Luis Camnitzer illustrates Martin Buber



buber1Luis Camnitzer and Martin Buber (1878-1965), Luis Camnitzer Illustrates Martin Buber (New York: JMB Publishers Ltd, 1970). 10 woodcuts printed at The New York Graphic Workshop. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2016- in process.


The Graphic Arts Collection is fortunate to have acquired Luis Camnitzer Illustrates Martin Buber, copy J, one of ten copies lettered A-J, each containing one original drawing by the artist and one double suite containing one suite of woodblock prints on Arches paper and one suite of woodblock prints on Natsume paper.

The portfolio includes ten folktales from the Hasidic Jewish tradition in Eastern Europe, selected by Camnitzer from the early masters section of Buber’s Die chassidischen Bücher as translated by Olga Marx. They are paired with ten woodcuts by Camnitzer titled: The Tap at the Window; The Helpful Mountain; The Deaf Man; How We Should Learn; Failure; Blessing of the Moon; To Say Torah and To Be Torah; The Mountain; The Bird Nest; and The Strong Thief.



“In 1964 after moving to New York from his native Uruguay, Camnitzer co-founded The New York Graphic Workshop, along with fellow artists, Argentine Liliana Porter and Venezuelan Guillermo Castillo (1941–1999). For six years until 1970, they examined the conceptual meaning behind printmaking, and sought to test and expand the definition of the medium. In 1964 Camnitzer wrote a manifesto on printmaking that was later adopted by the group as a statement of intent. In this text Camnitzer argues that printmaking should not restrict but rather amplify the possibilities of an artist to generate conceptually rich ideas through strong images.”—Alexander Gray Associates




See also: The New York Graphic Workshop, 1964-1970, edited by Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, Ursula Davila-Villa, Gina McDaniel Tarver ([Austin, Tex.]: Blanton Museum of Art, 2009). Marquand Library (SA) NE492.C63 N49 2009

Martin Buber (1878-1965), Die chassidischen Bücher (Berlin: Schocken, [1927]). Published in 1949 under title: Die Erzählungen der Chassidim. Recap BM198 .B778 1927

Forget Self-Driving Cars, Try Self-Walking Boots


Shortshanks (pseudonym for Robert Seymour, 1798-1836), Locomotion: Walking by Steam, Riding by Steam, Flying by Steam, ca. 1830. Etching with hand coloring. Graphic Arts Collection

Seymour is one a many nineteenth-century artists who made fun of early steam engines. This plate depicts various attempts including a steam-powered walking machine that controls a pair of boots; a teakettle carriage powered by gunpowder tea; and a steam-driven ornithopter. Each part of the machines are lettered; text to the right of the title reads, “For an explanation of the Machinery see the next Number of the Edinburg Review.”

Seymour used the pseudonym Shortshanks until George Cruikshank objected to the similarity and made him stop.





locomotion6Shortshanks (pseudonym for Robert Seymour, 1798-1836), Locomotion. Plate 2nd, ca. 1830. Etching with hand coloring. Graphic Arts Collection

In the companion plate, each of these mechanisms has gone wrong. The fire in the boot-engine has gone out. The tea has exploded in the steam kettle carriage. And both the flying steam contraptions are in trouble. The subtitle reads: “A few small inconveniences. There’s nothing Perfect.”

In the early twentieth century, Connoisseur magazine printed photo-mechanical reproductions of important paintings and decorative arts, which subscribers could remove and frame. These prints were also sold individually or in large groups.

In the August 1905 Connoisseur, Sir Alfred Harmsworth wrote “Motor Prints,” an illustrated survey of Sir David Salomons’s satirical print collection featuring images of early steam locomotion. The text begins [his spelling], “This collection of prints pourtraying the struggles and triumphs of the pioneers of automobilism has an interest altogether apart from the appeal which it makes to the connoisseur.”

Perhaps the editors ran out of space in that issue because one last print was published in the September 1905 issue: a reproduction of Seymour’s Locomotion plate 2. Several prominent institutions, including the British Museum, have only the photo-mechanical reproduction in their collection.




Happy Retirement Karin Trainer

weeklybulletin19970331-01-2-4-a9-700w“Karin Trainer got her first job as a librarian in the cataloging department of Firestone Library in 1972. Twenty-five years later, she came back to run the place.”–Sally Freedman, “University librarian defines priorities,” Princeton Weekly Bulletin 86, no. 22 (March 31, 1997).

La petite sedanaise

Roger Stoddard once said, “Big books last forever, small books disappear.” We are thrilled to have this new acquisition in the Graphic Arts Collection, where it will last forever.

Les Pseaumes de David, Mis en rime Françoise. Sedan: Jean Jannon, 1636. 64mo in eights (62 x 36 mm). Contemporary vellum, painted black, spine with raised bands, two functioning silver clasps, silver corners, marbled paste-downs. Provenance: contemporary ink inscription A le Marg: Le Cocq fille du Juge d’Origny. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2016- in process psalterium6
Printed in the independent (up to 1651) Protestant Principality of Sedan in the Ardennes, close to the modern French border with Belgium, this Psalter in French verses is a rather sensational, albeit small, achievement of French typography and Protestant book production.

“In 1610 the Parisian master printer Robert III Estienne recommended the printer, librarian and typecutter Jean Jannon to the Prince of Sedan as a talented and Protestant man of the book. Sedan developed into an academy of Protestant erudition with an impressive collection of printed books, manuscripts and works of art. Jeannon began to print academic theses, classics and religious works, whilst designing and cutting types in Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Syriac.

The type used here, la petite sedanaise, as it became known later, after it had been pirated by a Parisian typecutter, was the smallest type created since the invention of printing. It measures a mere 4.9 points. Jannon reserved this particular type solely for his own use and did not sell it to other printers as he did with his other types. The French government seized Jannon’s printshop in 1641 and the Imprimérie Royale used this particularly small type, which was later misattributed to Garamond. Provenance: The volume belonged to a magistrate Le Cocq in the Channel Island of Alderney. This island was a safe haven for Protestant refugees from France.” –Dealer’s note

psalterium7Princeton also holds two other tiny editions of these Psalms:

Les pseaumes de David, mis en rime françoise (Geneve, chez P. Aubet, 1634). Rare Books (Ex) BS1443 .xF7 1634s  and  Les pseaumes de David : mis en vers françois (Amsterdam: Chez Z. Chatelain, [1652]). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2005-0001S


Note also James Mosley’s 2012 post in Typefoundry :


Welcome GER 308: Topics in German Film History and Theory

early-german7Thanks to Professor Thomas Y. Levin for bringing his class, “Topics in German Film History and Theory – Cinema Philosophy: Aesthetics and Politics” to visit the Graphic Arts Collection.

“Conducted in English, this theory seminar explores issues of narration, representation, spectatorship, the historicity of perception, semiotics, etc. of importance to students in art history, visual arts, literature, music, history, philosophy, sociology and psychology as well as film and media history and theory.”

For more information on Princeton University’s film studies, courses, screening, and other special events see:

For other posts involving our optical devices see:

early-german4An anamorphic print. Look into the cylinder and see Jules Verne.


praxinoscopePraxinoscope gif

The Palace the N–H Built

“These are the wings which by estimate round
Are said to have cost forty thousand pound,
And which not quite according with Royalty’s taste,
Are doom’d to come down and be laid into waste.”

palace-that3Attributed to Joseph Hume, The Palace that N–h Built: a Parody on an Old English Poem ([London]: Thomas McLean, [1829?]). Graphic Arts Collection GAX in process



“This parody of the popular nursery rhyme ‘The House that Jack built’ is a satire on George IV’s huge expenditure of public money on the conversion of Buckingham House into Buckingham Palace (begun 1825), and the apparent venality and incompetence of John Nash, the architect responsible. Although a Select Committee of the House of Commons had exonerated Nash of any professional misconduct in 1828, the issue of the spiraling costs of George IV’s new palace remained a national scandal until the King’s death in 1830 and Nash’s replacement by Edward Blore in 1832.

The pamphlet is printed in the style and format of a typical children’s rhyme book of the period. ‘I. Hume’ has not been identified and may be a pseudonym. [British Architecture Library’s] Early Printed Books suggests that either the author may have been Joseph Hume (1767–1843), a clerk at Somerset House who translated Dante’s Inferno (1812), or that the attribution is a topical reference to the well-known radical politician Joseph Hume MP (1777–1855), a prominent and outspoken critic of government overspending. The latter possibility seems more likely. The satirical illustrations are etched in the manner of George Cruikshank; most are just legibly signed ‘G. Davies’.” — From the John Soane Museum

W. L. Davis




Wayne Lambert Davis (1904-1988), By Way of Explanation on the Flight of the Autogiro, 1931. Drypoint. Edition: 5/25. Graphic Arts Collection GC014.


Wayne Lambert Davis (1904-1988) studied at the Art Student League in New York with Joseph Pennell, whose influence is apparent in Davis’s early drypoints. He completed a number of commissions, includes a large mural in the stairway of the former First National City Bank on 53rd Street in New York City. This is believed to have been destroyed but I have not been able to confirm that.

The Graphic Arts Collection has a small group of drypoints by Davis from the 1930s and 1940s, presumably acquired by Elmer Adler while he was at Princeton University.

Wayne Davis has felt the thrill and excitement of aviation and has chronicled various phases of flying for several years in sketchy, nervous water-colors packed with excitement and action. Planes rising from the deck of a carrier or circling through clouds with earth showing brokenly beneath; these he paints vividly if at times illustratively. Twoscore of his recentl papers may be seen this month at the Schwartz Galleries. Howard Devree, “A Reviewer’s Notebook,” New York Times December 6, 1936.

Here are a few more of Davis’s early prints in the collection.





The Republican Goose at the Top of the Poll

election3James Gillray (1756-1815), Election Candidates, Or the Republican Goose at the Top of the Pol(l)e. —the Devil Helping Behind! vide Mr. Paull’s Letter, article Home Tooke. Also an exact representation of Sawney M’Cockran (Lord Cochrane) flourishing the Cudgel of Naval Reform, lent him by Cobbett, and mounting triumphantly over a small Beer Barrel, together with an old Drury Lane Harlequin trying in vain to make a spring to the top of the pole, and slipping down again; and lastly, poor Little Paull, the Tailor done over! wounded by a Goose, and not a leg to stand on. May 20, 1807. Etching with hand color. Gift of Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2006.01406


In this caricature, Gillray presents the five candidates for the Westminster election of 1807. The goose at the top of the election pole (poll) is the Republican Sir Francis Burdett (1770-1844) seen with a wounded leg but still in the winning position. This is one of at least seven caricatures that relate Burdett with a goose.

Beneath him is Lord Thomas Cochrane (1775-1860) with a ‘Reform’ club. The three losers at the bottom of the pole are the Tory John Elliot (active 19th century), Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816), and finally James Paull (1770-1808). The writer John Horne Tooke (1736-1812) is represented as a Devil who supports Burdett with his pitchfork.

“[Tooke] was the only man in England to be imprisoned for supporting the American Revolution; his enthusiasm for the French Revolution landed him in court; he was a principal agitator for parliamentary reform . . . . He was a close associate of the greatest radicals of the time, including Burdett, Godwin and Tom Paine, and an unrivalled polemicist and brilliant conversationalist.” Christina Bewley, Gentleman Radical: Life of John Horne Tooke, 1736-1812 (DA506.T6 B49 1998)


Gillray locates the scene at the husting or meeting at which the candidates address the voting public at Covent Garden. The election results: Burdett 5,134, Cochrane 3,708, Sheridan 2,645, Elliott 2,137, and Paull 269 (who withdrew on 13 May). The new parliament assembled on Friday, June 26, 1807.


Austin Lee’s New Shoes


20160916_192412_resizedAustin Lee, Spheres. Designed by Philippe Karrer, printed by Musumeci SpA (Basel: Spheres, 2015). Essay by Joel Holmberg, as well as the transcript of a conversation between Austin Lee, Kati Gegenheimer, Benedikt Wyss, and Philippe Karrer. A free augmented reality app animates Lee’s images. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2016- in process

“Spheres is an artists’ book series developed in a year-long, close collaboration between one young artist and Swiss graphic designer Philippe Karrer. As a result, each book takes on a radically different form from the one that preceded it. The latest in the Spheres series, by painter Austin Lee, features Lee’s cartoonish, neon-colored iPad drawings and integrates an augmented reality app. Viewing the pages of the book through the app reveals digital animations and 3-D elements—a fun, if highly mediated book experience.”

an-augmented-reality-app-in-conjunction-with-a-book-publication-by-austinlee-from-spherespublicationSample spread with app view of Austin Lee, Spheres. Courtesy of Spheres Publication.



Printers Unite!

0733-022-001Birmingham City University, Marx Memorial Library, Newman University, The Centre for Printing History and Culture and the University of Birmingham are jointly sponsoring an interesting conference in November entitled: Printers Unite! Print and Protest from the Early Modern to the Present. To register:

‘Printers Unite!’ is a phrase that evokes the historic solidarities and struggles of printers and their eventual consolidation into a single trade union, Unite. On the 90th and 30th anniversaries of the General Strike and the Wapping Dispute, this two-day conference at the Marx Memorial Library will explore the role of printers and print as agents and vehicles of protest.

The General Strike, which was triggered by an unofficial strike by printers at the Daily Mail, and the Wapping Dispute, in which 6000 printers were sacked by News International, represent only one of the themes that emerges out of an examination of ‘print and protest’: that of the labor history of printing.

The keynote address will be delivered by Andrew Pettegree, University of St Andrews, author of The Invention of News and Reformation and the Culture of Persuasion.51h9bOhp-8L._SX340_BO1,204,203,200_For more information see:

A long list of papers includes
Dr Marie-Céline Daniel, Paris-Sorbonne University, London Printers v. Elizabeth I: How a group of London stationers tried to lobby in favour of a change in Elizabethan diplomacy, 1584-1589;
Kat Lowe, University of Manchester, The importance of female education to public health in the prefaces of Richard Hyrde;
Sally Jeffery, Independent researcher, Art and mystery: descriptions of seventeenth-century printers’ working practices;
Dr Lucy Razzall, Queen Mary, University of London, ‘Thrust into the trundle-bed of the last two lines’: printing theological debate in the 1640s;
Dr Bess Frimodig, Independent researcher, Domestic upheaval: women wallpaper printers and the French Revolution;
Eva Velasco Moreno, King Juan Carlos University, Censorship and the control of printing in eighteenth-century Spain;
Brian Shetler, Drew University, Advocate and abuser: John Wilkes’ relationship with his printers;
Karenza Sutton-Bennett, University of Ottawa, Hogarth’s act: a printer’s protest of society’s consumerism;
Julie Mellby, Princeton University, Edward Osborne and the Jamaica Rebellion broadside;
Dr Patricia Sieber, Ohio State University, Peter Perring Thoms (1755-1855) and the Radical opposition to the Opium War (1839-42);
Catherine Cartwright, Absence and Presence (evening exhibition);
Dr Anil Aykan, Independent researcher, Deeds and printed words;
Martin Killeen, University of Birmingham, Between the war zone and the Home Front: cartoons in military hospital magazines;
Alison Wilcox, University of Winchester, Defiant, dissenting, and disobedient women of the Great War;
Professor David Finkelstein, University of Edinburgh, Irish Typographical Union networks and the Great Dublin Strike of 1878;
Alexandra Heslop, Royal College of Art and V&A Museum, ‘Open Shop’: A re-assessment of London’s Printing Trades, 1980-1992;
Dr Patricia Thomas, Massey University, Lockout: insubordinate print and the New Zealand 1951 Waterfront Dispute;
Anthony Quinn, Independent researcher, Duplicating machines, dashes across Europe and nunneries: how emergency issues were produced by newspaper and magazine managements in response to strikes (1926-56);
Jessica Baines, London School of Economics and London College of Communication, Radical printshops, 1968-98;
Mark Dennis, Coventry University, Art & Language’s ‘Support School Project’ and inter-college networks through posters and pamphlets, 1974-79;
Dr Cathy Gale, Kingston University, Collective protest in print;
Dr Ian Horton, London College of Communication, The Grafische Werkplaats, hard werken and cultural protest;
David Sinfield, Auckland University, The serigraphic voice of the worker: stories of the underpaid worker through serigraphic printed posters;
Dr Mark Johnson, Independent Researcher, The work of Jamie Reid – prophet, provocateur and protester.