Drop Dead Gorgeous

If you are on the west coast next week, why don’t you come to the Frederic W. Goudy Lecture at Scripps College, Saturday, September 27 at 7:00 p.m? Here’s a brochure. This event was organized by the Director of Scripps College Press Kitty Maryatt.
flier2Julie Mellby flyer 2014 Small_Page_2

Versailles on Paper

fountianIn conjunction with the upcoming exhibition Versailles on Paper: A Graphic Panorama of the Palace and Gardens of Louis XIV, opening February 14, 2015, several rare volumes have been digitized in their entirety. Here is the link: http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/versailles3

Our sincere thanks to Volker Schröder, Gretchen Oberfranc, Sandy Brooke, Vicki Principi, AnnaLee Pauls, Jon Stroop, Shaun Ellis, Kevin Reiss, Roel Munoz, Don Thornbury, Jeff Barton, Joyce Bell, and many others I’m sure I’m forgetting. It is amazing how much time and effort these projects require.

Note in particular the ability to zoom in on details!

 

A flock of cranes

japanese 2009 00770aDetail of A Flock of Cranes

The Graphic Arts Collection has a small collection of hashira-e or pillar prints. Their condition is less than perfect but this is not unusual. Printed on long, narrow sheets to fit on the pillars in someone’s home, these prints were exposed to all types of environmental damage, including excess light and dust and humidity. It’s a wonder any of them survive.

Several of our prints are by Katsukawa Shunchō, a Japanese printmaker active from 1783 to 1821 but my favorite is by Isoda Koryūsai, who worked both as a painter and printmaker around 1765 to 1785. His “Flock of Cranes” draws on the mythology of the crane as a symbol of long life and fidelity. Oberlin posted a nice compendium of mythologies of the crane: http://www.oberlin.edu/amam/asia/crane/documents/craneinfo.pdf

Jacob Pins, The Japanese pillar print: Hashira-e; foreword by Roger Keyes (London: Sawers, 1982). Marquand Library (SA) Oversize NE1310 .P61q

japanese 2009 00770      japanese 2009 00772a         japanese 2009 00771

japanese 2009 00772Details of Gathering Shellfish at Low Tide

Isoda Koryusai, A Flock of Cranes, no date. Color woodblock print. GA 2009.00770
Katsukawa Shuncho, Gathering Shellfish at Low Tide, no date. Color woodblock print. GA 2009.00772
Katsukawa Shuncho, Courtesan emerging from a mosquito net, no date. Color woodblock print. GA 2009.00771

Gillett Griffin

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Congratulations to Gillett Griffin, former curator of graphic arts, whose exhibition The Eyes Have It Gillett Griffin, had its opening reception yesterday afternoon at the Art Council of Princeton.

The show, which runs through September 30, 2014, includes Gillett’s paintings, drawings, and sketches made during his extensive travels, along with field notes and diaries. It will introduce him as an artist to many people who only know him as a curator and teacher.

As the ACP notes on their website, “Through exhibitions, symposia, his generosity as a teacher and his genius at friendship, he has served as a catalyst to many developments in Pre-Columbian studies. Gillett’s paintings were inspired by his impressions and studies of places, people and artifacts he came across during his travels to archeological sites in Central America.”

For more information, see: http://artscouncilofprinceton.org/

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Printing History II

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Yesterday, we posted a new set of 19th-century metal printing plates telling classical stories with Latin captions. Today, several of the sequences have been identified.

My sincere thanks to Christina S. Kraus, Acting Chair, NELC. Thomas A. Thacher Professor of Latin, Yale University, and to Christopher Stray, Honorary Research Fellow, Department of History and Classics, Swansea University, for their help in identifying the stories. This will be a tremendous help in tracking down the published versions of these educational prints.

A.This is from Sallust, Bellum Jugurthinum chapter 93
1.MILES AQUATUM EGREDITUR
2.FACILIS ASCENSUS
3.UTILIS ARBOR
4.RAMIS MODO MODO SAXIS NISUS AD CASTELLUM HOSTIUM PERVENIT
5.OMNIA EXPLORAT
6.LAETUS REGREDITUR

B. Unidentified

1.ITER FACIENS
2.POSSUMNE?
3.EXPERIAR CERTE
4.FORTIS SENEX
5.CAPTUS
6.EXITUS MISERANDUS

C. Unidentified

1.LATRONES DELIBERANT
2.CALLIDUM CONSILIUM
3.LATRONES VENUMDANT
4.ILLE PORTAM RESERAT
5.EFFUGIT URSA
6.CANES LATRONEM LACERANT

D. This is from Livy 1.24 the battle of the Horatii and the Curiatii
1.FRATRES PRO PATRIA INTER SE PUGNANT
2.DUO ROMANI INTERFICIUNTUR
3.TERTIUS CALLIDE FUGIT
4.PRIMUM ALBANUM OCCIDIT
5.SECUNDUM OCCIDIT
6.TERTIUM OCCIDIT

E. This is from Caesar, Bellum Gallicum 4.24-6, the first landing in Britain
1.CLASSIS ROMANA
2.BRITANNI
3.ROMANI TERRENTUR
4.AQUILIFER FORTIS
5.MILITES SECUUNTUR
6.BRITANNOS FUGANT

F. This is from Livy 5.47 and thereabouts, Manlius and the geese during the Gallic sack
1.ROMANUS DESCENDIT
2.VESTIGIA GALLI VIDENT
3.NOCTU GALLI VIDENT
4.IAM IAM DORMIUNT
5.ANSERES VIGILES
6.SPES IRRITA

G. A late antique story; see also: http://storiesforpreaching.com/telemachus-and-the-colosseum/
1.GLADIATORES PUGNANT
2.INTRAT TELEMACHUS
3.FRATRES ESTIS
4.TELEMACHUS INTERFICITUR
5.SCELUS NEFANDUM
6.EXEUNT OMNESblocks2

Printing history

blocks3The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired seven 19th century metal printing plates for a yet unidentified text or project. The blocks are composed of sequences of six cells and the numbering on the sides indicates that several blocks are consecutive.  The captions are in Latin and the pictures tell simple stories of Telemachus and other classical histories. If anyone knows these books or teaching broadsides, could you let us know?
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blocks4This block has been inverted and laterally reversed. The caption reads: Telemachus Interficitur.

 

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The same block laterally reversed, as it would be when printed. Caption: Milites sequuntur

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The same block inverted and laterally reversed, note the figure. Caption: Experiar Certe
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blocks19
blocks13The marks on one side read: UU 361, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366 & 368. On the other side: 1883, 1885, blank, 1886, 1872, 1869 & 1871.

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Catch and Release

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Reina María Rodriguez, Catch and Release. Linocuts by Alejandro Sainz (Tuscaloosa & Havana: Parallel Editions, 2014). Graphic Arts Collection 2014- in process. Gift of the author.

“This book is a collaboration between Cuban poet Reina María Rodríguez, as translated by Kristin Dykstra, Cuban artist Alejandro Sainz, and The University of Alabama. Faculty and students in the MFA in the Book Arts Program, School of Library & Information Studies, College of Communication & Information Sciences designed, letterpress printed, and bound the book.”–Last page. Alternating sections in black and gold type. Limited edition of 60 copies.

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Adam Fuss, Mask

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Adam Fuss, Mask (Aspen: Baldwin Gallery, 2005). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2014- in process

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Mask was published in conjunction with the 2005 exhibition of photograms by Adam Fuss, held at the Baldwin Gallery in Aspen, Colorado. Twenty-five tritone reproductive plates are printed on stiff brown paper, housed in a cardboard slipcase. This first edition was limited to 1000 copies.

Exploring the rich iconography of African masks, Fuss placed the 3D objects directly onto light-sensitive paper, varying the exposure time to create eerie contrasts between light and shadow. What results are ghost-like images offering the hidden identities within these magical objects.

“In the midst of the digital age, Adam Fuss creates pictures of rare beauty and mystery with traditional and historical photographic techniques. Working without a camera, Fuss employs the 19th-Century photogram process involving the most basic elements of photography: objects and light.”—press release
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We have reserved Margaret Atwood’s upcoming book, to be published in 2114 [this is not a typo]

Margaret Atwood – the first writer for Future Library from Katie Paterson on Vimeo.

A forest in Norway is growing. In 100 years it will become an anthology of books.

The Scottish artist Katie Paterson conceived of this 100-year-long project she calls Framtidsbiblioteket (The Future Library). It is one of four public artworks produced for Slow Space, a program of public artworks for Bjørvika, Oslo’s former container port, and commissioned by Bjørvika Utvikling.

The project has begun:
1. 1,000 trees have been planted outside Oslo, Norway, which will supply paper for a special anthology of books to be printed in one hundred years time.
2. The first writer, Margaret Atwood, has accepted a commission to write the first text over the next year, which will be sealed in a box, unread and unpublished until 2114.
3. Between 2014 and 2114, one additional writer every year will contribute a text, with the writings held in trust, unpublished, until 2114.
4. In 2114, the forest will be harvested and paper made to print an edition of each text.
5. Princeton will receive one complete set of the books.

According to Paterson’s website, the texts will be held in a specially designed room in the New Public Deichmanske Library, Oslo. Tending the forest and ensuring its preservation for the 100-year duration of the artwork finds a conceptual counterpoint in the invitation extended to each writer: to conceive and produce a work in the hopes of finding a receptive reader in an unknown future. Atwood comments:

I am very honoured, and also happy to be part of this endeavor. This project, at least, believes the human race will still be around in a hundred years! Future Library is bound to attract a lot of attention over the decades, as people follow the progress of the trees, note what takes up residence in and around them, and try to guess what the writers have put into their sealed boxes.

Guiding the selection of authors is the Future Library Trust, whose trustees include the artist, Literary Director of the Man Booker Prize Ion Trewin, Publishing Director of Hamish Hamilton Simon Prosser, former Director of the Deichmanske Bibliotek Liv Sæteren, Publishing Director of Forlaget Press Håkon Harket, Editor in Chief of Oktober Press, Ingeri Engelstad, Director of Situations Claire Doherty and Anne Beate Hovind, Bjørvika Utvikling’s Project Manager for the Slow Space Programme.

Thanks to the James Cohen Gallery for helping us be a part of this wonderful project.www.futurelibrary.no

Future Library, Katie Paterson from Katie Paterson on Vimeo.

Riva Castleman

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“The Trustees and staff of The Museum of Modern Art mourn the death of Riva Castleman, legendary print curator, who worked at the Museum from 1963 to 1995. Riva first joined MoMA’s Department of Prints and Illustrated Books as a cataloger; in 1976 she became Director of Prints and Illustrated Books, and in 1986 she was named Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs, a position she held in addition to her work as Director of Prints and Illustrated Books until she retired in June 1995. Recognizing the significance of prints and illustrated books as important expressions of modern art, Riva organized dozens of exhibitions and catalogues that helped to advance scholarship in the field and convey the importance of these mediums to a wider audience. indexHer efforts resulted in many landmark publications that remain standard references today, including Prints of the Twentieth Century: A History (1976), Printed Art: A View of Two Decades (1980), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1985), Jasper Johns: A Print Retrospective (1987), and A Century of Artists Books (1994).

Her work inspired a generation of curators and collectors, and her passion and dedication ensured that MoMA’s collection of prints and illustrated books would remain the premier collection of its kind in the world. Her legacy is also reflected in two innovative initiatives that continue to provide support to the Museum and that have influenced other museums around the world. In 1975 she organized the Print Associates, the first collectors’ group affiliated with a curatorial department at the Museum. She conceived of an endowment earmarked for the acquisition of prints and illustrated books, also a first for a curatorial department at the Museum. Her astute intelligence, sharp eye, and exacting standards left a mark on all who had the good fortune to know or work with her, and she will be greatly missed. We extend our deepest sympathies to Riva’s niece, Kristen DeVoe, and her family.”

Shared by our colleagues last night and printed in NYTs 9/6/2014