Arcadio Díaz Quiñones

On October 28, 2016, Arcadio Díaz Quiñones, emeritus professor of Spanish and Portuguese Languages, and former director of the Program in Latin American Studies at Princeton University, was given the distinction of Humanist of the Year 2016 by the Puerto Rican Foundation of the Humanities (FPH). Granted annually, this award recognizes Puerto Ricans who, through their life and work, have made significant contributions to the diffusion of humanistic knowledge. The ceremony took place at the Jesús María Sanromá Theater of the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico, in Miramar.

In addition, the FPH published a limited edition book with two essays by Dr. Díaz Quiñones, entitled Sobre principios y finales or About Beginnings and Endings. The Graphic Arts Collection is proud to have acquired copy 15 from the edition of 250.





The FPH is a non-profit organization affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities and dedicated to exalting humanistic values through the development of programs and activities that stimulate the analysis and dissemination of knowledge related to the Puerto Rican humanistic experience, educational innovation, and social history.



Arcadio Díaz Quiñones, Sobre principios y finales [About Beginnings and Endings] (Naguabo, Puerto Rico: Puerto Rican Foundation of the Humanities, 2016). Copy 15 of 250. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2017- in process


1743 copper plate engraved by George Bickham

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a copper printing plate (35 x 47 cm) for “The Break-Neck Fox Chase,” designed and engraved by George Bickham, the Younger (ca. 1706-1771), dated June 1743. There are no prints in any institutional collection pulled from this plate. If you find one, please let us know.

The verse, presumably written by the artist, begins,
“By various Turns as Men on Taste refines
Some Foxes hunt, some Women, and some Wine;
Wine gives them Fevers; Women oft the
And Neck or Nothing’s risk’d for every Fox.”

Plate detail

At the time of this engraving, the prolific artist sold his work from two London shops, one at Blackmoor’s Head within the Exeter-Exchange in the Strand, and at May’s Buildings, Covent Garden. Later, he moved west to Kew-Lane in Richmond, teaching and selling from his home. As an added incentive to get his patrons to make the long trip, Bickham advertised that anyone who came (and purchased a print), could see his celebrated female Egyptian mummy.

The plan was successful and preparations were made to build a larger studio with exhibition space. Unfortunately, Bickham died before it was finished and on September 18, 1771, the Public Advertiser announced a sale of the artist’s property. “A piece of ground, 36 feet in front; and 93 feet in depth, where on is now built by the late ingenious Mr. George Bickham, a large commodious Room . . . intended for an exhibition room, forming an octagon in the inside with a large sky-light and gallery to ditto, the angular parts formed for lodging rooms; the whole is very nearly completed and was stopped on account of Mr. Bickham’s death.”

The following year in December 1772, it took four nights to auction off Bickham’s belongings, described as “the remainder of the valuable stock in Trade of the late Mr. George Bickham; consisting of the Whole of his valuable scarce Prints, Drawings, Books of Penmanship, and Letter-press; together with the original Drawings by Gravelot [pseudonym for Hubert-François Bourguignon 1699-1773], beautiful Manuscript Pieces, and other Curiosities collected by the late Mr. George Bickham, sen., including a very perfect Egyptian Mummy and Coffin, in the highest preservation, allowed to be the finest in all Europe, and divers other valuable effects.”


Plate detail

The Ghostlight Project at Princeton

We are invited to join McCarter Theatre Center, Princeton University Triangle Club, and the Princeton University Lewis Center for the Arts Program in Theater on Thursday, January 19, 2017, for a brief gathering on the lawn outside the Matthews Theatre to launch The Ghostlight Project. This event is free and open to the public.

The Ghostlight Project aims to create spaces that will serve as beacons of light in the coming years, the hoped-for outcome of which is a network of people across the country working to support vulnerable communities. These gatherings are a public affirmation of each theater’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. They are a pledge to stand for and protect the values of inclusion, participation, and compassion for everyone regardless of race, class, religion, country of origin, immigration status, (dis)ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Organizers ask that participants begin to arrive starting at 5:00 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., a series of brief remarks will commence, followed by a group “moment of light.” The event will conclude by 6:00 p.m. For more information about The Ghostlight Project, including a full list of participating theaters, visit

Bingham’s Washington Crossing the Delaware

Washington Crossing the Delaware, From an unfinished painting by G. C. Bingham, between 1856 and 1871. Albumen silver print. Graphic Arts Collection GAX2017- in process.

Yet another find has been made, thanks to the renovation and reorganization of our library. This time credit goes to Steve Ferguson for identifying an albumen silver print of G.C. Bingham’s painting “Washington Crossing the Delaware,” taken during the many years that the work sat unfinished in the artist’s studio. It is, so far, the only image of Bingham’s painting in its earliest stages and will be extremely helpful to American painting scholars who want to study his composition and process.

“September 14, 1855, Bingham was spending most of his time on portraiture. He had opened a studio in the Grand Jury room of the courthouse at Columbia and was engaged upon a number of portraits. By the fourteenth of November he was in Jefferson City and had taken a room in the Capitol, where he remained for a month or more painting portraits. Incidentally, he exhibited in his studio there the “Verdict of the People.” Early in December he spoke in a Whig meeting in the Capitol. March 14, 1856, he was in Columbia again, engaged upon a historical painting, “Washington Crossing the Delaware,” no doubt inspired by Leutze’s popular representation of the same subject, which it resembles markedly both in composition and in purpose. For many years the picture remained unfinished, and not until eighteen years after its beginning was it actually completed. It is a large canvas, and, like Leutze’s, it is crowded and confused and wholly impossible as far as truth to nature is concerned.” —-Fern Helen Rusk, George Caleb Bingham, The Missouri Artist (1917. Marquand ND237.B5 R8)

One of the changes Bingham made between 1865 and 1871 was to remove the horse and rider behind Washington and replace it with two less active soldiers. In general, the entire background is simplified, giving a stronger focus to the central figures. Below are a few of Bingham’s other changes.

George Caleb Bingham (1811-1879), Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1856-71. Oil on canvas. Chrysler Museum of Art, Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., in honor of Walter P. Chrysler, Sr. Posted with the Chrysler’s permission.

“The painting illustrates the historic crossing of the Delaware River by George Washington and his troops.  George Caleb Bingham paints Washington seated atop a horse, which forms the apex of a pyramid, with the oars creating the base of the triangular composition.  Artists create a sense of stability and balance by using this choice of arrangement. Washington’s huddled men row across the frozen river almost directly toward the viewer. Bingham added minor embellishments to the scene.  Washington was unlikely to have been mounted on his horse for the crossing.   It would have made the ride too unstable.  In addition, the event happened in the early hours of the morning, in the dark.  Regardless, the artist is still able to capture the tense and risky crossing occurring on December 25, 1776 in a perilous snowstorm, leading to the Battle of Trenton.”–Chrysler Museum

For more information on George Washington’s campaign, see:


Ardsley Studios

After deinstalling our anniversary Shakespeare exhibition, our prints are being unframed and returned to the vault. Exactly 100 year ago, Hamilton Easter Field (1872-1922) was only beginning to frame his collection of “Hamlet” and “Othello” prints to exhibit at the Ardsley Studios at no. 110 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn (also known as Quaker Row).

Field and his mother lived at no. 106, where he ran the Ardsley School of Graphic Arts. In 1916, he purchased the Washington Roebling mansion next door, adding no. 108 and 110 to his estate, so that he could offer studios, housing, and galleries to his students and friends.

It was Field’s intention each month to exhibit old master prints from his personal collection together with modern American work that had not yet gained full recognition. In January 1917, he presented lithographs of Odilon Redon (1840-1916) and paintings by Bryson Burroughs (1869-1934). February brought Shakespearean scenes by Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) and Théodore Chassériau (1819-1856) hung with watercolors by John Marin (1870-1953). And in March, he exhibited Honoré Daumier (1808-1879) caricatures along with paintings by Marsden Hartley (1877-1943) and Morton Schamberg (1881-1918).

The New York Times preferred Chassériau to Delacroix, reporting, “Shakespeare gave a rich field for exploration to a man of Delacroix’s culture, but these lithographs show him only scratching its surface. The fashionable young Hamlet is a mincing creature and no one could infer from these mild humans the sense of passion that finds expression in the struggle of the beasts in such great lithographs . . . . Chasseriau is another story. His combination of monumental style and Oriental fervor fitted him for the etchings of Othello. He translated the passion of the Moor, as Shakespeare did, into a literary emotion.”

See also

Bull Runn, forgotten comic strip

Printing plate, horizontally reversed, for Bull Runn by Carl Ed. “He is Determined to Cut This Date So Just See What He Does In Order to Put it Over On The Wife!” In this five cell strip, Bull’s wife insists that they go together to visit Gertie’s husband, Bob Robb, the auto salesman. Bull breaks a jewelry store window and gets taken to jail to get out of it. Then, when his wife is not looking, he reimburses the store owner.

Cartoonist Carl Ed’s obituary ran in The New York Times on October 11, 1959: “Carl Frank Ludwig Ed, creator of the Harold Teen comic strip, died today a short time after he had been admitted to Evanston (Ill) hospital. He was 69 years old. Mr. Ed, who pronounced his name to rhyme with Swede and was often called Swede as a nickname, had been in ill health …”

“In 1910 he became a sports writer for the Rock Island Argus and seven years later he took his first job as a cartoonist in The Chicago American sports department. The next year Mr. Ed began a seven-year tenure with the World color syndicate of St. Louis, drawing the well-known strip Luke McGluke, the Bush League Bearcat, and later Big Ben. By 1918 his talents came to the attention of the late Joseph Medill Patterson, co-publisher of The Chicago Tribune, who hired him.”

Nowhere, in the Times or other sources, is the comic strip called Bull Runn mentioned although it must have circulated to dozens of papers. The Graphic Arts Collection holds 100 lead and zinc printing plates for the strip, given by Charles Rose, Class of 1950, P77, P80. The plates originated with Abraham Meyers, whose American Melody Company or Meyers List syndicated cartoons and features to American newspapers from 1898 to 1977.

In 1926, Popular Mechanics ran a story detailing the process in which comic strips, such as Bull Runn, were printed in American newspapers.

“The story of the distribution, or syndicating of the features which appear simultaneously in papers throughout the country is a story of big business organization. . . . From the artist, the strip or page goes to the engraving department, is photographed on a copper plate, engraved, and prepared for the mechanical department. The next step is to transfer the engraving to a paper mold in which type metal is poured to produce the printing plate.”

A machine carrying rolls of blotting paper and other rolls of a special tissue paper automatically cuts off sheets somewhat larger than a newspaper page, pastes them together . . . sends the completed ‘mat’ or matrix through rollers which press out the excess paste and bind the parts firmly together and finally delivers the completed sheet to the drier.”

“. . . the dampened matrix is placed over the engraved plate, rolled in until it fills every indentation then covered with moistened blankets and placed in a steam heated press to dry the impression in place. . . . The cartoonist delivers a full week’s supply of strips at one time, and all are reproduced on one matrix, which is then clipped apart for convenience in mailing.

“At the newspaper plant the process is reversed. The mat is placed in a casting box, surrounded by containing walls just type-high and molten type metal poured in. The casting boxes are water-cooled and the hot metal chills so quickly that the tissue surface of the mat is hardly browned. The casting after being sawed to the proper size, is placed in the page form and made up along with the newspaper type.”–“How Cartoons are Syndicated,” Popular Mechanics, 45, no. 3 (March 1926): 451-55.

Early American Bookplates

Bookplate of Ethan Allen Hitchcock (1798-1870), U.S. Army, “Non nisi parvulis [Not unless a child], 19th century. Etching and engraving, Graphic Arts Collection Early American Bookplates


A reference question led to our small but significant collection of early American bookplates. Here are a few both for institutions and individuals.

The Gift of the Society for propagating the Gospell in Foreign parts 1704


Presented to the Warren St Chapel


Hasty Pudding Library, 1808


John Skinner, Hartford, and S. Marble, Orange Street, New Haven


Brothers in Unity


Columbia College Library, New-York. “In Lumine Tuo Videbimus Lumen” [In thy light we shall see light, Psalms 36:9]


Samuel Parker

Bushrod Washington (1762–1829), “Exitus acta probat” [The outcome justifies the deed].


New-York Society Library, 1789. “Emollit Mores” [Learning humanizes or Learning softens character]


Phoenix Society

Newburyport Athenaeum


Alexander Hamilton, Through. Not Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804)

 For confirmation, see: Journal of the Ex Libris Society, Vol. 8 (1899). “BOOK-PLATE OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON. Dear Sir,—…Alexander Hamilton had a book-plate— plain armorial, spade shield and crest, with motto — of which one is now in my collection. The Library of the Hospital Ship “Bay State” [ocr errors] No only other copy known to me is inserted in Hamilton’s own copy of “The Federalist,” which is in the possession of a gentleman of New York City, who values this plate at much fine gold, as I happen to know, having made a bid of fifty through the friendly bookseller who mentioned it to me in a casual way, and which he did thrice refuse. It would not interest anyone to know how I finally procured my copy, and I am very unwilling to exploit a mare’s-nest; but I will say that, for the present, this is one of my most cherished plates, ranking next to that of Hamilton’s great friend and admirer, George Washington, and so will it be until some fortunate collector manages to pick up a lot of them in some out-of-the-way corner. I am aware that the authenticity of the ownership of this most important plate rests, for the moment, altogether on what credit one is inclined to place in the aforesaid bookseller, but there was no object to be gained by him in composing a fairy tale of this kind, as the plate he spoke of was in hands, so far as he knew, entirely out of a collector’s reach, and his chance of procuring it simply nil, as has been proved since. After such serious collectors and good authorities as my friends F. E. Marshall and C. E. Clark have had a look at it, there will be time enough to describe this plate; in the meantime, silence is golden.— Yours truly, W. E. Baillie.

Making history: collections, collectors, and the cultural role of printing museums

Association of European Printing Museums (AEPM) 2017

In case you haven’t already seen this call for papers, please consider proposing something for the upcoming AEPM conference. Princeton University Library is a member.

The conference will take place May 11-13, 2017 at The Museum of Typography, Chania, Crete (Greece) and the theme will be: Making history: collections, collectors and the cultural role of printing museums. It will look at the ways in which collections of printing heritage materials become museums. Possible subjects for discussion include:

Who collects printing heritage materials?
How is printing heritage transmitted from one generation to the next?
What motivates founders of printing museums?
How do collections become museums?
How are collections made available to the public?
What forms do independent printing museums take – associations, foundations, privately-owned companies?
What challenges do independent collections and printing museums have to face?

Proposals for talks are invited from museums of printing and graphic communication, and from heritage workshops, collectors, and scholars involved in printing heritage. Abstracts of no longer than 250 words should be submitted along with a brief biography to: and by January 30, 2017. Speakers will be allocated 30 minutes (including discussion) in which to present their papers.

The conference will also offer an opportunity to discover some aspects of Greek printing heritage with the help of several invited speakers:

Yiannis Filis, former dean of the Technical University of Crete (Greece)

Gerry Leonidas, associate professor of typography at the Department of typography and graphic communication, vice-president of ATypI (United Kingdom)

Klimis Mastoridis, professor of typography & graphic communication, University of Nicosia, Cyprus

George D. Matthiopoulos, lecturer in the Department of graphic design at the School of art and design of the Technological Educational Institute of Athens (Greece)

Konstantinos Staikos, architect, book historian and researcher (Greece)



Also uncovered during the renovation of the Princeton University Library was this small but important playbill from a French production of James Joyce’s Exiles, held at the Théâtre Gramont, Paris. The play in three acts was written in 1914 and published simultaneously in an English and an American edition on May 25, 1918. To read Edna O’Brien’s review of the National Theatre’s production in 2006, see:



To mark the acquisition of the Leonard L. Milberg ’53 Collection of Irish Theater, the Princeton University Library mounted the exhibition, Players & Painted Stage: The Leonard L. Milberg Collection of Irish Theater, running October 2006 to April 2007. The show merged holdings from the library, newly acquired Milberg material, and other donations. View the exhibition website:

See also: James Joyce (1882-1941), Exiles; a play in three acts (New York: B. W. Huebsch, 1918). First American edition. Rare Books (Ex) 3807.38.333.1918a



See also the Abbey Theatre production at:

Ichikawa Danjuro IX (1838-1903) meets Adolfo Farsari (1841-1898)

Utagawa Yoshiiku 歌川 芳幾 (1833-1904), [Meeting between the Kabuki actor Danjuro IX and the Italian photographer Adolfo Farsari], [Tokyo: Nichinichi Shinbun, 1874]. Color woodblock print. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2017- in process A vault

“Utagawa Yoshiiku was a Japanese printmaker and illustrator. As a printmaker, he designed a wide range of prints including those depicting bijin (beautiful women), musha (warriors), yakusha (actors), and the sensationalized pictures of blood-stained mayhem called chimidoro-e and muzan-e, among others. From 1874 to 1875 he designed nishiki-e shinbun for the Tokyo newspaper Nichinichi Shimbun, which he co-founded.”

“. . . The founders of Tōkyō nichinichi shinbun are: Johno Denpei (1832-1902, pseud. “Sansantei Arindo” as gesakusha: popular fiction writer), Nishida Densuke (1838-1910, former clerk of TSUJI Den’emon’s kashihon’ya: lending library), and Ochiai Ikujiro (1833-1904, pseud. “Utagawa Yoshiiku” as Ukiyoe print artist).” –See William Wetherall’s News Nishiki website; Amy Reigle Newland, The Hotei Encyclopedia of Japanese Woodblock Prints (Hotei Publishing Company, 2005), p. 505.

One of the prints Yoshiiku designed for his newspaper was this meeting of the renowned Kabuki actor, Ichikawa Danjuro IX (1838-1903) and the Italian-born photographer, Adolfo Farsari (1841-1898).

According to the Japanese text, in May 1872 an unidentified “yojin” (“ocean person”) visited Danjuro IX backstage and asked to photograph the actor in exchange for some European cigarettes.

The Westerner, not identified in the text, was almost certainly Adolfo Farsari, who took up residence in Japan in the early 1870s and became one of the most prominent photographers in the country.


To read the entire newspaper, see: Tōkyō nichinichi shinbun [microform] = 東京日日新聞 (Tōkyō: Nippōsha, 東京 : 日報社, Feb. 21, 1872- Dec. 31, 1942). East Asian Microfilms (HYGF): Forrestal Annex Microfilm J00057

For more on Farsari, read the catalog of an exhibition held at the Villa Contarini, Piazzola sul Brenta, Italy, Dec. 18, 2011-April 1, 2012: East Zone: Antonio Beato, Felice Beato e Adolfo Farsari : fotografi veneti attraverso l’Oriente dell’Ottocento / a cura di Magda Di Siena ; testi di Magda Di Siena, Rossella Menegazzo (Crocetta del Montello (Treviso): Antiga, 2011). Marquand Library use only DS508.2 .E27 2011