Stony Island Arts Bank

“How do we start to imagine ourselves as deeper caretakers of the things that exist in the world?” —Theaster Gates
In 2012 Gates purchased the Stony Island Trust & Savings Bank for one dollar. Today, “the Stony Island Arts Bank is a hybrid gallery, media archive, library and community center … built in 1923, the bank … had closed and the building remained vacant and deteriorating for decades. Reopened in October 2015, the radically restored building serves as a space for neighborhood residents to preserve, access, reimagine and share their heritage.” —https://rebuild-foundation.org/site/stony-island-arts-bank/

Forget about the $30 million sale of the Johnson Publishing’s historic Ebony and Jet magazine photo archive, the Johnson Publishing Archive + Collections was donated, free of charge, to the Arts Bank collection.

“The archive features more than 15,000 items including books, periodicals, ephemera, paintings, and sculpture, along with original furnishings and interior design elements custom-designed for JPC’s downtown Chicago offices by Arthur Elrod.”

The library, including complete runs of Jet and Ebony along with African history, American literature, and more, is open to all researchers.

Other collections include the University of Chicago glass magic lantern slides, over 60,000 slides of art and architectural history from the Paleolithic to Modern eras.

“In 2009, the Visual Resources Center’s historic collection of lantern slides at the University of Chicago was digitized and donated to artist Theaster Gates. Since then, a public digital collection has been made available online, the physical slides have been a part of several artist projects, and now the collection is permanently housed in the new Stony Island Arts Bank, a cultural venue for the community on the South Side of Chicago.” https://online.vraweb.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1069&context=vrab

They also quietly house the Edward J. Williams Collection: 4,000 objects of “negrobilia” – mass cultural objects and artifacts that feature stereotypical images of black people. https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/ct-arts-bank-stony-island-ent-0705-20170628-column.html, and Frankie Knuckles Records: “Godfather of House Music,” Frankie Knuckles’ vinyl collection. “Frankie Knuckles, a club disc jockey, remixer and producer who was often called the “godfather of house” for helping that percussive genre of dance music spread from Chicago nightclubs to global popularity and influence, died on Monday at his home in Chicago. He was 59.”–https://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/02/arts/music/frankie-knuckles-59-pioneer-house-dj-dies.html?ref=obituaries

The Stony Island Arts Bank is several blocks south of the site of the Chicago Columbian Exposition and the upcoming Barack Obama Presidential Center https://www.obama.org/the-center/. The New York-based Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA), who designed Princeton’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, will design President Barack Obama’s presidential library.

This October 2019 Gates brings his Black Artist Retreat, an annual event in Chicago, to New York for a two-day event including roller skating, music and performances.–http://www.armoryonpark.org/programs_events/detail/black_artists_retreat

see more: The HistoryMakers video oral history with Theaster Gates https://catalog.princeton.edu/catalog/10394330

Base-ball

Base-Ball
The Ball once struck off,
Away flies the Boy
To the next destin’d Post,
And then Home with Joy.

Moral
Thus Seamen, for Lucre
Fly over the Main,
But, with Pleasure transported
Return back again.


Now online is a digital copy of Sinclair Hamilton’s: A little pretty pocket-book: intended for the instruction of amusement of little Master Tommy, and pretty Miss Polly. With two letters from Jack the Giant-Killer: as also a ball and pincushion: the use of which will infallibly make Tommy a good boy, and Polly a good girl: To which is added, A little song-book, being a new attempt to teach children the use of the English alphabet, by way of diversion . . . First Worcester edition (Printed at Worcester, Massachusetts: By Isaiah Thomas, and sold wholsesale and retail at his bookstore, MDCCLXXXVII [1787]). 11 cm, 64 woodcuts. Digital: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/jm214s73x. Graphic Arts Collection Hamilton 115s; also in Cotsen Eng 18 8136

Compare Princeton’s copy to the Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/resource/rbc0001.2003juv05880/?sp=51

This is a reprint of Newbery’s edition originally published in London in 1744; first published in the United States by Hugh Gaine in 1762 as A Little Pretty Book. According to Hamilton, the mention of baseball on p. 43 might be the first. It predates other possible baseball “firsts.”

“The earliest known mention of baseball in the United States was in a 1792 Pittsfield, Massachusetts by law banning the playing of the game within 80 yards of the town meeting house. Another early reference reports that “base ball” was regularly played on Saturdays on the outskirts of New York City (in what is now Greenwich Village) in 1823. …The booming port city of New York had more than 120,000 residents in 1823, according to the census, and its warren of cobblestone lanes had pushed as far north as present-day Canal Street. The Retreat mentioned in the article was a two-acre rural estate that in 1822 became the site of a tavern run by a man named William Jones.– https://ourgame.mlblogs.com/the-pittsfield-baseball-bylaw-of-1791-what-it-means-940a3ccf08db

It also pre-dates the mention of the first game at The Retreat in New York City. “… articles appeared April 25, 1823; they indicate that some form of the game was even then being called ”base ball” and was played in Manhattan. … The game was played on the west side of Broadway between what is today Eighth Street and Washington Place in Greenwich Village, long before anyone dreamed of putting on a pinstripe uniform.– https://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/08/nyregion/baseball-s-disputed-origin-is-traced-back-back-back.html

 

New York Daily Times December 19, 1854: 3.

More on the Gotham Club: http://protoball.org/Gothams_Club_of_New_York

Ernesto Cardenal Honored


On August 10, 2019, the priest/poet Ernesto Cardenal (born 1925) received an award from the Academy of Sciences of Nicaragua (ACN) for his contributions to national literature. This follows the February 2019 absolution granted Cardenal by Pope Francis from “all canonical censorships,” which he incurred in 1984.

In 1988, Cardenal was scheduled to speak at Princeton University but was denied a visa by the United States government. Again in 1990, a scheduled visit was cancelled fearing denial of access. The Daily Princetonian, 114, no 104 (26 October 1990) noted:

“Professors yesterday said they were outraged at reports that U.S. government visa restrictions prompted Nicaraguan poet and priest Ernesto Cardenal to cancel a nation-wide speaking tour scheduled to begin here yesterday. Though the state department granted Cardenal admission privileges, the poet’s colleagues said visa restrictions caused him to doubt that immigration authorities would allow him to enter the country. “McCarthyism is still alive in relation to Latin America,” said Latin American Studies director Arcadio Diaz-Quinones, whose program sponsored the visit. “It’s very disturbing that intellectuals and writers are not allowed to lecture and engage in dialogue with us.”

In 2018, Uruguay named Cardenal the winner of the Mario Benedetti International Prize. The Iberoamerican Poetry Awards Pablo Neruda (2009) and the Reina Sofía Ibero-American Poetry Prize (2012) are among the many other important awards he has received.

 

Princeton’s online catalogue lists 189 titles by Cardenal, beginning in 1965 with Oración por Marilyn Monroe, y otros poemas. (PQ7519.C34 O7 1965).  See also: Antonio Martorell (American, born Puerto Rico 1939) and Ernesto Cardenal (Nicaraguan, born 1925). Los Salmos [The Psalms]. Puerto Rico: Martorell, 1971. Graphic Arts Collection, Copy 24 of 200.

Listen to Cardenal read at Vanderbilt University in 2011 (translations provided).

Frank Hegger

Frank Hegger (ca. 1840-1903) was described by his daughter Grace (Mrs. Sinclair Lewis) as a “failed artist turned photographer.” On October 27, 1886, he became one of the first image distributor arrested by Anthony Comstock, Secretary of the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, for selling obscene photographs.

Hegger was accused of selling “unmounted photographs” that were imported through the mails from Paris, described as “of the most obscene and filthy character. …one package contained 134 pictures, most of them from life, and I am satisfied from my investigation that there is a large amount of nude and obscene pictures imported by various dealers in the City of New York, …designed for artists [but]…distributed promiscuously.”–Amy Werbel, Lust on Trial: Censorship and the Rise of American Obscenity in the Age of Anthony Comstock (Columbia University Press, 2018).

Recognized for his superb carbon prints, Hegger did a fair amount of business with Adolphe Braun through his Paris offices. One package seized in the raid was addressed from that firm, possibly reproductions of works from the Louvre, where Braun held the sole license to photograph and circulate reproductions. These may have been the objectionable nudes. According to Werbel, “Comstock’s campaign to rid America of vice in fact led to greater acceptance of the materials he deemed objectionable.”

By 1890, all Hegger advertisements describe landscapes and architectural views, no portraiture, although men continued to line-up on the sidewalk to get into his shops at 152 Broadway and 288 Fifth Avenue, where prints as large as 4 x 3 feet were displayed and sold.

“Frank Hegger’s Photographic Depot, at 152 Broadway, is the best-known and most popular establishment of its kind in America. This spacious store is a magazine packed with everything that is choice in water-colors, etchings, engravings, photographs of every possible description, and unmounted views from all parts of the globe. “If you can’t get them at Hegger’s, you can’t get them in this country, ” is a well-deserved compliment and literally true.

Hegger’s is always abreast with the time, and the selections which continually replenish his stock are made with the taste and judgment of a man of travel and a knowledge of the best one sees as a traveler.  . . .The absence of the Hegger establishment from New York would leave an aching void to the eyes of thousands to whom his show-windows and portfolios are a perpetual source of intellectual refreshment and aesthetical delight.

The Broadway sidewalk is often blockaded by the throng attracted by his ever freshly renewed and ever novel and interesting displays, and brokers and business men, hot with the fever of mid-day business, break suddenly away from their drive for gain to “run in and see what Hegger has new,” and jostle grave[?] divines and college professors in their investigations of the huge sample books.”

King’s Handbook of New York City: An Outline History and Description of the American Metropolis (1892).152 Broadway, adjoining the N. E. corner of Liberty Street, showing Frank Hegger’s Photographic Depot, the best known and most popular establishment of its kind in its day. –New York Public Library “Old New York” 1883?

See also: Half a loaf by Grace Hegger Lewis (New York: H. Liveright, 1931). Fictionalized autobiographical account of the author’s marriage to Sinclair Lewis. ReCAP 3827.15.342

Mr. Hall’s Store

South William Street today

James Hall (1810-1854) was an importer (born in Scotland, active in the United States) who met John James Audubon (1785-1851) while the artist was living in London during the last years of printing Birds of America. According to New York City tax records, Lot 48, 51 Stone Street (originally known by its Dutch name, Hoogh Straet) was sold to Hall in May 1835, just months before the Great Fire of December 16-17, 1835.

When everything on the block burned to the ground, Hall rebuilt a five story “through-the-block store and loft” giving the business two addresses, 49-51 Stone and 19 South William Streets. Hall’s considerable square footage was primarily used as storage and he worked from an office around the corner on Beaver Street, later shared by Audubon’s son John Woodhouse Audubon (1812-1862), after Hall’s sister Caroline (1811-1899) became John’s second wife in 1841.

Hall’s building was, for a time, the home to five tons of copper printing plates for Birds of America, stored there when the material came to New York City.

John and Caroline built a home on the Audubon estate near what is today 155th Street and James Hall also purchased a small section of land from Lucy Audubon where his family settled (more about that property).

After an equally devastating fire in the summer of 1845, again burning 100s of buildings in lower Manhattan, a storage vault was built on the Audubon property where the plates were moved.

J.J. Audubon died in 1851, James Hall died in 1854, Victor Audubon died in 1860, and John Woodhouse Audubon died in 1862. Lucy Audubon leased and then sold each of the homes on the estate until she finally vacated the property to live with relatives. This is when the copper plates also needed a new home, but that’s another story.

When Hall rebuilt his store, each of the buildings on Stone/South William looked exactly alike, with Greek revival columns along the street level. It wasn’t until the 20th century that things changed. Amos F. Eno purchased several buildings on the block, selling Hall’s to his nephew Amos R.E. Pinchot and his socialite wife Gertrude, active with Margaret Sanger. The most interesting facade is the one next door to Hall:

“Then on December 20, 1926 the property … was purchased by Block Hall, Inc, [a] newly-formed club composed of businessmen in the banking and marine insurance industries. The president, Gresham Innis, announced that the land “will be improved by the club with a seven-story clubhouse.” In deference to the historic site the club was named in honor of Adriaen Block and would be a private social, athletic and luncheon club. …At the time, downtown businessmen were increasingly inconvenienced as the residential neighborhoods moved further uptown, making traveling home for lunch difficult.  A private luncheon club resolved the problem and eliminated the only other option, which was scrambling for tables at the few acceptable restaurants in the area.” See more here.

Note, the scrambling was primarily for a seat at Delmonico’s restaurant, 2 South William Street, later Beaver and South William [below].No information available

Taking a break, back in September

Dutch designer Maarten Baas’s giant Real Time Schiphol timepiece replaces traditional clock hands with a 12-hour-long video performance (+ movie). The three-metre-high clock has been installed in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport and features a film showing Baas drawing and redrawing the clock’s hands with a roller and paint. Intended to portray a “hyper-realistic representation of time”, the video took exactly 12 hours to film and will take as long to watch in its entirety.

大野友資 (Yusuke Oono) and the 360° Book

Ōno, Yūsuke, Earth and the Moon = Chikyū to tsuki / Sakamoto, Kazuko, translator; Takebayashi, Kazushige ; designer. Third edition (Kyōto: Seigensha, 2018). Graphic Arts Collection

From the publisher:

The 360°BOOK is a new revolutionary format that enables the artist to create a panoramic three-dimensional world. The book opens and expands into a dynamic circle of pages. Each page is finely crafted works of art, drawing the viewer from a scene of two dimensions to a three-dimensional world/diorama.

Yusuke Oono was born in Germany in 1983 and graduated from The University of Tokyo where he obtained both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Architecture. He is the recipient of the Art Directors Club of New York and has received many other awards. He works primarily as an architect but is also active in other related fields including interior product design and art installation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=26&v=jPea1Z1eQ6s

Love in a Village

Charles Grignion (1721-1810) after Francis Wheatley (1747-1801), Love in a Village,1791. Etching and engraving. Proof before lettering. Graphic Arts Collection, recently discovered.

John Bell (1745-1831) commissioned a number of designs for his series Bell’s British Theatre to be engraved as frontispieces. The final print for Love in a Village has the title of the play, quotation and reference: ‘Will you accept of them for youself them / Act 1. Scene [obscured]; above the roundel, partly obscured ‘British Theatre’; below the image ‘Wheatly delin. / Grignion scu. / London Printed for I. Bell British Library Strand Jany. 6th. 1791.’.

“Concurrently with work for Boydell, [Francis] Wheatley was also engaged by John Bell, the publisher, to execute a number of vignettes for the charming little series of “Bell’s Theatre,” and five of these vignettes are by him . . . and the dates extend from 1791-1792. . . . sold for £20, and two small portraits of actresses for 33 guineas.”—William Roberts, F. Wheatley, R.A. His Life and Works (1910)

Love in a Village was a comic opera in three acts composed and arranged by Thomas Arne (1710-1778) with a libretto by Isaac Bickerstaffe (1733-1812), based on Charles Johnson’s 1729 play The Village Opera. It premiered at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden in London on December 8, 1762. The opera was revived numerous times, both during Arne’s lifetime and after, with multiple published versions and visualizations.

“In 1792 Bell’s English Theatre, an amalgam of parts of the Shakespeare and the British Theatre, was published in 14 volumes. After his first bankrupcy in 1793 much of his stock was acquired by James Barker who published the “acting” Shakespeare and sixty plays from the British Theatre in the following year. In 1795-96 Bell was involved in a law suit with George Cawthorn who was eventually awarded all future profits of the British Theatre and was allowed to use “The British Library” on his title pages; c. 1804, Cawthorn was succeeded by John Cawthorn (qq.v.). Bell was bankrupt again in 1797, but his fortunes revived and by his death at the age of 86 he owned a house in Fulham, carriages and horses, as well as a collection of works of art.”

 

Johann Zoffany (1733–1810), A Scene from “Love in a Village” by Isaac Bickerstaffe. Act 1, Scene 2, with Edward Shuter as Justice Woodcock, John Beard as Hawthorn, and John Dunstall as Hodge, 1767. Oil on canvas, Yale Center for British Art

 

Corrado Govoni, with and without teeth

Carrado Govoni’s “Diver” (La Palombaro) first appeared in the February 11, 1915 issue of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s Parole consonanti vocali numeri in libertà. Then on March 27, 1915, the Futurist journal Lacerba published Govoni’s self-portrait, drawn with visual poetry.

Not long after this, Govoni’s book Rarefazioni e parole in libertà was published by the Marinetti’s Milan imprint Edizioni futuriste di “Poesia.” (SAX PQ4817.O8 Z4852 1915q), which included both Govoni’s Driver and his Self-portrait but this time, with slight variations in each. Why are they different? Did he decide not to have teeth for a reason? Which versions are the final, definitive work?

Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876-1944) began the entrepreneurship [Parole] as “a disinterested love of art which was combined with his wish to address the need for an alternative space that could sustain the talents he wished to launch into the marketplace of art and literature: the painters Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Luigi Russolo, Gino Severini, Ardengo Soffici, Fortunato Depero, Enrico Prampolini, as well as the writers Aldo Palazzeschi, Corrado Govoni, Paolo Buzzi, Luciano Folgore, Francesco Cangiullo, and many others.

The “Futurist Editions of Poesia” were perhaps the most important embodiment of Marinetti’s desire to create an alternative cultural space, becoming an experimental laboratory in the true sense of the term, where the canons of a new writing, the “words-in-freedom,” were successively elaborated and consecrated for the first time …’We reserve the ‘Futurist Editions of Poesia’ for those works that are absolutely Futurist in their violence and intellectual extremism and that cannot be published by others because of their typographical difficulties.—Claudia Salaris, “Marketing Modernism: Marinetti as Publisher,”.Modernism/Modernity 1.3 (1994): 109-27.


Corrado Govoni’s book, Rarefazioni e parole in libertà (Rarefactions and Words in Freedom) is divided into two parts:

“The first presented a series of experiments in visual poetry, while the second featured applications of the poetical techniques suggested by F.M. Marinetti in the “Manifesto della letteratura futurista” (Manifesto of Futurist Literature, 1912). In both instances, however, the Futurist method provided Govoni a pretext for his eclectic analogical imagery. These works were often illustrated by the poet’s own sketches or drawings, which constituted in integral part of his verse.” —Encyclopedia of Italian Literary Studies (2006)

Shreadsheet to watermarks

As we previously posted, the Graphic Arts Collection holds a unique volume of nearly 400 specimens of European papers with different watermarks (1377-1840), acquired at the suggestion of Elmer Adler with a fund turned over to the Library by the Friends of the Princeton University Library. Adler must have been a good negotiator, talking rare book dealer Philip Duschnes down from $350 to $300.

Recently, the album was not only digitized: (Permanent Link) http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/k930bz393, but we have also created an excel sheet so the watermarks can be searched with words:
https://lib-dbserver.princeton.edu/visual_materials/ga_pdf/Watermarks.pdf

The spreadsheet is large but useful if you want to see whether “grapes” are used in watermarks over many years or what type of animals, such as unicorns, turn up.

Originally in the collection of Dawson Turner (1775–1858), the auction catalogue description reads: ’Watermarks on Paper. A very curious collection of upwards of three hundred and seventy specimens of paper with various Watermarks, for A.D. 1377 to A. D. 1842, collected with a view to assist in ascertaining the age of undated manuscripts, and of verifying that of dated ones, by Dawson Turner, Esq. and bound in 1 vol. half calf.’

See also: Catalogue of the Remaining Portion of the Library of Dawson Turner, Esq., M.A., F.R.S., F.S.A., F.L.S., etc., etc. formerly of Yarmouth: which will be sold by auction by Messrs. Puttick and Simpson … Leicester Square … on Monday, May 16th, 1859, and seven following days (Sunday excepted). [London, 1859], item 1523.

Specimens of Paper with Different Water Marks, 1377-1840. 1 v. (unpaged); 40 cm. 371 specimens of watermarked paper, together with brief descriptions of each in a mid-nineteenth century ms. hand. The specimens are mainly blank leaves, though some leaves feature writing and letterpress. Specimen 334 is stamped sheet addressed to Dawson Turner (1775-1858), Yarmouth. Purchased with funds from the Friends of the Princeton University Library. Graphic Arts: Reference Collection (GARF) Oversize Z237 .S632f