16 bookSeveral years in the making, the Graphic Arts Collection is fortunate to acquire copy 84/150 of the fine press, limited edition entitled 16, published at the centenary of Dublin’s 1916 Rising.

Stoney Road Press, An Post, and Poetry Ireland collaborated to produce this book, which includes four contemporary poems by Harry Clifton, Vona Groarke, Paula Meehan, and Paul Muldoon, alongside eight historical texts.

In addition, Stoney Road Press commissioned four limited edition prints by Irish artists Michael Canning, Alice Maher, Brian O’Doherty, and Kathy Prendergast. The Irish literary scholar, Professor Declan Kiberd, provides the introduction. More information on the project can be found at http://www.stoneyroadpress.com/books/16/

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A special program on RTE radio with historian Declan Kiberd, Maureen Kennelly of Poetry Ireland, and publisher Kieran Owens was broadcast last March but it can still be hear at the above link.

Paul Muldoon, Princeton University’s Howard G.B. Clark ’21 Professor in the Humanities; Director, Princeton Atelier; and Professor of Creative Writing reads his own poem in Irish and Kennelly reads her translation in English.

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See also W.J. McCormack, Enigmas of sacrifice: a critique of Joseph M. Plunkett and the Dublin Insurrection of 1916 (East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, [2016]). Firestone Library (F) DA962 .M243 2016

A selection from Easter, 1916
W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)

I have met them at close of day
Coming with vivid faces
From counter or desk among grey
Eighteenth-century houses.
I have passed with a nod of the head
Or polite meaningless words,
Or have lingered awhile and said
Polite meaningless words,
And thought before I had done
Of a mocking tale or a gibe
To please a companion
Around the fire at the club,
Being certain that they and I
But lived where motley is worn:
All changed, changed utterly:
A terrible beauty is born.

Find the unicorn

homar unicornCan you find the unicorn in this remarkable six foot print by the Puerto Rican artist Lorenzo Homar? The woodcut has been pulled by special request for visiting alumni this week.


homar unicorn2Lorenzo Homar (1913-2004), Unicornio en la Isla = Unicorn on the Island, 1965-66. 94 x 184.2 cm (37 x 72 1/2 in.). Woodcut on Japan paper. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2013.00217

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The poem is by the Puerto Rican writer Tomás Blanco (1896-1975) entitled “Unicornio en la Isla.”
Isla de la palmera y la guajana
con cinto de bullentes arrecifes
y corola de soles.
Isla de amor y mar enamorado.
Bajo el viento:
los caballos azules con sus sueltas melenas;
y, con desnuda piel de ascuas doradas,
el torso de las dunas.
Isla de los coquís y los careyes
con afrodisio cinturón de espuma
y diadema de estrellas.
Isla de amor marino y mar embelesado.
Bajo los plenilunios:
Húmedas brisas, mágicas ensenadas, secretos matorrales…
Y el unicornio en la manigua alzado,
listo para la fuga, alerta y tenso.

homar unicorn4Our entire collection of prints, drawings, and carved blocks by Lorenzo Homar is digitized and available online at: http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/pudl0033
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Spoiler alert, the answer is below:

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See also Lorenzo Homar, Plenas: 12 grabados de Lorenzo Homar y Rafael Tufiño; introducción por Tomás Blanco; diseño de Irene Delano (San Juan, P.R.: Editorial Caribe, 1955). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize NE585.H66 A4 1955q

1869 Eclipse Photographed

eclipse 1869John C. Browne (1838-1918), Solar Eclipse Expedition, 1869. print from collodion on glass negative. (c) George Eastman House 75:0130:0071

In June 1869, Edward L. Wilson, editor of The Philadelphia Photographer, was appointed a member of the Solar Eclipse Expedition under the leadership of Prof. Henry Jackson Morton (1836-1902). Throughout the summer, members of the exposition trained in Philadelphia and on August 2, drove to Iowa to observe and hopefully photograph a total eclipse. There were three observation sites in Iowa for the August 7 event. John C. Browne (1838-1918) was at the Ottumwa site and made an exposure of their camp [above].

According to the Reports of Observations of the Total Eclipse of the Sun, August 7 1860, “At Mount Pleasant, Iowa, 28 miles to the westward, on the Burlington and Missouri Railway, were stationed: Prof, James C. Watson, director of Ann Arbor Observatory, University of Michigan, for astronomical observations; Prof J. M, Van Vleck, of the Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn., for spectroscopic observations; Prof. Henry Morton, Ph.D,, of the Franklin Institutes in Philadelphia, in charge of the photographic party, with Mr. Edward L. Wilson, of Philadelphia, as photographer.”

eclipse 1869bHenry Jackson Morton (1836-1902) and party, “Four Views of the Solar Eclipse, August 1869,” in The Philadelphia Photographer 6, no.69 (September 1869), frontispiece.

In the September issue of The Philadelphia Photographer, Wilson published a composite photograph taken from four negatives made in Iowa only two week earlier. With the albumen silver print, he wrote,

“The late Solar Eclipse was an event which was heralded and predicted many years ago, but during the past year has attracted very great attention. The special attention of photographers has been called to it, as a subject of great interest for the camera, and we are glad to know that good and interesting results followed. The idea of making photographs of the great sources of light himself, particularly when he was partially or totally deprived of his power, had a charm about it which many found it impossible to overcome. …

Our friend Dr. Vogel, whom it will be remembered, secured the best photographs of the 1868 eclipse, awakened a desire in us to emulate him, so we joined Prof. Morton in his plans and efforts to organize a party for the purpose. During the last Session of Congress, an appropriation of five thousand dollars was made for the expenses of photographing and observing the eclipse. This was placed in the hands of Prof. J. H. C. Coffin, head of the Nautical Almanac Office, W.S.N., who taking charge of the Astronomical department himself, authorized Prof. Henry Morton, Ph.D., to make up the photographic branch and take charge of the same. This Prof. Morton undertook. …

Early on Monday morning, August 2d, the entire party started form this city in a handsome new car, fresh form the shops of the Pennsylvania Central Railroad company, at Altoona, which, on the way out was shifted form one road to the other, until our destination was reached … With the University telescope, were Prof. Morton and ourselves, in charge of the instrument, and Messrs. H.M. Clifford. James Cremer and W.V. Ranger, as photographers. We were also joined by Mr. John Carbutt of Chicago as a volunteer, who gave us most efficient aid in our manipulations….

We were now told by the astronomers that the moon would soon reach the sun. Plates were prepared at once ready to get a picture of first contact. Prof. Watson was to signal us by lifting his hand at the moment. Our plate was in the camera and the slide drawn, while we watched for the signal. Up went the hand; click! went the stop and the first exposure was made, the plate showing on development the least contact, looking like the impression made upon an apple by the thumb when testing its ripeness. Negatives were then made at intervals of five to ten minutes until totality took place and after totality until the eclipse was ended and over.”

Additional reports were printed in The Philadelphia Photographer from Henry Morton; Edward Curtis (assistant surgeon U.S. Army); J. H. C. Coffin; John Whipple; and several others. Following the expedition in 1869, Morton received an honorary Ph.D. from Dickinson College and in 1871, Princeton University also recognize Morton’s accomplishments with an honorary degree.

Additional prints from the eclipse are found in: Reports on Observations of the Total Eclipse of the Sun, August, 7, 1869 (Washington, Govʾt print. off., 1870). Lithographs by J. Bien and J. F. Gedney. (GAX) Oversize 2003-0133Q
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Mammoth Double Sheet Pictorial Brother Jonathan now online

brother jonathan website5In the winter of 1860, an advertisement was posted in several urban newspapers: Pictorial Brother Jonathan for Christmas and New Years. The Great Holiday Sheet of Pictures for 1860. The Mammoth Brother Jonathan this year stands Unrivalled! It positively can’t be beat! Price 12 Cents per copy—Ten for One Dollar. The copy continued:

“The Pictorial Double Brother Jonathan for Christmas and New Years was first issued in the year 1840-—just twenty years ago. It was at that time such a novelty that the demand for it continued three or four months, and even then the circulation reached eighty thousand copies. Since that period it has been issued regularly each year, with the avearage [sic] sale of over one hundred thousand copies for every number. Among the Newsvenders, the Brother Jonathan is extremely popular, as they never have a copy of it leftover unsold.

The immense size of the Mammoth Double Brother Jonathan enables us to give in it a profuse amount of reading and still leave room for the great number of Elegant Large Pictures. Altogether, you will find it to be a paper unsurpassed in interest, in point of handsome embellishment and agreeable reading. We give away this elegant Pictorial Paper to every yearly and half-yearly subscriber to the Weekly Brother Jonathan. The Christmas and New Years Pictorial Brother Jonathan will be sent, post-paid, to purchasers at 12 cents per single copy, or ten copies for One Dollar; but if you [subscribe] to the weekly paper, you will get a copy of the pictorial for nothing. Be sure to mention that you want the Pictorial Brother Jonathan, to prevent any mistake. Send cash to B. H. Day, 48 Beekman-Street, New York.”

We are thrilled to announce that Princeton University Library’s rare collection of 23 mammoth issues and 2 prospectuses of the Pictorial Double Brother Jonathan have been cleaned, flattened, repaired, catalogued, digitized, and posted online for the public to read and enjoy.
brother jonathan website3Brother Jonathan [A collection of 25 mammoth double-sheet numbers in its series Pictorial Jubilee] (New York: Wilson & Company, 1845-1860). Permanent Link: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/9z903261b
Sizes vary, primarily 81 x 56 cm.
Princeton University Library holdings:
July 4, 1845
July 4, 1846
July 4, 1847
[1847?] An illustrated history of the victories and conquests … (gift of Sinclair Hamilton)
[Dec. 1847] Christmas/New Year
July 4, 1848
March 4, 1849
No. 22 [Dec. 1850] Christmas/New Year (gift of Sinclair Hamilton)
No. 23, July 4, 1851
[1852?] Prospectus or advertising sheet for Christmas and New Year
No. 25 [Dec. 1851] Christmas/New Year 1852 (gift of Sinclair Hamilton)
Vol. 13, no. 28, June 26th, 1852 [4th of July]
[Dec. 1852] Christmas/New Year
July 4, 1853
July 4, 1854
[Dec. 1854] Christmas/New Year (2 copies)
[Dec. 1855] Christmas/New Year
[Dec. 1856] Christmas/New Year
Vol. 18, no. 317, December 12, 1857 Christmas/New Year
Vol. 18, no. 344, June 19 1858, [4th of July]
Vol. 18, no. 369, Dec. 11, 1858, Christmas/New Year
Vol. 19, no. 397, June 25, 1859 [4th of July]
Prospectus or advertising sheet for Christmas and New Year
Vol. 19, no. 421, December 10, 1859, Christmas/New Year
Vol. 20, no. 474, Dec. 15, 1860, Christmas/New Year.

Over the years, these wonderful issues have been called Brother Jonathan Pictorial; Double Sheet Brother Jonathan Pictorial; Jubilee Sheet Brother Jonathan; Jubilee Number Brother Jonathan Pictorial Double; and so on, making them not only difficult to find but hard to describe.
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One of the many benefits to having these mammoth newspapers online is the ability to zoom in and see details. Several of the double-page spreads hold wood engravings 3 feet tall by 4 feet wide. Artists such as Frank Leslie (1821-1880) perfected the technique of dividing a scene between many small woodblocks and then, reassembling the blocks once they are engraved. Even zooming in, it is hard to see evidence of the individual blocks.
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Above is a detail from below.
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The amount of space available on these large sheets allowed for the publishing of entire novels, public orations, and complete essays. Here is a tiny portion of George Van Santvoord’s essay “The Character of Robespierre and the First French Revolution.”brother jonathan website8


Thanks to the dozens of staff members who worked on this project, to Sinclair Hamilton who donated the first copies, and Steve Ferguson who brought this extremely rare collection together.
brother jonathan website4Permanent Link: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/9z903261b

Nap Poems published by the Letterpress Club

nap poems4Congratulations to the members of the Princeton University Letterpress Club who printed and published their first limited edition, fine press poetry book, entitled Nap Poems. The Graphic Arts Collection is proud to receive copy 5 of 30 for Rare Books and Special Collections, a few pages of which are shown here.

The edition was set at the Typography Studio located in the Lewis Center for the Arts, 185 Nassau Street. Monica Youn, Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Michael Dickman, and Ben Lerner from Creative Writing at the Center graciously donated the poems, which were printed on a Vandercook SP20 proof press using Bixler’s Garamond type.

Members of the Letterpress Club who spent the spring semester producing Nap Poems include Jazmyn Blackburn, Class of 2019; Joyce Lee, Class of 2017; Zachary Liu, Class of 2018; Shefali Nayak, Class of 2018; Duc Nguyen, Class of 2017; Kennedy Poore, Class of 2018; and Jonathan Zong, Class of 2018. Peter Kazantsev was the letterpress studio technician for the Lewis Center.

Here are a few pictures from the Club’s open house last year: http://dailyprincetonian.com/galleries/sports/2015/02/princeton-university-letterpress-club-open-house/
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nap poemsFor more information about classes and events at the Lewis Center, see: http://arts.princeton.edu/
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Stammbaum des Königlichen Hauses Bayern

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ancestry chart4 Stammbaum des Königlichen Hauses Bayern = Family Tree of the Royal House of Bavaria (München: Michael Masson, 1855). Hand colored lithograph in 12 parts (each 550 x 520 mm), mounted on linen, measuring together: 2200 x 1550 mm. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2006- in process

The Graphic Arts Collection holds several large format family trees, printed in an almost life-size tree. This one depicts the ancestry of the Bavarian Royal House, lithographed by the Wild’sche Firm in Munich.

At the bottom of the trunk is Ernst I, Herzog von Bayern-München (1373-1438) and at the very top of the tree sits Ludwig II (Ludwig Otto Friedrich Wilhelm, 1845-1886), who was King of Bavaria from 1864 until his death in 1886. This was after the printing of our chart and so, Ludwig doesn’t yet have a crown on his name.
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See also: http://blogs.princeton.edu/graphicarts/2009/03/anthony_morris_family_tree.html and

Five blue devils bearing torches are leading the coffin of Bonaparte towards the jaws of a green dragon vomiting flames, monkeys acting as pall-bearers.

funeral3Alexander Meyrick Broadley’s Napoleon in Caricature 1795-1821 (Graphic Arts Collection 2012-0647N) is one of the few sources to even mention this extremely rare caricature attributed to George Woodward (ca.1765-1809). Broadley writes:

“A few days later (October 27) W. Holland published Woodward’s “The Funeral Procession of Buonaparte,” a plate nearly two yards in length and containing a large number of figures. Five blue devils bearing torches are leading the coffin of Bonaparte towards the jaws of a green dragon vomiting flames, monkeys acting as pall-bearers. On the coffin-lid are a scimitar and bowl of poison. Death and a Captain of the Consular Guard officiate as chief mourners. Behind the banner of the deceased march four ghosts from the plains of Jaffa. Behind them come groups of merry mourners, headed by Holland and Switzerland; Italy and the Pope playing the cymbals. The Russian bear carries a flag with the legend, “No farder trouble.” The last group consists of a number of British sailors, showing very curiously the transition then taking place in their attire. They bear an effigy of John Bull, with his traditional pewter of stout and joint of beef, shouting the refrain of Rule, Britannia.”

funeral4The date on Woodward’s panoramic print held in the Graphic Arts collection is altered from 1803 to 1813, which could indicate a later reprinting or just a poor colorist who spilled his ink.
funeral7Note that the plates were printed at an angle on four sheets, later attached.
funeral2George Moutard Woodward (ca. 1760-1809), The Funeral Procession of Buonaparte!!, October 27, 1803 (1813). Hand colored etching. Graphic Arts collection GA 2011.01416. Gift of Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895.

The Voyage of the Jamestown on Her Errand of Mercy

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lane frontis3Tucked inside the 1847 volume:

Robert Bennet Forbes (1804-1889), The Voyage of the Jamestown on Her Errand of Mercy (Boston: Eastburn’s Press, 1847). Frontispiece signed: F.H. Lane, del. GAX copy is presentation copy to Honble. Josiah Quincy with inscription by author. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) ND237.L24 F67

is a rare lithograph drawn by:

Fitz Hugh (or Henry) Lane (1804-1865), Boston, March 28th 1847, Departure of the Jamestown, for Cork, Ireland, R. B. B. Forbes, Commander. Lithograph, printed by Lane & Scott’s Lith, Tremont Temple, Boston, 1847.

Details on the print and the book can be found at:
Fitz Henry Lane Historical Archive, catalogue raisonné, and educational resource; an online project under the direction of the Cape Ann Museum.


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Melissa Geisler Trafton writes, “When news of the second year of the devastating Irish potato famine reached Boston in 1846, Bostonians formed a relief committee and began to look for ways to help. Robert Bennet Forbes lobbied the U.S. Navy for use of the “Jamestown,” a sloop that was lying idle in Charlestown Navy Yard. On March 3, 1847, by United States Congressional resolution, R. B. Forbes was authorized to take command of the “Jamestown,” while Captain George Coleman McKay was authorized to command USS “Macedonian,” then at New York Navy Yard. Tons of food and $151,000 were donated and loaded onto the “Jamestown” by the Boston Labourers Society (mostly Irish), free of charge. On March 28, 1847, the “Jamestown” left Boston at 8:30 a.m. under the command of R. B. Forbes, who managed to complete the Atlantic crossing in a record-breaking seventeen days.

Upon his return, Forbes wrote a book about the voyage, Voyage of the Jamestown in Her Errand of Mercy. In 1847 Lane was running his own lithography shop in Boston with his partner John Scott. Lane had already made two lithographs of Forbes’s innovative steam-powered vessels in 1845, Auxiliary Steam Packet Ship Massachusetts (inv. 442) and Steam packet ship Mass., in a Squall, Nov. 10, 1845 (inv. 443). It was natural that, in 1847, Forbes would turn to Lane to make a lithograph for the frontispiece of his book.” –Melissa Geisler Trafton
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Last Photograph of General Grant

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John G. Gilman, of Canajoharie, New York, photographed Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) at his summer home at Mount McGregor on July 22, 1885. The photographer came back a few days later, after Grant’s death and photographed Grant’s home inside and out. These photographs were collected and published as Gilman’s Series of Grant Views Taken at Mt. McGregor.  The Graphic Arts Collection owns only one print from the series, labeled Last Photograph of Gen. Grant, Four Days Before Death.

A death mask was made of Grant’s face and Princeton University is fortunate to have one plaster pulled from the mould. https://blogs.princeton.edu/graphicarts/2013/03/grant.html
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general grant3John G. Gilman, Last Photograph of Gen. Grant, 1885. Albumen silver print. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2009.00835


Missing photograph from Willats Album

willats There are several pages in the 19th-century photo-album assembled by the London optician Richard Willats that are missing the photographs. http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/k930bx11x

It turns out several were removed from the album some years ago (or were already loose) and were matted separately.

salt printThis dark, rich photogram was at the top of p. 45 in the Willats album, clearly indicated by the trimmed corners. A note on the page says “Energiatype by John Croucher” but this is not an iron-based print and the note must refer to the missing photograph at the bottom right. The photographer of this photogram remains unknown.