Japanese Scrolls Digitized

The Princeton University Digital Library has digitized three illustrated Japanese scrolls dating from the seventeenth century (C0744.08, Garrett Japanese Manuscripts, no. 1). The set of scrolls contain an anonymous story about the Sagami River, with 18 magnificent illustrations. The scrolls appear to have been produced in Kyoto in the 1660s, most likely commissioned by a warlord of the Daimyo class. The calligrapher was probably Asakura Jūken (fl. ca. 1660-80), of Kyoto. Japanese block-printed books served as models for the paintings. The narrative begins with the building of a bridge across the Sagami River, in the prefectures of Kanagawa and Yamanashi on Honshu, the main island of Japan. The scrolls include scenes from the Heike period of the 12th-century, featuring Yoshitsune, Yoritomo, Kajiwara, and the Battle of Ichinotani (1184). Each roll is made up of a series of paper sheets, 3-feet wide. On the back of the scrolls one can see the 17th-century Japanese silk covering at the beginning and gold decoration of the paper over the length of the scroll. The scrolls are in a contemporary black-lacquer box and are individually wound around spindles with lathe-turned ivory ends. Professor Ishikawa Tōru, Keio University, examined the scrolls and provided additional information about their production.

The scrolls are now online in the Princeton University Digital Library, as part of “Treasures of the Manuscripts Division”: http://pudl.princeton.edu/objects/3484zj30s The scrolls benefit from software designed for increased speed and zoom capacity for displaying large tiled images and creating a “slippy” deep-zoom experience in web browsers. Access to the original is restricted for conservation reasons. The scrolls came to the Princeton University Library in 1942 as part of the collection of Robert Garrett (1875-1961), Class of 1897. He probably acquired the Japanese scrolls from a British antiquarian dealer in the 1920s, who provided a detailed description, now accompanying the digitized scrolls in the Princeton University Digital Library. Garrett had only one other Japanese manuscript, a near-contemporary Sanjūrokkasen album of ca. 1660 in a concertina binding. This ca. 1660 album contains 36 portraits of Japanese poets, each accompanied by one of their poems: C0744.08 (Garrett Japanese Manuscripts, no. 2).

After graduating from Princeton in 1897, Garrett returned home to Baltimore, became a Princeton trustee in 1905, and embarked on a half century of manuscript collecting. The high point of his extraordinary collecting life was the 1920s, followed by years of less activity during and after the Great Depression. Garrett acquired many manuscripts at the major auction houses, from leading European and American antiquarian dealers, and by private purchase. Garrett’s goal was to acquire representative examples of every known script and language in order to illustrate five millennia of the history of writing. Robert Garrett began collecting in the 1890s, guided to some extent by the scope of Joseph Balthazar Silvestre, Universal Paleography; or, Facsimiles of Writing of All Nations and Periods, Accompanied by an Historical and Descriptive Text and Introduction by Champollion-Figeac and Aimé Champollion; translated from the French, and edited, with corrections and notes by Frederic Maddan (London: H. G. Bohn, 1849), 2 vols. Garrett would recall a half century later, “I was really off on my manuscript journey, determined to find examples of as many of the scripts illustrated in that publication as possible. I was not able to do the job systematically nor completely but by the time my efforts ended I had something like thirty-five different scripts, and naturally many more than that number of languages.”

For more information about the Garrett Collection and “Treasures of the Manuscripts Division,” contact Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts, at dcskemer@princeton.edu

Japanese scroll detail for blogpost

Félix Candela, Structural Artist

The Manuscripts Division is pleased to announce that the Félix Candela Papers (C1455) are now available for use by researchers in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. Félix Candela (1910–97) was an internationally renowned architect, structural engineer, and master builder. He is best known for his innovative designs using reinforced thin-shell concrete to create the highly efficient hyperbolic paraboloid shapes utilized in his construction of many well-known churches, factories, stadiums, and other buildings, primarily in and around Mexico City in the mid-20th century. The Candela Papers are a recent transfer from Princeton’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering, where they had been housed since their acquisition in 2006 and 2007 by Prof. Maria E. Moreyra Garlock and Prof. David P. Billington, who are the authors of Félix Candela: Engineer, Builder, Structural Artist, Princeton University Art Museum Monographs (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Art Museum, 2008). The finding aid is available at http://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/C1455

Candela had to leave Spain because of the Spanish Civil War and adopted Mexican citizenship in 1941. An award-winning athlete in his youth and successful student of architecture at La Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid (1927–35), Candela abandoned plans to continue his studies in Germany in 1936 to join the Republican struggle against the Nationalist forces of General Francisco Franco (1892–1975). During the Spanish Civil War, he gained practical construction experience as the Spanish Republic’s Captain of Engineers and led projects to renovate old buildings for military use. His work, however, led to his eventual capture and imprisonment in an internment camp in Perpignan, France, until the end of the war in 1939, when he was one of a few hundred prisoners sent by ship to Mexico.

Candela’s practice flourished in Mexico in the 1950s and 1960s, where he and his siblings, Antonio and Julia, founded Cubiertas Ala S.A., a company dedicated to the construction of reinforced concrete shell and laminar structures. Candela’s 1950 design for the Pabellón de Rayos Cósmicos on the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México campus was the first to employ his novel hyperbolic parabaloid shell structure, and remains one of his best-known works, remarkable for its incredible thinness of 5/8 inch, allowing for the measurement and study of cosmic radiation. A number of photographs of the laboratory, along with photographs of many of Candela’s other structures under construction and in completion, are present within Princeton’s holdings, including images and drawings of L’Iglesia de la Medalla Milagrosa (1953), La Capilla Lomas de Cuernavaca (1958), Los Manantiales Restaurant at Xochimilco (1958), the Bacardí Rum Factory in Cuautitlán (1960), and the Sports Palace for the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.

The papers include a large quantity of photographic materials in several different media, including black-and-white and color photographs, slides, and negatives that document Candela’s professional projects. In addition, there are architectural drawings and designs, notes and typescripts of lectures and published articles, a group of professional and personal correspondence, itineraries and documents regarding professional travels and conferences, daily appointment books, student notebooks and artwork, awards, personal documents, and reference files and clippings on various topics in architecture and structural design, as well as on Candela’s own work. The Candela Papers complement other engineering collections held by the Manuscripts Division, including the Anton Tedesko Collection (C1456), the John A. Roebling’s Sons Company Records (C1483), the Arthur M. Greene Collection (C0434), the Lewis B. Stilwell Papers (C0584), and soon to be accompanied by Anton Tedesko’s own papers, recently transferred from the School of Engineering and currently being processed.

For information about using the papers, contact rbsc@princeton.edu. Photographic materials and architectural drawings are housed onsite, while writings, correspondence, personal materials, and reference files are stored offsite. Please consult with the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections about having offsite materials recalled to Firestone Library, a process that normally takes 48–72 hours notice.

Candela_photo

Documenting the Abolitionist Movement: Gamaliel Bailey Correspondence (C1482)

The Manuscripts Division has recently acquired a significant collection of the correspondence of Gamaliel Bailey (1807–59), a leading American abolitionist, who helped found the Republican Party and played a dominant role in shaping the direction of the abolitionist movement, particularly its influence and visibility within the national political arena. He was able to accomplish this largely through his role as the editor of prominent antislavery newspapers, including James G. Birney’s Philanthropist and the Washington, D.C.-based National Era. The Gamaliel Bailey Correspondence, 1839-1868, consists primarily of letters between Bailey and his close friends and associates, statesman Salmon P. Chase (1808–73) and U.S. Supreme Court Justice John McLean (1785–1861). Other friends and business associates, including John McLean’s wife, Sarah B. McLean, are represented to a lesser extent. Among other things, the letters document the abolitionist movement, particularly within the state of Ohio, and the business of the newspapers Bailey edited as well as antislavery journalism more broadly. The finding aid is available at http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/2j62s6240

Editing the National Era from the paper’s founding in 1847 until his death, Bailey combined antislavery articles with popular literature, and used the paper to promote his philosophy of using politics as a way to end slavery in the United States. Several years into its publication, Bailey in a letter dated October 24, 1855, to Salmon P. Chase, discusses how the Era’s success was ironically resulting in the paper’s demise: “I am now on the eve of reviewing the [subscription] list of the Era. The Know Nothings have done me all the damage they could, and will not trouble me much this year. The indications are that I should hold on to what I have, perhaps increase some: but I cannot expect much. The Era has been a signal success, but times have changed. So many local papers have adopted its policy in relation to slavery, that it is no longer regarded such a necessity as it once was…I see clearly that there is no other paper which understands so thoroughly the philosophy of our movement, and points out so definitely what is to be done…but the thinkers alone appreciate this—while the crowd sees no difference except that the Era is $1.50 and the others, $1 a year. But I am content to look forward to the time when the Era shall not be needed.”

In 1851–52, Bailey published Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin in the National Era in serial form. In a letter dated June 28, 1857, Bailey provides some details regarding the story’s publication: “In the beginning of the year 1851, I remitted to Mrs. H.B. Stowe $100., and requested her to write just when, how, what, and much as, she might see proper. This was my mode of dealing with my contributors. I heard nothing from her for several months, when she wrote me that she was proposing to publish in the Era a story, to be entitled, Uncle Tom’s Cabin or the Man That was a Thing. She soon sent me two chapters, with the title modified, Uncle Tom’s Cabin or Life Among the Lonely. Neither of us supposed it would be long, but it grew upon her– it was a work of real imagination and my subscribers became greatly excited about it…”

The letters also document the political maneuvering of the Liberty, Free Soil, and subsequently, the Republican Parties at the state and national levels; and the political careers and presidential aspirations of both Chase and McLean. Bailey’s correspondence reveals that he was not committed to any one candidate or even to any one party—”I never was a party man or politician,” he said in a letter dated June 28, 1857. He was dedicated solely to the antislavery cause. In several letters to Chase, Bailey discusses whether Chase or William H. Seward—a dominant figure in the Republican Party in its formative years—was the more viable Republican candidate for the Presidency. Although he notes that he favors his friend over Seward, in a letter dated October 24, 1855, Bailey explains that he would back the more popular Seward if it resulted in the advancement of the antislavery cause: “Personally, I care nothing for Mr. Seward’s elevation, and can have no interest in it—but were he the candidate selected honestly by the Party of the People, or Republicans, as they choose to be called, I would support him earnestly, for the sake of the principle. Personally, I care for the political elevation to the Presidency of no man but yourself but I would not split the movement on my attachment to you…I should work simply from devotion to the cause itself. I do not now believe that we can carry the election of 1856—but we can throw it into Congress. This would startle the nation, and secure us the vantage ground for 1860.”

Gamaliel Bailey Correspondence, 1839-1868, is a noteworthy addition to Princeton’s vast collection of Americana manuscripts. For information about using this collection, contact rbsc@princeton.edu

Bailey letter

Ohio Antislavery Society Financial Appeal Circular sent to Salmon P. Chase
from Gamaliel Bailey, Corresponding Secretary, August 31, 1839.

Papyrological Institute at Princeton University Library

The Princeton University Library is hosting the Papyrological Institute (July 7-August 8), an intensive five-week summer course for graduate students in Classics, History, and other disciplines. This is the ninth in a series of such institutes held under the aegis of the American Sociey of Papyrologists, with the objective of providing participants with “sufficient instruction and practical experience to enable them to make productive use of texts on papyrus in their research and to become active scholars in the field of papyrology.” The focus this year are Greek documentary papyri from Byzantine Egypt, dating from the fourth to seventh centuries. The principal instructors are the distinguished papyrologists Jean-Luc Fournet, Professor at l’École Practique des Hautes Études, Paris; and Nikolaos Gonis, Reader in Papyrology, University College, London. Professor AnneMarie Luijendijk, Department of Religion, was the Princeton organizer. The Institute was made possible by funding from several Princeton sources, including the David A. Gardner ’69 Magic Fund, Committee for the Study of Late Antiquity, and the departments of Classics, History, and Religion. External support came from the Onassis Foundation and the American Society of Papyrologists.

Like the faculty, the eleven graduate students are very international. There are 11 graduate students in Barcelona; Chicago; Manchester; Notre Dame, Indiana; Oslo; Ottawa; Paris; Princeton; State College, PA.; Toronto; and Vienna. Classes have been meeting daily in the newly renovated Hellenic Studies study room on A-Floor, Firestone Library. Most days are divided between lectures and transcription exercises focused on unpublished papyri in the collections of the Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. Most of these unpublished papyri were either donated by paid for by Robert Garrett, Class of 1897, one of Princeton’s premier collectors. Guest lecturers in the Institute include Professor Roger S. Bagnall, Leon Levy Director of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University; Professor Raffaela Cribiore, New York University; Professor James Keenan, Loyola University, Chicago; and Gesa Schenke, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford. Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts, gave a paper, “Magic Writ: Textual Amulets from Papyrus to Printing.”

After the Institute concludes, Professors Fournet and Gonis plan to edit additional Princeton papyri. These combined with two dozen or so student-edited papyri will form the basis of a published volume of Princeton papyri, complementing the three volumes in print: Alan C. Johnson and Henry B. Van Hoesen, eds., Papyri in the Princeton University Collections (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1931); Edmund H. Kase, Jr., ed., Papyri in the Princeton University Collections (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1936); and Allen C. Johnson and Sidney P. Goodrich, eds., Papyri in the Princeton University Collections (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1942). The Library’s Digital Studio is contributing new photography to facilitate the work of the Papyrological Institute and eventual publication of a new volume.

There are approximately 1,250 papyri in the Manuscripts Division, chiefly acquired from around 1900 to 1930, as well as a 3 leaves of a Greek mathematical treatise in the Cotsen Children’s Library and 21 leaves of the Book of Ezekiel in the Scheide Library. Papyri are in all the languages and scripts of Egypt, from the Pharaonic, Ptolemaic, Roman, Byzantine, and Islamic periods. Most numerous are Greek literary, sub-literary, Christian, and documentary papyri. For an inventory of Princeton papyri and 30 digital images, go to the “Princeton University Library Papyrus Home Page” at http://www.princeton.edu/papyrus/ In the next year, the Manuscripts Division hopes to put digital images of more than 200 published papyri online in the Princeton University Digital Library (PUDL). For more information, contact Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts, at dcskemer@princeton.edu

Papyrology seminar for blog

Nikolaos Gonis (left) and graduate students working on Princeton papyri.

Egyptian Book of the Dead Online

Pharaonic Roll no. 8, a 6th century BCE Egyptian Book of the Dead and one of the oldest books in the Princeton University Library, has just been re-released as part of “Treasures of the Manuscripts Division,” in the PUDL (Princeton University Digital Library), here. It was originally digitized in the late 1990s as part of the APIS (Advanced Papyrological Information System) Consortium Project, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Pharaonic Roll no. 8 is actually comprised of two complete rolls of the Saite recension of the Book of the Dead, including chapters 67–165. The rolls measure 28.5 cm (height) x 1160.0 cm (total length). Written in Hieratic script, a simplified version of Hieroglyphics, the text contain contains hymns, prayers, spells, magical formulae, and images to guide and protect the deceased through the netherworld. Among the accompanying vignettes in black ink are the Weighing of the Heart and the Elysian Fields. The rolls are made of linen cloth, far less common than papyrus for funerary texts placed in the coffins with the mummy. The Saite recension is the standardized version of this ancient Egyptian funerary text and remained in use, with some changes, from the 26th Dynasty or Saite Period (ca. 685–525 BCE) through the Ptolemaic Period (323–30 BCE).

This Book of the Dead includes the name of the owner, Hekaemsaf (or Heka-m-saf), whose mother was Tinetmehenet; and of its royal scribe Ankh-hetep, son of Nefer-en-Shepet. Hekaemsaf was an Egyptian naval officer who served as Chief of the Royal Ships under Pharaoh Amasis II [or Ahmose II] (570–526 BCE), 26th Dynasty. The Chief of Royal Ships was then also responsible administratively for the taxation of goods transported on the River Nile. In 1904, the intact tomb of Hekaesaf was discovered at Saqqara, the necropolis of the ancient capital of Memphis, located about 30 kilometers southeast of Cairo. A total of 401 blue-green faience shabti (ushabti, shawabti) funerary figures or statuettes of Hekaesaf were excavated from his tomb, some of which are preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other leading museums with Egyptology collections. The beaten-gold mask and embroidered covering for Hekaemsaf’s mummy is preserved in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo. On 8 August 1928, the British coin and antiquities dealer Spink & Son, Ltd. (King Street, St. James, London) offered this Book of the Dead for sale to Robert Garrett (1875–1961), Princeton Class of 1897. He was then staying at Bisham Abbey, a historic English manor house in Berkshire. The next day, Garrett agreed to purchase the Book of the Dead for £700, which was payable in monthly installments. At the time of purchase, the two linen rolls had already been mounted on ten cardboard strips, as they have remained to the present. Pharaonic Roll no 8 was part of Garrett’s 1942 donation of his manuscript collection to the Princeton University Library. Garrett was the donor of nearly all the Pharaonic rolls in the Manuscripts Division. They are in the Robert Garrett Collection (C0744), but housed with the Princeton Papyri Collections. For descriptions of other Pharaonic rolls, as well as the rest of Princeton’s collections of papyri, go to the Princeton University Library Papyrus Home Page, at www.princeton.edu/papyrus/

Re-release of the images in the PUDL takes advantage of the increased speed and zoom capacity of Loris, an image server that implements the IIIF (International Image Interoperability Framework) Image API, developed at the Princeton University Library by Jon P. Stroop, Digital Initiatives Programmer/Analyst; and OpenSeadragon, an open-source JavaScript library for displaying large tiled images and creating a “slippy” deep-zoom experience in web browsers. OpenSeadragon was originally developed in Princeton by Blaise Aguera y Arcas, Princeton Class of 1998.

For more information, contact Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts: dcskemer@princeton.edu

DSCF5343

DSCF5349

Publication of Conference Papers on Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts at Princeton

On October 25-26, 2013, a well-attended international conference at Princeton, organized by the Index of Christian Art with grant support from the Council of the Humanities, presented papers on medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. The conference was conceived in part as a celebration of the recent publication of Don C. Skemer, Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Princeton University Library (Princeton: Department of Art and Archaeology and Princeton University Library, in association with Princeton University Press, 2013), 2 vols. Expanded versions of most of the papers presented at the conference have now been published in the sixteenth volume of Index of Christian Art Occasional Publications: Manuscripta Illuminata: Approaches to Understanding Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, edited by Colum Hourihane (Princeton, NJ: Index of Christian Art, Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University, in association with Pennsylvania State University Press, 2014), paperback, 287 pp., 168 color and 10 black-and-white illustrations. ISBN: 978-0-9837537-3-5.

The contributors to the volume are Adelaide Bennett, Walter Cahn, Marc Michael Epstein, Marilyn Aronberg Lavin, Henry Mayr-Harting, Elizabeth Moodey, Stella Panayotova, Virginia Reinburg, Mary Rouse, Richard Rouse, Lucy Freeman Sandler, Don C. Skemer, Anne Rudloff Stanton, and Patricia Stirnemann. Among the Princeton manuscripts studied in particular articles are Garrett MS. 35, Kane MS. 44, Taylor MS. 22, and Princeton MS. 223. The studies make every effort to help us understand the power of the written and illuminated word, while placing Princeton’s significant holdings in the broader framework of manuscript studies. The book is available from Pennsylvania State University Press: http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-9837537-3-5.html

Manuscripta illuminata cover

William Bell Scott and the Pre-Raphaelites

The Manuscripts Division is pleased to announce the acquisition of the William E. Fredeman Collection of William Bell Scott, the Scott Family, and Alice Boyd (C1459), a recent addition to Princeton’s extensive Pre-Raphaelite manuscript holdings. William Bell Scott (1811–90) was a Scottish poet, painter, art critic, and engraver, known for his association with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, founded in London by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, and John Everett Millais. Included in the collection are drafts and corrected page proofs for Scott’s poetry and prose works, proofs of engraved illustrations, binding dummies, bound volumes, drawings, correspondence, personal documents, and family papers. The collection also includes personal and family correspondence of Alice Boyd (1824–97), Scott’s life partner and mistress from 1859 until his death in 1890. Alice Boyd owned and resided at Penkill Castle in Ayrshire, Scotland, where the Boyd family had lived since the thirteenth century. There Scott and his wife Letitia spent half of their time beginning in the early 1860s, the three residing together in Scott’s London flat for the rest of the year. Scott completed one of his major works on the castle’s staircase, a series of large historical murals illustrating “The King’s Quair,” a poem attributed to King James I of Scotland (r. 1406–37).

William E. Fredeman (1928–99) was a respected scholar of Victorian and Pre-Raphaelite literature who taught at the University of British Columbia from 1956 until 1991 and amassed an extensive personal collection of materials related to the Pre-Raphaelites, especially Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The materials acquired by Princeton are comprised of papers of William Bell Scott and Alice Boyd once at Penkill Castle. Fredeman obtained the papers from descendants of Alice Boyd. The collection also contains letters of Christina Rossetti, W. J. Linton, William Morris, and others. Also notable is a complete bound manuscript of A Poet’s Harvest Home, Scott’s final collection of poetry published first in 1882 and again in 1893, which Scott copied out in its entirety by hand over several months in 1881. He inscribed and presented the manuscript, containing many corrections and revisions, to Alice Boyd. Some early drafts of these poems, written during a flurry of activity at Penkill Castle during the late 1870s, are also included, as well as drafts and page proofs for the 1854 and 1875 versions of Poems.

In addition to William Bell Scott’s works and correspondence, the Scott family papers include official documents regarding marriage, guild membership, and feudal property, along with estate papers, correspondence, and writings of several known family members, including William Bell Scott’s brother, the historical painter David Scott (1806-1849); and their father, Robert Scott (1777–1841), an engraver of book illustrations and landscapes. Of note are several lengthy letters from David Scott to his father describing his study of art in Rome in the 1830s, and an 1845 letter to his brother elucidating his general philosophy of art, which William Bell Scott likely used in writing his brother’s memoirs.

A finding aid, which provides a more detailed description of the collection’s contents, can be accessed online at http://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/C1459 This collection joins Princeton’s other William Bell Scott holdings, in the William Bell Scott Collection (C0959) and the Janet Camp Troxell Collection of Rossetti Manuscripts (C0189). For more about the William E. Fredeman Collection of William Bell Scott, the Scott Family, and Alice Boyd, along with Princeton’s other Pre-Raphaelite holdings, researchers should contact rbsc@princeton.edu

Penkill Castle drawing, n.d.

Drawing for Penkill Castle, n.d.

Scott Proof Engraving for blogpost

Proof engraving for Poems (1854)

 

 

Studies in Black and White: The Papers of Ruth Bernhard (C1468)

The Manuscripts Division is pleased to announce that the papers of German–born American photographer Ruth Bernhard (1905–2006) are now available for study. They were transferred to the Library by the Princeton University Art Museum, to which Bernhard had bequeathed them. Bernhard is best known for her complex black-and-white photographs of still-lives and female nudes, in which she reimagined the relationship between photographer and model as one of identification rather than objectification. The resulting photographs provide a sensual rather than erotic image of the female body as an ideal form, similar to classical sculpture.  In 1927, after two years at the Akademie der Künste in Berlin studying art history and typography, Bernhard followed her father, graphic designer Lucian Bernhard (1883–1972), to New York City, where she worked as a commercial photographer. She was responsible for the photography in Machine Art (1934), the Museum of Modern Art’s first exhibition catalogue.

What would become a life-long study of the nude began in 1934 when Bernhard asked a dancer friend to pose in a large industrial stainless steel bowl. Her first photographic monograph, The Eternal Body (1986), a collection of fifty nudes, remains an influential work on nude photography. In 1935, after meeting her mentor, photographer Edward Weston (1886–1958), in Carmel, California, Bernhard became interested in the the work of West Coast photographers, such as Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Dorothea Lange, Minor White, and Wynn Bullock. After spending time in Los Angeles in the mid-1930s, where her first solo show appeared at the Jake Zeitlin Gallery in 1936, Bernhard moved to Carmel in 1944 and later settled in San Francisco in 1953. There she would reside for the rest of her life. Many of her best known photographs date from the 1950s and 1960s, including Classic Torso (1952), In the Box, Horizontal (1962), and Two Forms (1963). From 1961, Bernhard led workshops and courses at the University of California Extension Program, the Ansel Adams Workshops in Yosemite, the John Sexton Workshops in Carmel, as well as international master classes. Her printers Michael Kenna and Saïd Nuseibeh continued to produce prints from her negatives. Bernhard devoted herself increasingly to teaching photography after her near-fatal carbon monoxide poisoning in the mid-1970s and remained active as an educator well into her 90s.

For a detailed description of Ruth Bernhard’s papers, one should access the finding aid at http://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/C1468  Bernhard’s 78 boxes of papers include correspondence, manuscripts, and artists proofs for published and unpublished books, publicity materials, teaching materials, appointment books, and a large series of memorabilia. There are informal photographs of Bernhard from childhood onwards, gifts and artwork from friends and students, personal effects, awards, and some audio and visual materials. Of note are a complete manuscript and several drafts of The Eye Beyond, an unpublished book  Bernhard began in the 1960s. It provides insight into her teaching methodologies and general philosophy of art. Also included are props and found objects used in teaching and still-life photography, including the cow skull with imbedded rosary pictured in her well-known Skull and Rosary (1945), dating from her days as a farmhand on the Pitney Farm in Mendham, N.J., during World War II.

For information about using the papers, contact rbsc@princeton.edu  The collection is stored offsite. Please consult with the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections about having materials recalled to Firestone Library, a process that normally takes 48–72 hours notice. Bernhard’s working library is in the Rare Books Division. For information about the Ruth Bernhard Archive at the Princeton University Art Museum, contact Katherine A. Bussard, Peter C. Bunnell Curator of Photography, at kbussard@princeton.edu

Bernhard_portrait

Ruth Bernhard, 1957

Skull_and_Rosary_vertical

Props for Skull and Rosary (1945)

“A New View of Richard Halliburton’s Sea Dragon”

On March 3, 1939, the celebrated American travel writer Richard Halliburton (1900-39), Class of 1921, set out in the Sea Dragon, his new 75-foot Chinese junk, on what would turn out to be his final adventure. Halliburton planned to sail from Hong Kong to San Francisco, where the Golden Gate International Exposition was taking place. He hoped that the voyage of the Sea Dragon would serve as a show of American solidarity with China against Japanese military conquest at the beginning of World War II.

Among the many people who came to see the Sea Dragon at its Hong Kong mooring just before its ill-fated maiden voyage was a young Californian merchant marine and amateur photographer named Robert Pullen (1919-93), who had enjoyed reading many of Halliburton’s bestselling travel books, such as the Royal Road to Romance (1925). Pullen photographed the Sea Dragon with a Kodak-style folding camera and 2.5 x 4.25-inch black-and-white film. Unlike most views of the Sea Dragon, Pullen’s close-up view, never before seen, shows the junk’s stern, with the name Sea Dragon and home port of Hong Kong boldly emblazoned in Chinese characters below a yin-and-yang symbol. Further down, we see the large painted image of a phoenix, below which are a series of Chinese mythological scenes, including a phoenix and horses. The actual dragon can also be seen, painted on the side of the junk.

Just three weeks out to sea on March 23, the Sea Dragon sailed into a typhoon, lost radio contact, and disappeared. Later that year, Halliburton and his crew would eventually be declared lost at sea. But Pullen never forgot the excitement of seeing the Sea Dragon and being a witness to history. He kept the photographic negative and print for the rest of his life. Recently, his daughter Barbara Wilson, of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, thoughtfully donated the photo to the Princeton University Library so that it could be kept with the Richard Halliburton Papers (C0247), in the Manuscripts Division. The negative was scanned by Roel Muñoz in the Library’s digital studio to produce the image seen here. .

The Halliburton Papers include 20 linear feet of original materials documenting his life and writing, from his Lawrenceville School essay “Disillusioned,” through his Princeton University years, his years of worldwide travel, lecturing, and writing, to his posthumously-published “autobiography” of letters to his parents (1940). Autograph and/or typescript drafts of seven of his books–The Royal Road to Romance (1925), The Glorious Adventure (1927), New Worlds to Conquer (1929), The Flying Carpet (1932), Seven League Boots (1935), A Book of Marvels (1937), Second Book of Marvels (1938)–are present, as are some short stories, essays, and notes from his school days.

There are also passports, publishing contracts, memorabilia, maps, and newspapers clippings. Halliburton’s numerous letters to his parents (1919-1939) provide a vivid account of his travels, and they are supplemented with over 10 boxes of photographs of the exotic locales he visited, many of which were never published in his books. Correspondence of others includes letters from Devil’s Island prisoners (with some manuscripts). A large part of the papers consists of Halliburton’s research material for a biography of the British poet Rupert Brooke (1887-1915) that he never wrote: his correspondence with Brooke’s friends/acquaintances and summaries of interviews he had with them, as well as copies of Brooke’s works and correspondence, some clippings, and photographs. Here is a link to Halliburton papers finding aid: http://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/C0247

Halliburton's Sea Dragon in 1939

Halliburton’s Sea Dragon

“Peter N. Heydon ’62 Gift of Browning Artifacts”

The Manuscripts Division is pleased to announce that Peter N. Heydon, Class of 1962, has made several important gifts, which are now on view in Firestone Library’s Eighteenth-Century Window. The first is the slant-topped mahogany writing desk of British poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–61), on which she is known to have written her epic poem Aurora Leigh. In Browning’s “novel in verse,” she has a young Anglo-Italian woman tell her own story in blank verse: “Of writing many books there is no end; / And I who have written much in prose and verse / For others’ uses, will write now for mine.” Elizabeth penned Aurora Leigh in Florence, where she lived with poet and husband, Robert Browning (1812–89), from 1846 until her death fifteen years later. Her writing desk had been sent from England shortly after the Brownings’ arrival and was in the Drawing Room of the Brownings’ spacious Casa Guidi apartment, which they rented from 1847 on the second floor of the fifteenth-century Palazzo Guidi, Piazza San Felice, 8. The desk is depicted prominently, front and center, in an oil that Robert Browning commissioned from his friend, the Greek painter George Mignaty, the day after Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s death on July 1, 1861. Browning never returned to the Casa Guidi, so the painting was his remembrance of their happy and productive years in Florence. Along with Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s writing desk, Heydon has also given Robert Browning’s Northern Italian walnut table, also depicted in the Mignaty painting, as well as the Brownings’ silver-plated “traveling” tea kettle, made by Henry Wilkinson & Co., in Sheffield, England. These are the first of several anticipated gifts to Princeton from Heydon’s extensive collection of Browning first editions, manuscript letters, and other Victorian memorabilia collected over four decades by the donor.

English Department and Comparative Literature students will be able to view these three recently received objects together with other Browning items already in Princeton’s collections. Heydon’s association items were sold in 1913 by London-based auction house Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, following the death of the Browning’s son and heir Robert Wiedeman Barrett “Pen” Browning (1849–1912). At the 1913 sale, British writer Florence L. Barclay (1862–1921) high-bid the writing desk, table, and tea kettle (along with many other personal treasures). Other Browning holdings in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections include dozens of manuscripts and autograph letters, held in the Manuscripts Division, and an author’s proof for the second edition of Aurora Leigh (London: Chapman and Hall, 1857), incorporating handwritten emendations in Robertt Browning’s hand as well as a manuscript note by Elizabeth Barrett Browning on the verso of title page (Robert Taylor Collection, Rare Books Division). These proofs served as setting copy for the first American edition of Aurora Leigh (New York: Francis & Co., 1857).

Peter N. Heydon first became enchanted with the poetry of Robert Browning as a Princeton undergraduate, while studying under English Professor Edward Dudley Hume Johnson. Heydon’s enthusiasm for the Victorians took him to The University of Michigan, earning both a MA (1963) and PhD (1970), studying with, among others, Professor Robert Super, Princeton Class of 1935. Heydon taught English Literature and Creative Writing at The University of Michigan between 1963 and 1986 on the faculties of both the English Department and Humanities Department. He is the founding President of The Browning Institute, Inc., based in New York and Florence, which acquired the Brownings’ Casa Guidi apartment in 1971; and for fifteen years as the Institute’s President oversaw the fifteen-room restoration of the apartment as a Museum and study center. It is presently owned and operated, like the Keats-Shelley House in Rome, by Eton College and the British National Trust. Heydon has authored a number of pieces on Robert Browning and his circle for Browning Institute Studies; and he was co-editor with Philip Kelly of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Letters to Mrs. David Ogilvy, 1849–1861: With Recollections by Mrs. Ogilvy (New York: Quadrangle Press, 1973). He continues to reside in Ann Arbor with his wife of forty-five years, horsewoman and humaniac Rita Montgomery Heydon.

For more information, contact Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections: dcskemer@princeton.edu

Elizabeth Barrett Browning Writing Desk for blog post

Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Writing Desk.