Decorative photos

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This untitled photo album, signed “with best wishes from Grace” holds 24 cut and mounted photographs from the late 1800s. Views include the south shore of Lake Michigan and other Chicago sites. There is reason to believe that the album comes from the family of Robert Burns (1844-1916), Detroit newspaper editor and publisher. We have not yet identified any of the individuals photographed.

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St. Joan

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“Two or three winters ago,” wrote Royal Cortissoz, art critic for The New York Times, “Mr. Gerome Brush left a new and delightful impression in one of the exhibitions with a bust of Joan of Arc. We have seen nothing of his work since, but now about a dozen examples of it have been brought together at the Knoedler gallery and it is possible to form a fuller judgment on his talent. The talent is there, beyond a doubt, and teh first thing we observe about it is its original grain.” (November 24, 1918)U

The son of painter George de Forest Brush (1855-1941) and sculptor/aviator Mittie (Mary) Taylor Whelpley Brush (1866-1949), Gerome grew up in the artists’ colony in Dublin, New Hampshire, next door to Samuel Clemens. He was named after his father’s painting master, Jean-Léon Gérome and apprenticed with his father as both a painter and sculptor.

When Gerome Brush and his wife, actress Louise Seymour, settled in Boston, he accepted several civic commissions, including murals for the Children’s Hospital and individual portraits of the entire Boston Symphony orchestra. These charcoal drawings were later published in a 1936 trade edition with biographies of each musician.

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Gerome Brush (1888-1954), St. Joan, 1915. Bronze. Signed and dated in the base. Cast at A. Kunst Fondry, New York. Graphic Arts Collection Museum Objects

Oda a la Lagartija = Ode to the Lizard

martorell oda6Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) and Antonio Martorell, Oda a la Lagartija (Campo Rico de Canóvanas: P.R. Martorell, 1974). “150 ejemplares firmados y numerados por el grabador además de 15 pruebas de artista numeradas en romano, todas [sic] impresos … con grabados y caligrafiados individualmente; se comenzó a imprimir el 1° de diciembre de 1973 …” Graphic Arts Collection Copy 76 of 150.
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De noche
allí el silencio
es un profundo lago
del que salen
de musgos
y de lianas,
de turquesa,
cenicientos lagartos olvidados,
anchas mujeres locamente muertas,
(exert from Neruda’s poem)

Attention Students: Submit Your Essay to Win the 2014-2015 Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize!

Are you an avid collector of books, manuscripts, or other materials found in libraries? If so, consider submitting an essay about your collection for a chance to win the Elmer Adler Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize!


Image: (c) Jane and Louise Wilson, Oddments Room II (Voyages of the Adventure and Beagle), 2008. C-print, Edition of 4. Courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Endowed from the estate of Elmer Adler, who for many years encouraged the collecting of books by Princeton undergraduates, this prize is awarded annually to an undergraduate student, or students, who, in the opinion of a committee of judges, have shown the most thought and ingenuity in assembling a thematically coherent collection of books, manuscripts, or other material normally collected by libraries. Please note that the rarity or monetary value of the student’s collection is not as important as the creativity and persistence shown in collecting and the fidelity of the collection to the goals described in a personal essay.

The personal essay is about a collection owned by the student. It should describe the thematic or artifactual nature of the collection and discuss with some specificity the unifying characteristics that have prompted the student to think of certain items as a collection. It should also convey a strong sense of the student’s motivations for collecting and what their particular collection means to them personally. The history of the collection, including collecting goals, acquisition methods, and milestones are of particular interest, as is a critical look at how the goals may have evolved over time and an outlook on the future development of the collection. Essays are judged in equal measures on the strength of the collection and the strength of the writing.

Winners will receive their prizes at the annual winter dinner of the Friends of the Princeton University Library, which they are expected to attend. The first-prize essay will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Princeton University Library Chronicle. In addition, the first-prize essay has the honor of representing Princeton University in the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest organized by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America. Please note that per the ABAA’s contest rules, the winning essay will be entered exactly as submitted to the Adler Prize contest, without possibility of revision.

Prize amounts:

First prize: $2000
Second prize: $1500
Third prize: $1000

The deadline for submission is Tuesday, December 2, 2014. Essays should be submitted via e-mail, in a Microsoft Word attachment, to Faith Charlton: They should be between 9-10 pages long, 12pt, double-spaced, with a 1-inch margin, and include a separate cover sheet with your name, class year, residential address, email address, and phone number. In addition to the essay, each entry should include a selected bibliography of no more than 3 pages detailing the items in the collection. Please note that essays submitted in file formats other than Microsoft Word, submitted without cover sheet, or submitted without a bibliography will not be forwarded to the judges. For inquiries, please contact Faith Charlton,

Recent Adler Prize Winning Essays:

Rory Fitzpatrick, ’16. “The Search for the Shape of the Universe, One Book at a Time.” (forthcoming)

Natasha Japanwala ’14. “Conversation Among the Ruins: Collecting Books By and About Sylvia Plath.” PULC 74:2 (winter)

Mary Thierry ’12. “Mirror, Mirror: American Daguerrean Portraits.” PULC 73:3 (spring)

Chloe Ferguson ’13. “The Farther Shore: Collection, Memory, and the East Asian Literary Tradition.” PULC 73:3 (spring)

Lindsey Breuer ’11. “If Only I Could Apparate, My Harry Potter Collection Would Truly Appreciate.” PULC 73:3 (spring)

Posted by Faith Charlton

The Japan Punch

japan punch4“Charles Wirgman (1835-1891) was one of those engaging, eccentric, polyglot personalities,” writes John Clark, “who adventured around the Far East in the second half of the nineteenth century. Many deserved their reputation as semi-criminals out for quick money, but Wirgman, though probably never rich, has nowhere left an image of such avariciousness.”

As a correspondent of the Illustrated London News, Wirgman traveled first to Malta, followed by the Philippines, China, and finally Japan in 1861. Within a year of his arrival in Yokohama, Wirgman was publishing his own magazine, which he called The Japan Punch. The irregular journal ran for 25 years, drawn exclusively by Wirgman. Printed on extremely thin, handmade paper, each issue was produced in an edition of approximately 200 copies, according to Hans Harder and Barbara Mittler, Asian Punches: A Transcultural Affair (2013).

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired 13 of these rare issues, 5 from late 1865 and 8 from 1866. The Japan Punch joins the work of Okamoto Ippei, and other satirical artists of Japan held in the Princeton University Library.

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Le antichita romane

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Luigi Rossini, 1790-1857. Le antichita romane; ossia, Raccolta delle più interessanti vedute di Roma antica, disegnatè ed incise dall’architetto incisore Luigi Rossini, Ravennate, in numero centuna vedute. Rome: Scudellari, 1829. Gift of Mrs. John G. Winant. Rare Books (Ex) Oversize N6920 .R73e

rossini rome1Following in the grand tradition of Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778), Luigi Rossini (1790-1857) created large scale engravings of Rome and its surroundings. A series of elephant portfolios (77 x 56 cm.) were published from 1918 to 1829 under the title: Le antichita romane; ossia, Raccolta delle più interessanti vedute di Roma antica. [The Rome of Antiquity, a collection of the most interesting Views of Ancient Rome].

Mrs. John G. Winant presented the Princeton University Library with a set of Rossini’s 101 engravings on October 5, 1925. Sometime later, 21 of these beautiful prints were framed and hung on the walls of McCosh Hall (built in 1907). After an exhaustive search, we believe these few prints are no longer at McCosh and will not be found. Thankfully, the rest are here and available to all our researchers.

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Central Park

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New York’s Central Park will be the focus of tomorrow’s interdisciplinary studies class: Revisiting Nature’s Nation – An Ecocritical History of American Art. The Graphic Arts Collection is fortunate to offer the group: Richard Morris Hunt (1828-1895), Designs for the Gateways of the Southern Entrances to the Central Park … with a Description of the Designs, and a Letter in Relation to Them, Addressed to the Commissioners of the Park (New York: D. Van Nostrand, 1866). Plates and plans lithographed by Julius Bien (1826-1909). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2006-0281Q
gateways of central park6In the introduction, the Parks Commissioner writes, “Mr. Hunt’s idea, which by adoption has become the idea of the Park Commissioners, is, on the contrary, that it is impossible to fully carry out this plan of rusticity. While conceding the importance of interfering with nature as little as possible, it is to be remembered that the most faithful endeavors in this direction will still, of necessity, leave the Park, what indeed it already is, and a formal city pleasure-ground.”

“We must, it needs be , so trim and restrain the wildness of nature that it can be called ‘rural’ in no absolute sense, but only by contrast with the bricks and stone surrounding it. And, when we have to provide for a population of some two millions or more, it will be impossible to preserve those narrow and winding walks at the entrance ways which form part of the plan for rural effect. It is folly, the Commissioners think, to attempt rural entrances for a park in the heart of a great city, surrounded by magnificent edifices of fashion, as our Central Park will soon be.”

“Their idea, then, is that the entrances should be in keeping with the future external surroundings of the Park, and establish the connection between the street architecture without and cultivated nature within.”

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Holocaust series XXI

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Carol Rosen, The Holocaust Series XXI, We All Disappear (Califon, N.J.: C. Rosen, [2004]). Graphic Arts Collection 2014- in process

rosen holocaust series5Thanks to the generous donation by Elliot A. Rosen, Professor Emeritus Rutgers University, we now hold the final volume of Carol Rosen’s Holocaust series of artists’ books.

The artist wrote, “There is no way to recreate the events or the severe psychological destructiveness of the Holocaust experience by those who were not its victims. One can only approximate the truth by implying the isolation, state of fear, uncertainty, and disorientation which were their constant companions. The ‘truth’ of the images in these prints depends on creating a narrative situation or one which attempts to mirror the psychological state of mind.” Here are a few images.

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puck2From 1877 to 1918, Puck magazine was one of the leading sources of American political satire. A beautifully printed history of the magazine has just been published and will soon be on Princeton’s shelves: Michael Alexander Kahn and Richard Samuel West, What Fools These Mortals Be!: The Story of Puck: America’s First and Most Influential Magazine of Color Political Cartoons (IDW Publishing, 2014)

The expert lithographic printing of Puck’s color illustrations was perfected by Jacob Ottmann, along with his partners Vincent Mayer and August Merkel, from their small offices at 21-25 Warren Street. The success of the magazine led Ottman to join with Joseph Keppler and Adolph Schwarzmann, the publishers of Puck, to commission a new building on the corner of Lafayette and Houston Street.

Within a year, the Puck Building, as it became known, housed one of the largest lithographic publishing firms in the United States. Besides Puck, Ottmann printed enormous circus and theater posters, along with color illustrated books and trade cards. One of their most notable artists was William Sommer, whose work has been featured here in an earlier post.

Today, the landmark building houses the outdoor clothing and camping equipment store REI. In renovating the space, the company did a beautiful job in retaining elements of the Ottmann company, including much of the original wood and brick building material. Don’t missing the wall on the first floor where the original lithographic limestones are mounted.

puck7Michael Alexander Kahn and Richard Samuel West, What Fools These Mortals Be!:
The Story of Puck: America’s First and Most Influential Magazine of Color Political Cartoons (San Diego, C.A. : IDW Publishing, 2014)

Jie zi yuan hua zhuan

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Wang, Gai, active 1677-1705 [王槩, active 1677-1705], Jie zi yuan hua zhuan : wu juan [芥子園畫傳 : 五卷]. Contributor: Li, Yu, 1611-1680? [李漁, 1611-1680?]. Edition: [Cai se tao yin ben][彩色套印本]. (China: s.n., Qing Kangxi, between 1679 and 1722].

The 13 volumes that make up Princeton University Library’s copy of Jie zi yuan hua zhuan, also known in the United States as the Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting, have been digitized and are now available in full online. Hope you enjoy reading through them, even without Chinese. The links are:
Permanent Link:
Permanent Link:
Permanent Link:
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