Publicaciones revolucionarias

Publicaciones revolucionarias [Revolutionary publications]. 1. ed. (Bogotá, Colombia: Silueta Ediciones, 2016). Nine volumes. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2017- in process.


The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a set of nine publications from La Silueta, a fine press in Bogotá, Colombia:

No. 1 – Avocados by Santiago Rueda
No. 2 – Labor by Lucas Ospina
No. 3  – Ceiling by Gabriela Pinilla
No. 4 – LMCP by WIlson Diaz
No. 5 – Liberating orgasm by The fulminant
No. 6 – Present! I presented! by Andrés Felipe Uribe
No. 7 – Poscon by Chócolo
No. 8 – 33 Revolutions per minute by Hernán Sansone
No. 9 – The Penitent by Alfredo Greñas

“Hacemos el tipo de libros que nos gustaría que existieran” /
“We make the kind of books that we want to exist,” write their editors.

“We are an independent publisher who works to publish the books we would like to see in bookstores, to buy and read. We edit authors who represent, in one way or another, a fresh and novel proposal; whose drawings, texts, and stories help open the minds of those who acquire them and become tools that help them take creative directions different from traditional ones.

Our titles, their designs, and the themes appeal to that playful side that we all still have alive inside us. A color, a source, an illustration, or a specific function can reactivate in such a way that the experience of having them in the hands always goes to Be gratifying and pleasurable.

Our books are designed to be explored both physically and in terms of content because in La Silueta we are convinced that both form and substance are important. We believe that there are contents that must exist and that they must be presented in such a way that they are striking to the senses because, in the end, everything enters through them.”

La Silueta editors Andrés Fresneda and Juan Pablo Fajardo with printing press.

Graphic Illustrations of the Miseries of Human Life


One of the rarest items of British caricature can only be found with a visit to the New York Public Library’s outstanding Arents collection (under the book division, not prints). Although many collections, including Princeton’s, hold various prints around the popular book Miseries of Human Life drawn by Rowlandson, Gillray, Cruikshank and other lesser known artists, only NYPL holds the entire set of prints and wrappers for the series commissioned by Thomas Tegg from the artist George Woodward.

Isaac Cruikshank transferred Woodward’s drawings to copper plates and printed them on a biweekly schedule until the entire set was published. Dull blue paper wrapper open to a surprisingly bright and complex title page, finally explaining a project that has never been fully described in collections worldwide.


Queen Gertrude: “One woe doth tread upon another’s heel, So fast they follow; your sister’s drown’d, Laertes.” —The Tragedy of Hamlet by William Shakespeare

cruikshank-miseries11“Then hey! for the groan and the sigh. / ‘Tis fine frisk and fun to be grieving. / And since we must all of us die. / Let us take no enjoyment while living.” –Charles Dibdin “Sound Argument” from The Wags, 1791.




Isaac Cruikshank (1756?-1811?) after designs by George Moutard Woodward (1760-1809), Graphic Illustrations of The Miseries of Human Life: Partly Taken from the Popular Work of that Title [by James Beresford (1764-1840] (London: T. Tegg, 1807). 3 parts ([6] leaves): all illustrations; 28 x 43 cm. Each part (no.) in the original slate blue paper covers, as issued biweekly. Publisher’s advertisements on p. [4] of covers of parts. Engraved t.p. in pt. 1, dated Feb. 2, 1807. “To be published regularly every fortnight … until completed”–Covers of parts.

cruikshank-miseries7Thanks to the NYPL staff for their help.

Sound Argument by Charles Dibdin

We bipeds, made up of frail clay,
Alas! are but children of sorrow;
And though brisk and merry to-day,
We all may be wreathed to-morrow, —
For sunshine’s succeeded by rain:
Then, fearful of life’s stormy weather,
lest pleasure should only bring pain,
Let us all be unhappy together.

I grant, the best blessing we know
Is a friend—for true friendship’s a treasure;
And yet, lest your friend prove a foe,
Oh taste not the dangerous pleasure:
Thus friendship’s a flimsy affair;
Thus riches and health are a bubble;
Thus there’s nothing delightful but care,
Nor anything pleasing but trouble.

If a mortal would point out that life
Which on earth would be nearest to heaven,
Let him, thanking his stars, choose a wife
To whom truth and honour are given:
But honour and truth are so rare,
And horns, when they’re cutting, so tingle,
That, with all my respect for the fair,
I’d advise him to sigh and live single.

It appears, from these premises, plain
That wisdom is nothing but folly,
That pleasure’s a term that means pain,
And that joy is your true melancholy;
That all those who laugh ought to err,
That ’tis fine frisk and fun to be grieving,
And that since we must all of us die,
We should take no enjoyment while living.

Add your own immigration story to “The British Library”

“The British Library,” a re-installation of an exhibition created by the British/Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE, is now on view at the James Cohan Gallery in New York City. Its web component, accessible in the gallery and online, allows visitors to explore the complete list of names on the show’s 10,000 books and several video documentaries about immigration. There is also a page where we are asked to record our own immigration stories.

Shonibare designed the work as a celebration of diversity. Originally commissioned in 2014, Cohan’s gallery has been transformed into a place of discovery and debate, featuring an installation of thousands of books “covered in the artist’s signature batik Dutch wax printed cotton textile. On the spines of many of these books are printed the names of notable first and second generation immigrants and incoming migrants to Britain who have moved here throughout history.”

The names include Winston Churchill, Prince Philip, Dame Helen Mirren, and many others. “These immigrants and incoming migrants have all made a significant contribution to aspects of British life and culture, from science to music, art, cinema and literature. Other books feature names of prominent figures who have opposed immigration at various times. Online, the videos investigate the immigration debate from pro-immigration, anti-immigration, and neutral viewpoints.”

The show’s website notes: “Examples of the reasons for immigration can vary from global conflicts to economic factors. Whilst the project is a celebration of the ongoing contributions made to British society by people who have arrived there from other parts of the world or whose ancestors came to Britain as immigrants, it does not exclude the points of view of those who object to it.”

For more information, see

More about book jackets:
George Thomas Tanselle, Book-Jackets: their History, Forms, and Use (Charlottesville: Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, 2011). Graphic Arts Collection (GA) 2012-0040N

Kurt Weidemann, [Buchumschläge und Schallplattenhüllen] Book Jackets and Record Covers (New York, Praeger [1969]). Graphic Arts Collection (GA) 2014-0581Q

Charles Rosner, The Art of the Book-Jacket (London: Published for the Victoria and Albert Museum by H.M.S.O., 1949). Graphic Arts Collection (GA) 2009-0369N

One of the finest Venetian illustrated books of the Settecento

Giovanni Marco Pitteri (1703-1786) and Francesco Bartolozzi (1727-1815), after Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (1682-1754), Studi di pittura già dissegnati da Giambatista Piazzetta ed ora con l’intaglio di Marco Pitteri [Painting Studies Drawn by Giambattista Piazzetta and Now Together with Marco Pitteri’s Engravings] (Venice: [Giambattista Albrizzi], 1760). 28 pp. text and 48 engravings after 24 drawings. Includes Alcuni avvertimenti per lo incamminamento di un Giovani alla pittura di Gian Pietro Cavazzoni Zannotti (Giampietro Zannotti, 1674-1765). Graphic Arts Collection 2017- in process

In 1750, the celebrated painter and draftsman Giovanni Battista Piazzetta was appointed director of the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice but at the same time, came under increasing financial difficulties. His good friend, leading Venetian publisher Giambattista Battista Albrizzi commissioned a series of instructional life drawings for aspiring artists.

Piazzetta died in 1754 and over the next six years, Francesco Bartolozzi and Marco Pitteri each engraved their own representations of his drawings, which Albrizzi published both sets in 1760 as a manual for painting students; 48 engraved plates after 24 drawings. Bartolozzi emphasizing the line and Pitteri the light and shadow.

Piazzetta, Male Nude in a Landscape. Black chalk on paper. Morgan Museum and Library, Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. 1961.12:53

This rare volume of virtuoso talent also includes the only surviving etched self-portrait of Piazzetta dated 1738 and a biography of the artist written by Albrizzi. The Graphic Arts Collection is honored to now hold one of the only complete first editions reproducing Piazzetta’s master drawings. Half a generation older than Giambattista Tiepolo, Piazzetta exercised a profound influence on the work of the younger artist, which continues into the 21st century.

Print historian Suzanne Boorsch wrote, “Giambattista Albrizzi’s final tribute to Piazzetta is the Studj di pittura, a sort of model book reproducing twenty-four drawings of nude figures by Piazzetta. During much of his life Piazzetta directed an art school, and Albrizzi’s aim was to put into a more lasting form Piazzetta’s role as teacher. The book, not published until six years after Piazzetta’s death, includes two plates reproducing each drawing, one by Francesco Bartolozzi, which is quite conventional, with outlines and cross-hatching, and the other in Pitteri’s singular, arresting manner.” –Venetian Prints and Books in the Age of Tiepolo (1997). Marquand (SA) NE2052.4.V46 B66 1997



Sequential Magic Lantern Slides

On a recent visit from Fia Backström’s class VIS 311 The Photographic Apparatus, one of the things we looked at were sequential magic lantern slides. Here are a few examples together with our French magic lantern.


Soldiers going off to war / Soldiers returning from the war

Playing a joke on grandfather.

Prof. Backström’s class is described: “Since its inception, the technical development of photography has arisen out of specific historical and political circumstances that have “naturalized” its practice and ideologically coded its apparatus. Through critical discussions, material examinations, and studio projects, this seminar will take a reflexive approach to photographic technology past, present, and future. What can earlier periods of photography reveal about our current condition? How do lens-based technologies relate to determinations of race, class, and gender? What does it mean to be a photographer, to take photographs, and to agree or disagree with its apparatus?”

Disappearing apples below.


Les vierges de Lesbos



Joseph Méry, Les vierges de Lesbos [The Virgins of Lesbos]. Poème antique (Paris: Georges Bell, 1858). Illustrated with photographs by Auguste Nicolas Bertsch (1813–1870) and Camille d’Arnaud (active 19th century) after paintings by Jean-Louis Hamon (1821–1874). Signed by Bell on verso of half-title. One of 300 copies. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2017- in process

The Graphic Arts Collection is pleased to have acquired one of the first books of French poetry illustrated with original photographs. The poem’s first edition had no illustrations and was published together with Méry’s Nuit lesbienne. According to Monselet (Catalogue . . . d’une jolie collection de livres rares, Paris, 1871, n. 215), the volume was printed in an edition of only five or six copies for friends, probably too sexually explicit for the era. Later, Georges Bell funded a larger and more elaborate edition.

In 1854 the photographer Auguste Nicolas Bertsch (1813-1870) became a founding member of the Société française de photographie, serving on the board of directors from 1858–1870. Sometime before 1855 he began a collaboration with the writer and photographer Camille d’Arnaud at his studio at 27 rue Fontaine Saint Georges, Paris. For the first illustrated edition of Méry’s poem, Bertsch and Arnaud made 900 salted paper prints from collodion-on-glass negatives, which were trimmed and pasted into each volume; three each in an edition of 300.

The photographs are after paintings by Jean-Louis Hamon (1821-1874), who worked at the Sèvres porcelain factory until he received recognition in the Paris International Exhibition of 1855. Ten new paintings were accepted into the 1857 International and in 1861, another five, including one titled Vierge de Lesbos.



See also Joseph Méry (1798-1865), Le dernier fantome; illustré par G. Staal (Paris: Publié par Gabriel Roux … ; , 1853). Purchase; Acquired with matching funds provided by the Program in Hellenic Studies with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund; 2003. Rare Books (Ex) Oversize 2004-1239Q


Nuit lesbienne (first verse)

La fille de l’Erèbe, à la rose étoilée,
La nuit couvre le temple et sa douce vallée ;
Comme une ombre plaintive échappée au cercueil,
Alcyone se plaint, seule sur un écueil :
C’est l’heure des frissons, et des songes funèbres !
Rhodina, sur son lit, a peur dans les ténèbres,
Un bruit vague a troublé l’écho du corridor :
La lampe va s’éteindre au candélabre d’or,
Et sa pâle lueur, jouant avec les ombres,
De sinistres reflets couvre les lambris sombres :
Rhodina se recueille ; elle invoque en tremblant
La Reine de la Nuit, au diadème blanc,
Diane de Délos, dont les regards austères
Ne sont point indulgents aux amoureux mystères,
Diane de Délos, triple divinité
Qui des pieux hymens garde la chasteté.

1,100 San Francisco Boxers

[Boxers of San Francisco] (1910s-1930s).1 album; 36 cm. Gelatin silver prints. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2012-0036Q

Back in 2011, we acquired an album containing 1100 portraits, presumed to be boxers from the San Francisco area in the early 20th century. It has become one of our most requested resources, especially relatives asking if their fathers and grandfathers are listed.

Each of the photographs are numbered and a typed list was included identifying a small number of the 1100 men. Thanks to Ananya Malhotra, class of 2020, we now have this list in digital form so it can be searched online: Francisco Boxers.pdf

The public can now identify the man on the left as Jimmy Cumpston who fought Al Ramus in 1920:

Another of the fighters is Al Delmar, a middleweight boxer from San Francisco. His first professional fight took place on June 23, 1920 against Earl Biddle. Delmar won this fight in a knock out and went on to win twelve more, losing seven, and had nine end in a draw.

Eddie McGovern, alias Iron Man, was a light heavyweight from San Francisco. He boxed from 1920 to 1932, winning sixty-two matches (thirty-four in a knock out), lost thirty-four, and finished in a draw thirty-four times.

We would be glad to add to this list, if anyone can identify other boxers. Here are a few more images:

Decline and Fall of Hoops in the Roman Empire

Attributed to Emily “Lille” Maingay (1837-1890), The Decline and Fall of Hoops in the Roman Empire. Bound with The Christmas Robin ([London, privately printed? ca. 1872]). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2017- in process

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired two small books bound together, both attributed to Emily “Lille” Maingay (1837-1890). The first is an illustrated satire on 19th-century women’s fashion and the Catholic Church, in which Pope Pius IX decides to ban women’s hooped skirts because they might prevent women from going to confession (doorway too narrow).


One section concerns a deacon who puts on a hoop and is chased by cardinals. “When caught, the pope amazed at his singular reserve did immediately confers on him priests orders (to cure him of the same).”

Maingay made the books using anastatic printing, also called metal relief, similar to what William Blake used with his illuminated books. Rockwell Kent also like the look of metal relief. Many of the copies of this book in other collections are called ink drawings, although they might also be anastatic printed copies. When the ink is transferred gently onto the paper, the result looks similar to an ink drawing.

Emily “Lille” Maingay (1837-1890) and her three sisters moved back to London from St. Petersburg in the 1860s. They were active in various charities. “The St Cyprian’s Orphanage for Girls is thought to have been founded in the 1870s at Allsop (or Allsopp) Mews, Marylebone, by the Misses Maingay of 39 Dorset Square. It was one of several homes in the area set up under the St Cyprian’s name, along with establishments for orphan boys, the aged, the incurable, and the fallen . . . the Maingay sisters donated the home to the [Waifs and Strays] Society” along with money to support it. —

It may be for the children of the orphanage that Maingay produced these small, humorous books.


The Guernsey Magazine obituaries for January 1891 announced “On Christmas Day, at 39, Dorset-square, London, Emily Lille Maingay, youngest daughter of the late William Maingay, Esq., at St. Petersburg.”

Natives of Oonalashka (or Unalaska)

John Hall (1739-1797) and Samuel Middiman (1751-1831) after a design by John Webber (1751-1793), Natives of Oonalashka and Their Habitations, plate 57 from James Cook, A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean (London: Nicholl and Cadell, 1784). Graphic Arts Collection GC 106

While Firestone Library owns multiple sets of Captain James Cook (1728-1779), A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean; Undertaken by Command of His Majesty, For Making Discoveries in the Northern Hemisphere . . . (London, 1784) including the Atlas volume of maps and engravings, the Graphic Arts Collection holds three additional prints with hand coloring.

John Webber (née Wäber, 1751-1793) served as official artist on James Cook’s third voyage from 1776 to 1780, charged to “observe the genius, temper, disposition of the natives… showing them every kind of civility and regard.” Webber traveled aboard the HMS Resolution to Australia, New Zealand, the Hawaiian Islands, and other Pacific locations before arriving safely (unlike Cook) back in London. Over the next four years, Webber worked with multiple printmakers to translate his watercolors to engraved plates for the British Admiralty’s account of the expedition.

Unalaska is an island in the Fox Islands group of the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. The Unangan people were the first to inhabit the island of Unalaska, which they named Agunalaksh meaning ‘Near the Peninsula’. When the Russian fur traders arrived, they renamed the island Ounalashka and when Captain Cook visited the island, he spelled it Oonalashka in his journal. Webber repeated this in his sketches and the resulting print. See more at:

Possible self-portrait of Webber in the boat.
Samuel Smith (1743/47–1808) after a design by John Webber (1751-1793), A View of the Habitations in Nootka Sound, plate 41 from James Cook, A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean (London: Nicholl and Cadell, 1784). Graphic Arts Collection GC 106

William Sharp (1749-1824) after a design by John Webber (1751-1793), The Inside of a House in Oonalashka, plate 58 from James Cook, A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean (London: Nicholl and Cadell, 1784). Graphic Arts Collection GA 106

See also the bound volume: James Cook (1728-1779), A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean. Undertaken, by the command of His Majesty, for making discoveries in the Northern hemisphere, to determine the position and extent of the west side of North America; its distance from Asia; and the practicability of a northern passage to Europe. . . . Illustrated with maps and charts, from the original drawings made by Lieut. Henry Roberts … with a great variety of portraits … views … and historical representations … drawn by Mr. Webber (London: Printed by W. and A. Strahan, for G. Nicol, & T. Cadell, 1784). 3 v. plates (part fold.) and atlas. Rare Books (Ex) Oversize 1003.265.2e atlas

“Paris en cinq jours” and other Pathé Baby Films

Please note, for right now, to play the French silent movies posted on our Pathé Baby site, use: until the site links are repaired (*not https*).

While you are there, take advantage of a snowy afternoon to watch the entire 20 reels of Paris en cinq jours (Paris in Five Days), which begins at:

Here’s the first frame introduction: “Among the tourists who come from America to visit Paris under the sponsorship of the Cook agency was an office employee, young, sentimental and distracted: Harry Mascaret…(Nicolas Rimsky) and his fiancée, Dolly, a fast typist.”

The tourist run into multiple troubles during their visit to Paris, including drunken brawls and riotous trips across the city. Take a look.