified Artist, [Imperial forces attacking Satsuma forces during the Satsuma Rebellion], no date. Three color woodblock prints.
Graphic Arts Collection GA 2009.00778

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Adachi Ginko (flourished 1870-1900), [Sino-Japanese battle scene, Japanese navy bombarding a fortress as troops scale the ramparts], no date.
Three color woodblock prints. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2009.00763

Roderick Random's Encounter with Captain Weazel

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George Cruikshank (1792-1878), Roderick Random’s Encounter with Captain Weasel, 1859. Oil on board. Museum objects collection.

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In 1748, the Scottish author Tobias Smollett (1721-1771) wrote The Adventures of Roderick Random. A miniature edition was released in 1776 with tiny plates and in 1792 Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827) took on the first serious visualization of Roderick Random. During the nineteenth century, George Cruikshank (1792-1878) brought the book to life for a new generation with another set of illustrations. The work must have made an impact on the artist because twenty-eight years later, Cruikshank used a scene from the novel as the theme of an oil painting, which is now at Princeton University.

Finished in 1859, Cruikshank submitted the painting to the annual member’s show at the British Institution. All of the nearly 600 works in the exhibit were listed in The Art Journal London (v. 5) along with brief, unflattering remarks.

The review begins, “Again the Art-season commences: the British Institution is open, its walls are covered with pictures on every available space where they can be seen, and even where they cannot be seen… . The exhibited works amount to five hundred and ninety-two, among which are amply represented every department of Art except one, and that one is (the old story) what is called history. That which we know as “high Art” is denounced as ungrateful to the painter; but it is not that “high Art” is ungrateful, but that it demands for its themes the rarest gifts of the painter and the poet.

Mediocrity in the highest walk of painting is intolerable; but mediocrity in low Art sells readily. On looking round on these walls, the eye is met by declarations of the most fearful depravity of taste in the choice of subject; and right earnestly do the painters devote themselves to the consecration of their unworthy themes.”

No. 435 was Cruikshank’s Roderick Random’s Encounter with Captain Weasel, about which the reviewer adds only, “This is not so eccentric as some of the recent works of the artist, inasmuch as it would be difficult to exceed the extravagance of the text.”

In The Literary Gazette, a second reviewer commented: “George Cruikshank has a picture that of course has fun in it … but it proves that a design which would be irresistible in a wood-cut two-inches square, may prove a very vapid affair when magnified into an oil painting of as many feet.”

Tobias Smollett (1721-1771), The Adventures of Roderick Random (London: James Cochrane and Co.; J. Andrews, 1831). Graphic Arts Cruik 1831.

Reason Speaks and Pleasure Carries One Away

Barthélemy Roger (1767-1840) after a drawing by Pierre-Paul Prud’hon (1758-1823), La raison parle, et le plaisir entraîne (Reason Speaks and Pleasure Carries One Away), ca. 1796-1799. Stipple engraving. Goncourt 78.ii; Laveissière 80-81.36; Beraldi XI.229. Graphic Arts Collection. GA2012-02315. Gift of Mary M. Schmidt.

“In order to succeed in what was for printmakers a perilous period, Prud’hon had to have more than sensitivity to contemporary taste,” notes Elizabeth Guffey. “Prud’hon’s print Love Reduced to Reason, which went on sale in later 1793 … was an unqualified success… . [The artist] followed it up with a series of similar projects, including Virtue Struggling with Vice: Reason Speaks, Pleasure Entraps; Love Caresses Before It Wounds; Innocence Prefers Love to Wealth; and Love Seduces Innocence, Pleasure Entraps, Remorse Follows.

Unlike many artists who allowed the publisher to handle the printing, publication, and sale of their work, Prud’hon kept a hand in every aspect of the process. His prints sold for as much as 7 livres (compared to the 3 livres charged for prints by Jacques-Louis David, 1748-1825). The investment and the sale of Prud’hon’s work was shared between his publisher and friend Constantin, the engraver (in this case Roger), and the artist.

For this print, Reason Speaks and Pleasure Carries One Away (also translated Pleasure Entraps), Prud’hon made two drawings, one ink and the other in two colors of chalk. Both are in the collection of the Fogg Art Museum. It may be that the artist and the engraver were considering a two color engraving, although no example of this has been found. Also shown below is the similar Virtue Struggles with Vice.

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urn-3 HUAM 50734_dynmc.jpg(c) Fogg Art Museum

[left]: Prud’hon, La Raison parle et le Plaisir entraîne (Reason Speaks and Pleasure Carries One Away), ca. 1795-1799. Chalk drawing. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop, 1943.888
[right]: Prud’hon, La Vertu aux prises avec le Vice (Virtue Struggle with Vice), ca. 1795. Chalk drawing. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop, 1943.884

See also:
Elizabeth E. Guffey, Drawing an Elusive Line (Newark, Del.: University of Delaware Press, 2001). Marquand Library ND 553.P9G83 2001

Books During Prohibition


Camillus Kessler (active 1920s), When We Get a Censorship of Books, no date [ca. 1925]. Pen and ink drawing. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2012.02310. Gift of Charles Rose, Princeton University Class of 1950, P77, P80.


Camillus Kessler (active 1920s), Once Upon A Time: The Library, no date [ca. 1925]. Pen and ink drawing. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2012.02282. Gift of Charles Rose, Princeton University Class of 1950, P77, P80.

Lucretia Mott "Deeds Not Words"

Leopold Grozelier (1830-1865), Lucretia Mott, 1853. Lithograph. Graphic Arts Collection, GA 2012- in process

The Quaker minister Lucretia Mott (1793-1880) fought for the rights of women and of African Americans. A mother of six, Mott traveled and preached throughout the Eastern United States in front of both Black and White, both male and female organizations. She helped found the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society and attended the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in 1840. Together with twenty-five year old Elizabeth Stanton, Mott organized the first women’s rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848.

Here is a video of the honorable senator from New York Hilary Clinton’s speech on August 26, 2008, honoring Mott, Stanton, and the other women who fought for their rights.

See also: Lucretia Mott (1793-1880), Discourse on Woman (Philadelphia: T. B. Peterson, 1850). Rare Books: Miriam Y. Holden Collection (ExHolden) HQ1423 .M9

Nauvoo Legion

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After John Hafen (1856-1910), Last Public Address of Lieut. Gen. Joseph Smith,
no date, original 1888. Albumen silver print of a lithograph. Graphic Arts Collection. GA 2012- in process

When he was five years old, the Swiss-born artist John Hafen (1856-1910) was brought to Salt Lake City by his family, where they all became members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). As an adult, Hafen helped found the Utah Art Association and established the art department at the Brigham Young Academy. He often chose to paint Mormon subject matter, such as these portraits of Joseph Smith (1805-1844).

After John Hafen (1856-1910), Lieutenant-General Joseph Smith. First Commander of the Nauvoo Legion, 1888, original painting 1887. Graphic Arts GA 2008.00903

Joseph Smith was only twenty-four years old when he wrote and published The Book of Mormon, an Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi [(WA) 2005-0197]. He became the leader of the LDS community, which settled in Commerce, Illinois. They renamed the town Nauvoo (meaning “to be beautiful”) and formed the Nauvoo Legion.

On June 7, 1844, the first and only issue of The Nauvoo Expositor was published by several disenfranchised members of the Legion, criticizing Smith and his beliefs [(WA) F549.N37 xN34ae]. Four days later, Smith ordered the paper to be stopped and their press destroyed. He then assembled the men of the Nauvoo Legion and declared martial law.

According to legend, Smith said: “I call upon God and angels to witness that I have unsheathed my sword with a firm and unalterable determination that this people shall have their legal rights.” [quoted in the scene above]


Unidentified artist, Martyrdom of Prophet Joseph Smith, 1890. Lithograph. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2008.00904

Smith was arrested for treason and was taken to Carthage jail but on June 27, 1844, an angry mob stormed the jail. They killed both Joseph and his brother Hiram Smith. The remaining LDS Church followers united behind Brigham Young, who moved them to Utah, centered in Salt Lake City. This is where the artist John Hafen joined them in 1860s.

Night Shadows

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nassau Hall around 1859

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Attributed to Frank Childs, [View of Nassau Hall, Princeton, New Jersey], ca. 1859. Oil on canvas. Graphic Arts American Paintings

“On the night of Saturday, March 10, 1855, Nassau Hall was destroyed by fire,” writes Robert C. Smith. “At precisely half past eight, as the Philadelphian Society was ending its meeting on the fourth floor of the building, the cry of fire was heard from below. ‘Every effort,’ President Maclean later told the Trustees, ‘was made to subdue the flames but without success.’ As soon as it was realized that the firemen, without sufficient water to prime their noses, were powerless to stop the flames, whipped to the roof by a strong wind, the work of salvaging began.”

“‘The students and professors worked finely at the fire,’ one student wrote, ‘and all distinction seemed to be lost in the general confusion.’ Henry C. Cameron, Tutor in Greek, and a student named Gilchrist ‘burst open’ the door of the picture gallery and began handing the portraits to safety. George Musgrave Giger, Professor of Latin, and his colleagues Professors Duffield and Alexander forced their way through the blaze to rescue papers and other valuable property. The old bust of Homer was hauled down from over the center door, while ‘General’ Perrine, a Princeton character of the time, rode up to direct the evacuation.”

“By midnight all was over and everything of moment to the College had been saved, except the bell, which had survived the earlier fire of 1802. Some students had lost all they possessed, but no one was hurt save James Bayles of Kingston, who fell and broke his leg.” From Robert C. Smith, “John Notman’s Nassau Hall,” in Princeton University Library Chronicle XIV, no. 3 (spring 1953).

This painting depicts Nassau Hall (built in 1756) after it was restored and revised by the architect John Notman (1810-1865). Notman made a number of exterior changes to the building, including the staircases at the ends of the building and the arched front doorway.

The Effects of Unco Gede Living

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

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

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

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

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

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

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