Tsukurimono shukō no tane

tsukurimono4Title: Tsukurimono shukō no tane
Authors: Kanenari Akatsuki, 1793 or 1794-1861 and Rikimaru Kirotei, active 1830s
Artist: Matsukawa Hanzan, 1818-1882
Period: Edo period (1615–1868) Osaka. 1837.
Set of two woodblock printed books in four parts
Graphic Arts Collection GAX in process


OCLC connects the Japanese illustrator Matsukawa Hanzan with 161 books, demonstrating the magnitude of this artist’s contribution to Ukiyo-e book publishing. This particular volume, however, is extremely rare and unusual among the artist’s work.

Matsukawa has created a variety of objects for theatrical props or other displays, but he does so by assembling mundane, everyday objects. Fish are built out of dried foods and an insect is made out of a broom and other cleaning tools. See if you can decipher not only the subject of the plate but also the materials that went into the making of each one.

For those who can read the Japanese you will understand that for each prop, there is an explanation of the materials employed along with a kyoka poem critiquing the object, each signed by various poets.

Architecture hydraulique

hydroliqueBernard Forest de Bélidor (1698-1761), Architecture hydraulique, ou l’Art de conduire, d’elever, et de menager les eaux pour les differens besoins de la vie … ([Paris]: C.A. Jombert, 1737-1753). Graphic Arts Collection recap in process

A check of the open stacks recently brought this 18th-century engineering textbook to our attention. Written by Bernard Forest de Bélidor (1698-1761) and published by Charles-Antoine Jombert (1712-1784), under his royal imprint “libraire du Roi pour l’artillerie et le génie,” the four volumes contain over 200 plates by some of the best French engravers of the period, including Antoine Hérisset (1685-1769), Robert François Bonnart (active 1726-1759), Jacques Rigaud (1681-1754), and many others. The books have been moved to our secure department holdings.




Down the Islands

down the islands2William Agnew Paton (1848-1918), Down the Islands, a Voyage to the Caribbees, with illustrations from drawings by M. J. Burns (New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1887). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2003-0365N
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William Agnew Paton (1848-1918) worked as publisher of the New York World from 1877 to 1881; served as trustee of the National Republican from 1881 to 1885; and finally, the first business manager of Scribner’s Magazine from 1885 to 1887.

When he left work for health reasons Paton made an extended trip to the Caribbean and on his return, published Down the Islands, a narrative of his travels. Paton commissioned Milton J. Burns (1853-1933) to illustrate the book, an artist who not only worked for St. Nicholas Magazine, Scribner’s, and Harpers but had also served on fishing vessels and was known for his seascapes.

In 1911, Paton gave Princeton University Library his ‘Paton Spanish War Collection’ of newspapers and magazines. After his death, his brother David Paton, Class of 1874 (1854-1925), donated the entire Paton Library to Princeton in honor of William Agnew Paton.

We also received the entire collection of Milton Burns’s paintings, drawings, and photographs for Down the Islands. It is particularly interesting to see the variety of mediums Burns used, from pen and ink to watercolor to charcoal, in order to accomplish the right artwork for each section of the book. Here are a few examples.

down the islands13Milton J. Burns collection of drawings, [1880s]. 5 linear ft. (1 solander box). Consists of approximately 75 drawings and sketches, as well as several small oil paintings by Burns that were used as illustrations in William Agnew Paton’s Down the Islands (New York, 1887). Graphic Arts Collection GC093
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1861 Broadside

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Special thanks to Special Collections Assistants Allison Hughes and Miriam Jankiewicz for adding a little perspective to this post.

From 2008 to 2014, we cleared material out of a storage space known locally as the “iconography vault.” Over 100 posters were crumbled up on top of the cabinetry, which have slowly been flattened and conserved by our staff. Yesterday, we discovered we had this treasure from 1861.

The broadside is for a special performance at the Howard Athenæum, also known as Old Howard Theatre, in Boston, Massachusetts. For over 100 years, from 1845 to 1953, the Howard was one of the most famous theaters in Boston history. This single performance featured and benefited the American stage actress Charlotte Saunders Cushman (1816-1876) who was known for playing both male and female parts (including a celebrated Hamlet).
shakespeare poster8Note the separate seating required for Black and White audience members. This is just days after the beginning of the American Civil War.

Read : Emma Stebbins (1815-1882), Charlotte Cushman: her letters and memoires of her life (Boston: Houghton, Osgood and Company, 1878). Firestone Library PN2287.C8 S7 1878
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cushman2George B. Black (active 1844-1880) after a painting by William Henry Watkins (active 1847), Charlotte Cushman as Mrs. Haller. “I cannot understand this!” 1845. Lithograph. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2013.00361

cushman1Frederick Gutekunst (1831-1917), Charlotte Cushman, 1874. Albumen silver print. Theater Collection photographs TA 2013.00547.

Combat Paper Exhibition in Robertson Hall


Separate from this exhibit, the Graphic Arts Collection holds one portfolio prepared by Combat Paper, which can be viewed in the RBSC reading room. Drew Cameron, You Are Not My Enemy: Combat Paper Portfolio Volume IV (Burlington, Vt.: People’s Republic of Paper, 2008). Copy 8 of 8, accompanied by 18 uniform fragments (including seven embroidered patches, names, emblems, etc.), seven buttons, and a ribbon. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2009-0009E

Princeton Club of New York City

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James Sanford Hulme (1900-1974), The Princeton Club, Park Ave, N.Y.C., May 28, 1957. Color serigraph. Graphic Arts Collection. Gift of Sandra T. Brushart and Arthur H. Thornhill, III, in memory of their father Arthur H. Thornhill, Jr., Class of 1946.

princeton club nyc5In 1961, The Daily Princetonian announced that the Princeton Club had broken ground for a new home at 15-21 West 43rd Street [where it remains today]. “Ever since a small group from the Class of 1895 leased the third floor of a building on West 24th Street, shortly after graduation, the dream of a Princeton Club, fully equipped and housed in its own building, has been in the minds of alumni,” wrote Robert Lanza.

“Since that date, the club has been a floating institution. Expiration of the lease in 1897 caused the club to be abandoned in fact, but not in thought.

After two years of planning, on December 7, 1899, the Princeton Club of New York was incorporated. And less than four months later, in March 1900, the members entered their new Club House in the old Vanderbilt home on the corner of 34th Street and Park Avenue, where the Vanderbilt Hotel stands today. By 1908, the lease had run out, and the 1400 residents and nonresidents, requiring more room, decided not to renew.

Instead, they moved to larger quarters at Gramercy Park North and Lexington Avenue, into the former residence ‘of the noted architect, Stanford White. There the club stayed for 10 years. Pressures caused by the war years resulted, in 1918, in a decision to accept an invitation by the Yale Club to share its quarters at 44th Street and Vanderbilt Avenue. The decision proved an advantage to both.

In 1922 the Princeton Club was able to purchase the residence on the corner of 39th Street and Park Avenue, where the club has remained for 39 years. In 1929 the adjoining residence of the late Austin G. Fox was added to the club property. Financial difficulties brought on by the depression made it mutually practical for the Brown Club to share the Princeton Club facilities, starting in March 1933. Later, similar arrangements were made with the Dartmouth College Club, which moved into the former Fox residence on April 1, 1942. Thus, the present facilities at 39th Street and Park Avenue accommodate 3200 members of the Princeton Club, over half of whom are non-resident, 1200 members of the Dartmouth College Club and 800 members of the Brown Club.”
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From Jersey to Princeton and Back Again

JEP Jan 29Congratulations to Mike Sunier, who saw the Richard Willats photography album online and published an article about the 19th-century photographers in Jersey, in the 21st-century Jersey Evening Post.

Click here to see the album yourself: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/k930bx11x



Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands, off the coast of Normandy, France.

For more information on the history of their early photographers, see also: http://www.theislandwiki.org/index.php/The_beginnings_of_photography_in_Jersey

Friedrich Wilhelm Kloss’s Sketchbook

kloss sketchbook6The Graphic Arts Collection is pleased to have acquired a rare sketchbook belonging to the architectural draughtsman Friedrich Wilhelm Kloss (1805-1875). The small volume’s 40 foliated leaves hold 78 drawings, mostly city and landscape views but also a few genre scenes, plant studies, costume sketches, and other fascinating details Kloss recorded around 1828.
kloss sketchbook4Kloss spent most of his life in Berlin in the circle of the architect Friedrich August Stüler (1800-1865) who, with royal patronage, transformed Berlin. Kloss specialized in highly finished topographical and architectural watercolor views. Thanks to this sketchbook, we can now chronicle his time in Rome, which he captured in seventeen architectural views including Vesta Temple; view of St. Peter from the Gianicolo; view of St. Peter with Castel san Angelo and Tiber; Porta dell Popolo; bridge over the Tiber; Forum Romanum; Venus Temple; Concordia Temple; Sant’Onofrio; Temple of Antonio; the lake in Villa Borghese gardens; Villa Pamphili; gardens of Villa Medici; courtyard view of a Roman palace; and several unidentified views. He also visited Tivoli, Venice, Florence, and the ruins in Paestum and Portici.
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kloss sketchbook7There are also four pages of autographs, where German artist friends living in Rome recorded their names at the end of Kloss’s sketchbook as a sign of friendship. He notes, “Am latten Abend im Künstlerverein hier Roma, als ich den Künstlern Lebewohl sagte, haben dieselben ein Gleiches gethan und zur Erinnerung ihre Namen hier eingetragen” (on the last evening at the German Artists Society in Rome, when I [i.e. Kloss] said farewell, the artists did the same and in memory of our friendship signed their names).

This is a very early document showing that there was a formal association, a Künstlerverein, of German artists in Rome. A total of seventeen German artists residing in Rome, mostly painters, but also the odd sculptor or etcher, signed their names and some also gave the city of their birth. They are listed here in the order they appear in the sketchbook:

August Hopfgarten – Zur Erinnerung an Rome (i.e. ‘in memory of Rome’) [lived in Rome 1827-32]; J[ohann] Bravo [lived from 1827 in Rome]; G. Baumgarten aus Dresden; Friederich Peller aus Weimar [Rome 1826-31]; Dr. Carl Schunterman; Adolph Loehser; Adolph Kaiser aus Weimar [Rome 1828-30]; H[erman] W[ilhelm] Bissen [Rome 1823-35, sculptor, favourite pupil of Thorvaldsen]; August Riedel aus Bayreuth [Rome March 1828-29, and again from 1832]; Kühne aus Eisleben; August Richter aus Dresden [Rome 1826-30, draughtsman]; [Franz] Nadorp [Rome from Jan. 1828, etcher]; A[nton] Draeger aus Trier [lived in Rome since 1821]; Friedrich Mosbrugger aus Konstanz [Rome Dec. 1827-1829]; Bernhard Neher von Biberach [Rome 1827-31]; Eduard Erhad aus Graudenz in Westpreussen [Rome 1826-30]; Rudolf Freytag zur Erinnerung Rom ’28 [Rome 1825-30, again 1840-43, sculptor]; Joseph Anton Koch Rome [Rome 1795-1812, and 1815-1839], Kloss has written above Koch’s name ‘Ausgezeichneter Landschaftsmaler’ (i.e. ‘excellent landscape painter’), while Koch himself, a notorious womaniser, used the opportunity to greet a lady friend, Louise Oesterreich, from afar in the knowledge that Kloss would report his greetings to her in his native Berlin, he helpfully also furnished her address, ‘Louise Oesterreich, Mauerstra[sse] no. 65, eine Treppe hoch, bitte ich höflich zu grüssen’; [August] W[ilhelm] Schirmer [Rome 1827-31].

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Friedrich Wilhelm Kloss (1805-1875), Sketchbook of Rome, Tivoli, Florence, Venice, and the ruins of Paestum, ca. 1828. Pencil, pen and wash drawings. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2016- in process

Illustrations to the Epitome of the Ancient History of Japan

mcleod7Illustrations to the Epitome of the Ancient History of Japan, including Illustrations to Guide Book, collected and arranged by N. [Nicholas] McLeod (Kiyoto, 1877). “The illustrations include specimens of the ethnology of the different races in Japan, and their special belongings, Shinto and Buddhist pictures, legends and illustrated proofs of the descent of part of the Japanese race from lost Israel.” Graphic Arts Collection GAX in process. Gift of Edith and Emmet Gowin.


mcleod11According to the acquisition note posted by the National Library of Scotland (http://www.nls.uk/) “This is, by any standards, a strange book.” Thanks to the generous donation of Edith and Emmet Gowin, Princeton University Library researchers can also puzzle over the first illustrated edition of Nicholas McLeod’s odd volume.

The NLS entry goes on to attempt a description: “It was published . . . to accompany the author’s Epitome of the Ancient History of Japan. . . . Central to the Epitome is McLeod’s belief that the Shindai or holy class of Japan are descended from the Lost Tribes of Israel. He also calls attention to the fact that the first known king of Japan was Osee, who came to the throne in 730 B.C. and that the last king of Israel was, the similarly named Hosea who died in 722 B.C.

In the preface McLeod mentions that ‘the engravings are the workmanship of the best Japanese artists, but as they have had as yet so little experience of foreign letters, the execution is imperfect’. There are engravings of kings, temples as well as some relating to the author’s thesis such as ‘supposed order of march of Israelites to Japan’.”