Book of Darkness

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book of darkness

The Book of Darkness. Eleven poems by Chard deNiord; eleven etchings and paintings by Michele Burgess (San Diego: Brighton Press, 2015). Copy 27 of 30. Graphic Arts collection GAX 2015- in process. Text hand set in Perpetua and printed letterpress on Gampi paper. Etchings printed on Gampi. Paintings in gouache on Twinrocker paper. Housed in a clamshell box covered in hand woven cotton from Guatemala.

Michele Burgess, of Brighton Press, writes: “I asked Chard [deNiord] how he felt about the idea of ‘night’ as an archive of thought. He sent me these poems. After reading them I thought about and drew shafts of moonlight and sunlight in the woods of Vermont.

Chard had recently and reluctantly cut down 100 trees to protect his house from falling limbs and to create a meadow on his property. This seemed a very dramatic event to me, as a woman from the arid southwest, and I was captured by the duality expressed in it.

I used those trees as metaphors for his poems to explore the way darkness orients and reorients itself in nature and in the human imagination. The paintings felt necessary to add physicality to the blackness and to enclose the etchings.”

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This fall, Chard deNiord will be named Vermont’s eighth Poet Laureate. A cofounder of the New England College MFA program in poetry, he is the author of Asleep in the Fire (1990), Sharp Golden Thorn (2003), Night Mowing (2005), and The Double Truth (2011). His latest poetry collection, Interstate, is due out next month.

DeNiord joins an exclusive club of official Green Mountain bards. Vermont’s first poet laureate, Robert Frost, was appointed in 1961 and served until 1963. He was followed many years later by Kinnell (1989-93), Louise Glück (1994-98), Ellen Bryant Voigt (1999-2002) Grace Paley (2003-07), Ruth Stone (2007-11) and Lea (2011-15). –this is taken in part from “Chard deNiord Appointed Next Vermont Poet Laureate,” Posted by Ken Picard on Mon, Aug 24, 2015.
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Michele Burgess is the Director of Brighton Press and a prolific artist. For more information, see:

A Modern Myriopticon


Between the Cotsen Children’s Library and the Graphic Arts Collection, Princeton holds a number of original 19th century Myrioramas and Myriopticans in its vaults.

An online version has been commissioned from the contemporary illustrator Tom Gauld, in conjunction with “Sentimental Landscapes,” an exhibition of Myriopticons at the Shandy Hall Gallery in Coxwold, United Kingdom. This is the home of writer Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), author A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy, and so, a perfect location for a series of endless landscapes. Give it a try.


Awa Tsireh (1898–1955)

wa roybal 2008.00005Thanks to the collecting efforts of Alfred Bush, retired Curator of Western Americana, the Princeton University Library has a small but choice collection of paintings by Awa Tsireh (1898-1955, also known as Alfonso Roybal, also known as Cattail Bird).
wa roybal turtle dance
wa roybal dancers and chorus Tsireh was born and raised at the San Ildefonso pueblo in New Mexico. He received a sponsorship from the School of American Research within the Museum of New Mexico in Santa Fe. Among the benefits was a studio in the museum where he could concentrate on his painting full-time.

Represented in a number of American art exhibitions throughout the years, Tsireh is being singled out in a retrospective at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum in Washington beginning later this week. For more information, see that study guide from 1993 at:
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“The paintings of Awa Tsireh (1898–1955), represent an encounter between the art traditions of native Pueblo peoples in the Southwestern United States and the American modernist art style begun in New York, which spread quickly across the country. Tsireh, also known by his Spanish name, Alfonso Roybal, decorated pottery as a young man on the San Ildefonso Pueblo near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Later, at the encouragement of Anglo patrons, he translated the forms and symbols of his pottery designs into watercolor paintings on paper. His stylized forms echoed the Art Deco aesthetic that was so popular between the two world wars, and his linear compositions appealed to modernist sensibilities.”–American Art Museum.

James Franklin, 1717

dying father6 “To the Impartial reader. Be not discouraged from reading this small treatise, because of the unhappy end of a wearisome pilgrimage, which the author met with in this world; if we get a fall in a journey or meet with a great shower of rain so it be in the close of the day when we are near our inn, where we meet with accommodation and refreshment, we are the less troubled. . . .”

Princeton is fortunate to own several copies of A dying father’s last legacy to an only child: or, Mr. Hugh Peter’s advice to his daughter. Written by his own hand, during his late imprisonment in the tower of London; and given her a little before his death (Boston: printed by B. Green, for Benjamin Eliot, at his shop on the north side of King street, 1717).

Two copies can be found in the Graphic Arts Collection, each with a frontispiece woodcut attributed to James Franklin (1697-1735). Note the differing layout of the two copes (Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Hamilton SS 539 and Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Hamilton 9s).
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James Franklin (1697-1735), half-brother of Benjamin Franklin, apprenticed as a printer in London before opening his own press in Boston around 1717. In this same year, A Dying Father’s Last Legacy was published with a woodcut initialed J.F., presumably James Franklin, who had also learned the art of wood cutting while in London.

Franklin went on to publish the influential newspaper New England Courant, with twelve year old Benjamin working as an indentured apprentice in James’ printing shop. It is interesting to note that most indentures ran for seven years, while Benjamin’s term was for nine, with journeyman’s pay only in the final year.

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Edition Et

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Edition Et ([Berlin]: Verlag Christian Grützmacher, 1966-1967). Edited by Bernhard Höke (except for no. 4, edited by Rochus Kowallek). Issues 1-2, 13-15 published in 1966; issues 3 and 4 published in 1967. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process.

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The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a complete set of this artist-designed and produced serial, edited by the German conceptual artist Bernhard Höke. It is rare to find a complete set of this title, which was issued unbound in cardboard portfolios. Both private and institutional collectors have often separated individual projects by celebrated artists originally found within Edition Et and discarded the less well-known works.

Each volume of this set is complete with the required 50 plates and a few folded posters, photomontages, xeroxes, typographical art, screenprints, concrete and visual poetry.

Editon Et presents an international selection of artists, musicians, and writers active in the 1960s including George Brecht, Gomringer, Ben Vautier, Emmett Williams, Max Bense, Eugen Gomringer, Dick Higgins, Gerhard Rühm, Wolf Vostell, Roy Lichtenstein, Nam June Paik, Dieter Roth, Christo, Joseph Beuys, Sigmar Polke, Gerhardt Richter, and dozens of others. Volume 15 is the work of a single artist, Dieter Roth, and makes up one part of a complex work he titled “Snow”.
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The publication follows in a long tradition of fluxus multiples. “The term ‘multiple’ was coined by Swiss artist Daniel Spoerri” writes Maja Wismer, “when he introduced his publishing project Edition MAT (Multiplication d’Art Transformable) in Paris in 1959. Spoerri’s project aimed to undermine the exclusivity of the original work of art by creating replicated objects, still claiming each to be an original. Without providing an exhaustive account of the different strategies of multiplication developed and carried out by various artists in the succeeding years, it is worth noting that the multiple proliferated rapidly throughout the United States and Europe during this time.”

“In 1963, just a few years after Edition MAT introduced the multiple, George Maciunas founded Fluxshop in downtown New York, solidifying the form as a critical tool for questioning the exclusivity of art and challenging the separation between art and life.” –Maja Wismer, One of Many, The Multiples of Joseph Beuys (Walker Art Center, 2015).
edition et2When asked about his use of the multiple, Joseph Beuys commented, “Well, it’s a matter of two intersecting things. Naturally, I search for a suitable quality in an object, which permits multiplication.… But actually, it’s more important to speak of distribution, of reaching a large number of people.… I’m interested in the distribution of physical vehicles in the form of editions because I’m interested in spreading ideas.”

Chris Ware


Story by Chris Ware, functionality by the Guardian Interactive team

ware 3aLast year, The Guardian began publishing a new graphic novel by the cartoonist Chris Ware. Installment number 48 of The Last Saturday is available at and if you haven’t been following, all the past episodes are also available. Labor Day weekend might be a good time to binge read the entire year’s postings.

September 13, 2015, will either be the beginning of a new year’s story or the end of the book. I don’t believe that has been announced.

The story follows the lives (or life cycles) of six characters, all from the resort community of Sandy Port, Michigan. See details from the first post on the right.

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Tree of Codes, the book and the ballet


In 1912, Stéphane Mallarmé’s L’après-midi d’un faune (1876) inspired the ballet The Afternoon of a Faun, choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky for the Ballets Russes.

In 2015, Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes (2010) inspired Wayne McGregor’s Tree of Codes, performed by fifteen soloists and dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet and Company, with music-scapes by JamieXX and visual-scapes by Olafur Eliasson.

In a few weeks, Tree of Codes comes to New York City. The publisher Visual Editions writes “Making Jonathan Safran Foer’s vision a reality four years ago, with the help of the incredibly talented Sara De Bondt, not to mention the only printers in the world who would do it, Die Keure in Belgium, and Jon Gray’s cover design, has been a big emotional part of Visual Editions: a benchmark for how far we, through the collective creative power of ambition and can-do-ness, can push the boundaries of how we read and what a book as an object can be.”

Jonathan Safran Foer, Tree of Codes ([London]: Visual Editions, 2011, c2010). Artist’s book with a unique die-cut on every page of the story. Publisher’s note: “In order to write The Tree of Codes, the author took an English language edition of Bruno Schulz’s The Street of Crocodiles and cut into its pages, carving out a new story.” Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2011-0591N

Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), L’après-midi d’un faune (Paris: A. Derenne, 1876). Copy 57 of 175. Prints by Édouard Manet (1832-1883). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2011-0088Q

Willats Album then and now

image007   image003278. Album of early photographs by various processes.

In 1897, the British Journal of Photography (BJP) published a series of articles describing “Historical Photographs in the Photographic Section of the Imperial Victorian Exhibition at the Crystal Palace,” held that spring. Part 2, published on August 20, focused on the display of early paper photography. “Before concluding the notice of paper negatives,” the author wrote, “we must direct attention to a most interesting album (No. 278) lent by Mr. J. Willats . . . .”

“This album is locked up in one of the cases, but, through the courtesy of Messrs. Negretti & Zambra, we have had a leisurely look through it. The photographs it contains were collected by the late Mr. Richard Willats about the time they were taken, and consist of examples of the work and processes of most of the pioneers of photography, as well as the portraits and autographs of many of them.”

“There is an example of “photogenic drawing” by Mr. Willats (1839), the year that Talbot‘s process was first published, and it is in a good state of preservation, now better indeed than many only two or three years old. There are portraits of the late Thomas Landseer, Sir William Allen, President of the Royal Scotch Academy, Gustave Le Grey, the inventor of the wax-paper process, and others of great interest.”image002

“There is a view of the Quadrant, Regent-street, before the colonnade was taken down by Cundell, 1847, and one by the same artist, 1844, of St. Paul’s from Blackfriars Bridge; also several views by that early worker, Robert Bingham, as well as by many others. The album also contains some 12 x 10 photographs (collodion negatives) taken later on by Negretti & Zambra, depicting the result of the bursting of the Fleet river, or sewer, during a severe storm, and the destruction of the underground railway works then in course of construction. In this album are also examples of processes that now would be new to most modern workers: the energiatype, catylisotype, cyanotype, chromatype, &c. Some of them are as good as when they were first produced. Many of the old silver prints have suffered, but many of them are almost intact.”

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Later that year, Edward William Foxlee (1832–1913) presented a lecture highlighting the best work at the Jubilee Exhibition. An account of his talk published in the BJP noted that “first amongst the objects described was an old album formed by Mr. R. Willats in 1840, the oldest print dating back to 1839. It included specimens not only of early silver and other prints, generally in very good condition, but specimens of several old processes that are now being worked with slight modifications, in addition to autographs of a number of well-known photographic men and portraits of pioneers of photography.”

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willats saleThe album found its way into the collection of Albert E. Marshall, which was auctioned in the celebrated photography sale of 1952. Not long after the sale, the 24 year old, newly hired curator of graphic arts, Gillett Griffin, acquired the album for Princeton University, where it resides today.

Photography: a panoramic history of the art of photography as applied to book illustration, from its inception up to date: the important collection of the late Albert E. Marshall of Providence, R.I. (New York City: Swann Auction Galleries, [1952]) Graphic Arts Collection 2007-2379Nnative

Bathing at Long Branch over the years

swimmingUnidentified artist, “An Every-Day Scene, Bathing at Long Branch New Jersey,” in The New York Illustrated News, August 15, 1863. Wood engraving. Oversize 0901.D389f

long branch2Henry Collins Bispham (1841-1882), “Our Summer Resorts, Bathing at Long Branch. Sketched by our special artist, Mr. Bispham” in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, September 12, 1863. Wood engraving. Annex A, Forrestal Oversize 0901.L637f. On the following page is a brief article accompanied this wood engraving:

“Long Branch has this year centered all the lovers of surf-bathing and all who gather around the fair lovers of the salt water. Cape May being no longer accessible, except by way of Philadelphia, does not compete with it, while at Long Branch every house was crowded to its utmost excess. Fashions change even in the matter of bathing and enjoying the sea air. Our clever artist gives Life at Long Branch as it appears A. D. 1863. The incidents, our readers will admit, are happy and happily treated. The introduction amid the roaring billows, the crab-catching, the lolling in the sand, and especially the bathing scene, all look so refreshingly cool, and bear such an impress of the dolce far niente, that they quite prevent our describing them in a hot city with sufficient appreciation. Imagination must supply our deficiency.”

1998.105.134_bwJohn Karst (1836-1922) after Winslow Homer (1836-1910), “The Beach at Long Branch,” in Appleton’s Journal of Literature, Science and Art, August 21, 1869. Wood engraving. Recap AE5 .A675

maca.contentdm2After Winslow Homer (1836-1910), “Bathing at Long Branch, Oh, Ain’t t Cold,” in Century Magazine v. 3, New Series, August 26, 1871. Wood engraving. CTSN Eng 19 151170

homer 1J. L. Langridge (1800-1899), after Winslow Homer (1836-1910), “On the Beach at Long Branch, The Chldren’s Hour,” in Harper’s Weekly, August 15, 1874. Wood engraving. Rare Books (Ex) 2010-0005F

38317After Winslow Homer (1836-1910), “American Sketches: Bathing at Long Branch, New York
[New Jersey],” in The Illustrated London News 1875. Wood engraving. Recap Oversize AP4 .I458q

Ĉtyři básně

visual poetry5Thanks to Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Librarian Thomas Keenan, the Graphic Arts Collection has acquired this rare book of visual poetry by the experimental Czech writer Bohumila Grögerová (1921-2014). Entitled Ĉtyři básně (Four Poems), OCLC records only one other copy of this fragile volume in the United States.

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Bohumila Grögerová and Alois Chvála, Ĉtyři básně ([Prague]: UB, 1965). “Upravil, vysadil a na ru čním lisu vytiskl Alois Chvála …”–Colophon. Graphic Arts collection GAX 2015- in process

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visual poetry6visual poetry4See also: Vrh kostek : česká experimentální poezie / [editors, Josef Hiršal, Bohumila Grögerová ; Zdeněk Barborka … et al.] (Praha: Torst, 1993). Firestone Library (F) PG5025 .V74 1993