Mr Hitchins measuring the field of Austerlitz for a surtout of blue cloth

Attributed to John Thomas James (1786-1828), Mr Hitchins measuring the field of Austerlitz for a surtout of blue cloth, no date [ca.1805]. Pen and ink drawing. Gift of Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2007.00059.

*Definition of surtout: a man’s long close-fitting overcoat.

This drawing might be a comment on Napoleon winning the battle of Austerlitz in 1805, which is depicted as gentlemen fitting the battlefield for the standard Napoleonic blue coat. The men, Hitchins, Heber, and Davenport mentioned in the text are wearing red coats and Edward Hitchins Major is one of the Oxford volunteers. Britain had declared war on France in 1803 and was fighting on the loosing side. The Battle of Austerlitz, December 2, 1805, was one of the most important battles of the Napoleonic Wars. In what is widely regarded as the greatest victory achieved by Napoleon, the Grande Armée of France defeated a larger Russian and Austrian army led by Emperor Alexander I and Holy Roman Emperor Francis II.

As noted in Uniforms of the Napoleonic Wars 1805–1815: “The ‘Napoleonic’ coat was called habit à la française, it was dark blue with white lapels for line infantry. The white lapels were treated with pipe clay, which made them really white. In 1793 the dark blue coats were officially introduced in the infantry. It had long tail that was shortened before 1806. (The weather ‘softened’ the color of the dark blue and dust, blood and mud made it sometimes unrecognizable.) The dark blue became greyish blue etc.”



The artist is believed to be John Thomas James (1786–1828), later the Bishop of Calcutta. According to the DNB, he was

“educated at Rugby School until he was twelve years old, when, by the interest of the earl of Dartmouth, he was placed on the foundation of the Charterhouse. In 1803 he gained the first prize medal given by the Society for the Encouragement of Arts and Sciences for a drawing of Winchester Cathedral. He left the Charterhouse in May 1804, when he was chosen to deliver the annual oration, and entered Christ Church, Oxford.

After the death of his father on 23 September 1804, he was granted the dean’s studentship by Dr Cyril Jackson. He graduated BA on 9 March 1808, and MA on 24 October 1810. James continued to reside at Oxford, first as a private tutor and afterwards as student and tutor of Christ Church, until 1813, when he toured northern Europe with Sir James Riddell. After his return he published, in 1816, a Journal of a Tour in Germany, Sweden, Russia, and Poland, during 1813 and 1814. Subsequent editions, in two volumes, appeared in 1817 and 1819.

…In 1826 he began the publication of a series of Views in Russia, Sweden, Poland, and Germany. These were engraved on stone by himself, and coloured so as to represent originals. Five numbers of these appeared during 1826 and 1827.”

Edward Francis Finden, after Joseph Slater, John Thomas James, 1826 or after. Stiple engraving. NPG D20603



Mrs. Hamilton’s lithograph of Bonaparte’s monkey

Mrs. Hamilton (1800s) after Stephen Taylor (active 1817-1849), Bonaparte’s Monkey, February 18, ca. 1830. Lithograph. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2005.00490.

The text reads:

“The above is a faithful portrait of a monkey belonging to Bonaparte during his residence at Longwood House, St. Helena. After Bonaparte’s death it was purchased by Captain Thompson, of the Abundance, and given by him, on his return to Spithead, to Mr. Stephen Taylor, the artist, then residing at Winchester. The monkey was very mischievous, and upon one occasion, made his way into a dressing closet, broke a glass, opened the dressing case, and was viewing himself in the looking glass, when discovered by Mr. Taylor, who made a sketch at the time, from which he afterwards painted a fine picture, and from which this print is taken. The monkey died after being in Mr. Taylor’s possession two years, and was buried in his garden at Winchester.”

Getty’s ULAN database lists Stephen Taylor as a British painter, active 1817-1849, who specialized in dogs, portraits, and dead game. This is certainly the Taylor connected with this lithograph. He painted several canvases transferred to lithographs by an artist named Hamilton, sold at the shop of William Soffe on the Strand in London. The superscript letters that precede the name Hamilton have been read as M.R.G. Hamilton and as Mrs Hamilton, the latter being the best guess.

Stamped at the bottom of this sheet “Published Feb J. 18 by W. Soffe. 288 Strand Corner of Southampton St.” The shop sold animal prints and other popular images. There is no information to back up the story that Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) had a monkey, or that the painter Taylor purchased him from Captain Thompson. On the other hand, there’s no reason not to believe the story either.

Acrobatics: Moving Through the Trans Archives


Please join us at 2:00 EST on Friday, February 26, 2021, for a live webinar highlighting Transgender Studies, past and present, in Princeton University Library collections and private archives. We are thrilled to be joined by RL Goldberg (they/them), English Department and Associate Director, Behrman Undergraduate Society of Fellows, in dialogue with queer book dealer, collector, and historian Gerard Koskovich (he/him); along with Sara Howard (she/her), Librarian for Gender and Sexuality Studies and Student Engagement, and Julie Mellby (she/her), Graphic Arts Curator.


Beginning with the celebrated career of the 19th-century gender-fluid acrobat Mademoiselle Lulu (Sam Wasgott), we will move through 20th and 21st century materials that define the trans archive, with an emphasis on race as well as gender. From anonymous photo albums to publications both global in scope and origin, we will discuss our collections and the history of writers and publishers within the field of Trans Studies. What are the larger stories behind these materials that share with us lives as they were lived in the past and might be lived in the future?

As always, these monthly webinars are free and open to the public using Zoom but registration is required, here is the link:

Photographs top to bottom:

Unidentified photographer, Photograph of Lulu (El Nino Farini) as a child in costume, late 19th century. Guy Little Theatrical Photograph collection, V&A Museum.

E[dward] Gregson, Photograph of Lulu (El Nino Farini) as a man, late 19th century. Guy Little Theatrical Photograph collection, V&A Museum.

Claude Cahun (1894-1954), “I am in training, don’t kiss me,” Self-Portrait, ca. 1926.


You might be interested in listening to several oral histories here, such as Nancy Lamar’s recording:
or a Princeton Alumni Weekly article:


In our continuing effort to broaden Princeton’s collection of books by the Chilean-born visual poet Guillermo Deisler (1940-1995), who was imprisoned in 1973 under the Pinochet government before being exiled, the Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired GRRR.

This is a reissue of Deisler’s artists’ book made in Antofagasta (Chile) in 1969, under the imprint Ediciones Mimbre (1963-1973). The current edition is produced by Naranja Publicaciones: “after 50 years of its first publication, 500 copies were made that maintain the narration of the original and different printing techniques such as risography, letterpress, screen printing and stamping have been mixed.” Naranja is a book store, publisher, and specialized collection of artists’ books located in Santiago:

See other publications by Deisler:


Guillermo Deisler, GRRR (Santiago, Chile: Naranja Publicaciones, 2019). One of 500 copies. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2021- in process


Maria Veronica San Martin, DIGNIDAD, 2020, performance, 07:48 mins. Watch below:

Maria Veronica San Martin is a Chilean-born artist that has resided in the United States since 2010. Her work and her art interests lie primarily in orienting the collective memory of the Chilean population towards the injustices committed under various Chilean regimes, particularly the Pinochet regime and the cruelties committed towards those living in Colonia Dignidad (renamed to Villa Baveria in 1991). San Martin’s art consists of archival works, photographs, etchings, lithographs, and more in a broader pursuit for political progress. She hopes that one day Chile and the Chilean people will unite as one against the injustices they’ve faced. One of the vehicles to get there, especially to Maria Veronica San Martin, is through the use of art as a tool for activism. Through art, she seeks to shed light on human rights abuses and broaden people’s understanding of what it is that has historically happened and has continued to happen in Chile.–

“Dignidad is an artist’s book that documents a two years research-based project on Colonia Dignidad, which highlights the human rights violations committed in an isolated settlement established in the 1960s by Nazis in Chile before and after the dictatorship of Pinochet.”

“Be Healthy.” The Ethics of Medical Advertising.

Public Health Institute. Be Healthy. Chicago, 1937. Color enamel silkscreen on metal. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process


The Public Health Institute (PHI) was established in downtown Chicago in 1919 to cheaply diagnose and treat the epidemic of venereal disease. By 1929, the PHI was serving 1500-2000 patients a day at its three branches, including a south side location opened under pressure from black civic leaders.

Patients remained anonymous and no one was denied service because of inability to pay. Its profits were reinvested in other venereal disease programs, including direct support for the Illinois Social Hygiene League (ISHL) and a $100,000 renovation of Provident Hospital, the first African-American owned and operated hospital in the United States. The PHI’s relationship with ISHL and its director, Dr. Louis Schmidt, brought it notoriety when Schmidt was expelled from the Chicago Medical Society (CMS) for violating its ban on advertising.

“According to its own reports, the PHI not only advertised in daily newspapers but placed 25,000 posters in public toilets, factories, and streetcars. The CMS’s unanimous action against Schmidt and the Institute—based on how PHI’s advertising challenged the social and economic power of their monopoly—was publicly ridiculed, since it punished a charity that had healed thousands. The case brought attention to the increasing cost of medicine and inadequate health care for the lower classes, initiating a conversation about a universal right to health care that continues to this day.”


Read more at: “The Case Of Dr. Louis E. Schmidt: Medical Rights In The Early 20th Century” by Robert Glover, Northern Illinois University and at


“The whole issue was clearly focused in the case of Dr. Louis E. Schmidt, who as head of the Public Health Institute in Cook County, Illinois, had given medical service at about one-third less than customary cost to considerable numbers of people of the lower income groups. Dr. Schmidt was ousted from the Chicago Medical Society and was about to be dropped from the American Medical Association.

He thus defended his activities: “We cannot make all doctors rich by forming a trade union…. Ours is a profession, not a trade…. The time will come when both the profession and the public will be better served. If we organize to bring the cost of hospital, laboratory, and medical care within the purse of all that great majority of our people known as the middle classes, all reputable, capable physicians will prosper greatly.

Such a plan will take the business of meeting the health problems of these people with small incomes away from the quacks, charlatans, and patent medicine vendors, who now prey upon a public which has no other place to turn.” —

Voices of Mississippi

Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by William Ferris (Atlanta, GA: Dust-to-Digital, 2020). Graphic Arts Collection 2020- in process. 120 pages : illustrations + 3 CDs and 1 DVD.

“This watershed release represents the life’s work of William Ferris, an audio recordist, filmmaker, folklorist, and teacher with an unwavering commitment to establish and to expand the study of the American South. William Ferris was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1942. Growing up on a working farm, Ferris began at a young age documenting the artwork, music, and lives of the people on the farm and in his local community. The archive of recordings that he created and the documentary films that he had a hand in producing have served as powerful tools in institutions of higher learning for decades.”



The set includes:
Book edited by William Ferris
Essays by Scott Barretta, David Evans and Tom Rankin
Two CDs featuring Blues and Gospel recordings (1966-1978)
One CD featuring Interviews and Storytelling (1968-1994)
One DVD featuring Documentary Films (1972-1980)
Transcriptions for each track


Founded by Lance Ledbetter in 1999, Dust-to-Digital is currently operated by Lance and his wife April in Atlanta, Georgia. Dust-to-Digital began its mission of creating access to hard-to-find music by producing high-quality books, box sets, CDs, DVDs and vinyl records.
…In 2012, Lance and April Ledbetter started a non-profit organization. Music Memory was formed as a way to take action to ensure the sounds and recordings of our past would be preserved. The goal of this company is to make the music from the past available to researchers, teachers and the public so that it can educate and enlighten present and future generations. To date, Music Memory has digitized over 50,000 recordings.


Kissing: the Art of Osculation Curiously, Historically, Humorously, and Poetically Considered

In the 1891 advertisement for Kissing, they write:
“This book, among hundreds of other things, tells all about the origin of kissing ; gives the grammar of kissing; the scientific reason why kisses are pleasant ; how to kiss and how to receive a kiss; the secret significance of kisses; all about lips, “the sweet petitioners for kisses; an Irish kissing festival; the kissing customs of different countries all over the world, when you may kiss with impunity; famous kisses the different kinds of kisses: how college girls kiss; stolen kisses, sometimes called “dainty bits of plunder;” curious bargains for kisses: excuses for kissing; kissing experiences; the important consequences connected with kissing; humorous stories of kissing in tunnels; men kissing each other in France, in England, and in Germany; origin of the custom of kissing the Pope’s toe; Henry IV, and his punishment; kissing the feet of royalty, an ancient custom; kisses as rewards of genius; the part osculation has paid in politics; curious bar gains for kisses; what legally constitutes a kiss; & kiss at auction; giving $50 to kiss Edwin Booth; excuses for kissing; how all nature justifies the practice; the childish and the humorous excuse; kissing casuistry; the gluttony of kissing; unaccountable osculatory demands; excuses for not kissing; Dominie Brown’s first kiss; the kiss of the Spanish girl, the nurse, the mother: & curious German custom; Arrahna-Pogue; refusing the sacrament on account of a kiss; how a child’s kissing affects the course of a desperate man; what a little mare’s kiss did; brought to life by a kiss; the kiss of death. An exceedingly interesting book; a nice little present for a lady. Price 25 Cents. For sale by booksellers; or sent postpaid on receipt of price. “

Osculation 1. the act of caressing with the lips (or an instance thereof). 2. (mathematics) a contact of two curves (or two surfaces) at which they have a common tangent

George Manson, Kissing: the art of osculation, curiously, historically, humorously, and poetically considered (Brooklyn, NY: Union Book, 1888). Graphic Arts Collection 2020- in process

The illustrated wrapper by Arthur T. Lumley (1837-1912),

Coloured or Uncoloured

During our WinterSession class this morning, “Don’t Touch the Money,” one of the things we noticed about the mid-19th-century change packets, used in Great Britain to give a customer their change, was the description of “Coloured Tea” or “Uncoloured Green Tea.” The Oxford English Dictionary has many definitions of ‘coloured,’ but at the very bottom is an obsolete usage:
“Of a wrong act or intention: misrepresented so as to appear favourable or acceptable; disguised; glossed over. Obsolete.
1537 J. Husee Let. 24 May in Lisle Papers (P.R.O.: SP 3/5/65) f. 90 M. Owdall lenght haue lytyll thankes and lesse honesty for his coloryd doinges.
1557 Bible (Whittingham) 1 Thess. ii. 5 Nether dyd we any thing in coulored couetousnes.
1570 J. Foxe Actes & Monumentes (rev. ed.) II. xi. 2052/2 Of that your execrable periury, and his coloured and to shamefully suffered adultery.”

The closest we could come in contemporary New Jersey language was “My opinion was colored by the fact that I didn’t like him.”

According to the history posted by the London Horniman Tea company,
“Until 1826, only loose leaf teas had been sold, allowing unscrupulous traders to increase profits by adding other items such as hedge clippings or dust. Horniman revolutionised the tea trade by using mechanical devices to speed the process of filling pre-sealed packages, thereby reducing his cost of production and hence improving the quality for the end customer. This caused some consternation amongst his competitors, but by 1891 Horniman’s was the largest tea trading business in the world.”

In Erika Rappaport’s book, The Making of the Consumer, she notes:

In 1826 the Quaker, abolitionist and parliamentary reformer John Horniman began selling tea in pre-weighed and sealed packages. … When it was first introduced, however, Horniman’s innovation at once created and responded to the idea that the Chinese drink was not a luxury to be sought, but a poison to be avoided. John Horniman packaged his tea to distinguish it from the competition and as a reaction to widespread anxieties about the purity of Chinese productions. Between the 1820s and the 1870s merchants such as Horniman, scientists, journalists and politicians warned British consumers that Chinese manufacturing methods were dirty and fraudulent, the most dangerous practice being the colouring of tea, especially green tea, with unwholesome and even poisonous materials.”

So at this time when packaging was developed as a “cash carry system” and as packaging for the secure sale of products, the word that was coined to describe pure products was “Uncoloured.” The Princeton collection of change packets offers us a wonderful history of advertising in the 1860s, 1870s, and 1880s, with the emphasis on health and trust in a manufacturer. Although we tried to find a connection with other definitions of the word that had to do with race, there doesn’t see to be a direct connection.

When we can travel again, we should all visit the Horniman Museum and Gardens, with their famous walrus.

“‘Everything will be remembered’, a palimpsest” by Ravikumar Kashi

Ravikumar Kashi, ‘Everything will be remembered’ a palimpsest. Bangalore, India, 2020. Unique edition. Etched copper plate filled with printing ink, copper wire. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process

The Graphic Arts Collection is honored to acquire Ravikumar Kashi’s ‘Everything will be remembered’ a palimpsest, one of four finalist for the 2020 Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) Prize, selected by juror Betty Bright from 158 submissions sent from 18 countries. “Established in 2009, this biennial award is meant to represent the diversity of approaches to book art, honoring one winner and four finalists for their unity of form, material, and content.”

Born in Bangalore, India, Ravikumar Kashi ( studied painting, printmaking, and papermaking under masters in India, Scotland, and Korea. He received a National award from Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi in 2001 and two awards from Karnataka Lalita Kala Academy 1990, 1999 and one from Karnataka Shilpa Kala Academy for his works in 2000. He has also received first prize in ‘Ventipertrenta’, International Festival of Digital Art 2017, from Museo Internazionale Dinamico de Arte Contemporanea, Italy.


Note: “The type face of the second layer of the text is an English font called Samarkan, designed to look like a Sanskrit text, and is intended to act as a visual marker for the Indian right-wing practice of quoting ancient texts to gain validation. It is also a simulation of ancient handwritten palm leaf text manuals from India.”


Here is a portion of his artist statement for MCBA, beginning with the background for the work:

On 30th May 2019, the Indian right wing party BJP led by Mr. Narendra Modi formed the central government for a second time. Its election campaign was replete with anti- Muslim rhetoric and sloganeering. That same year, on the 12th of December, the Government of India enacted the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). In the weeks following, nationwide protests calling for the repealing the CAA and the foregoing of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which was supposed to precede CAA, were held….

In early 2020, following speeches given by BJP leaders inciting their followers to attack and shoot anti-CAA protesters, riots occurred in North-Eastern Delhi. Beginning on 23 February, and caused chiefly by Hindu mobs attacking Muslims, there were multiple waves of bloodshed, property destruction, and rioting. Of the 53 people killed in three days, two-thirds were Muslims who were shot, beaten, or set on fire in the Indian capital’s deadliest Hindu-Muslim riot since 1950. …

The Work Concept:

My work is a combination of copper plates used historically for documentation and the idea of palimpsest.
Copper plates: In the Madras Museum, located in southern part of India, a series of copper plates from as early as 4th century AD have been preserved and displayed. These copper plates recorded various events of their time for posterity.
Palimpsest: a manuscript or piece of writing material on which later writing has been superimposed on effaced earlier writing; something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form.

In the light of anti-CAA protests and Delhi riots, I wanted to create a copper plate palimpsest for my time , so that the erasure of our constitutional values will not be forgotten.

There are two layers of text in the work. In the partially erased layer seen beneath, is the preamble to the Indian Constitution, declaring its claim to secure justice, liberty, and equality to all citizens, and promote fraternity to maintain unity and integrity of the nation. That layer is being eroded, and replaced with textual details of Delhi riots, narrating the incidents of murder and rampage. There are Slogans of violence like “We will enter the house and beat you up” or “Shoot the traitors”.

…The title for the work ‘Everything will be remembered’ comes from the title of the poem written by anti-CAA activist Aamir Aziz, lines of which were also recently recited by [Roger Waters] of Pink Floyd:

A section of “Everything will be remembered” by Amir Aziz.

Tum Raat Likho Hum Chand Likhenge,
Tum Jail Mein Dalo Hum Deewar Phand Likhenge,
You could write the night, but we will write the moon.
If you put us in jail, we would jump over the walls and still write.

Tum FIR Likho Hum Hain Taiyar Likhenge,
Tum Humein Qatl Kar Do Hum Banke Bhoot Likhenge,
Tumhare Qatl Ke Sare Saboot Likhenge,
If you would lodge an FIR against us, we are all set to write about the injustice we are suffering from.
If you murder us, we will come as the ghosts and still write. We will write mentioning the proofs unveiling the murders you have committed.
We will write mentioning the proofs unveiling the murders you have committed.

…Sab Yaad Rakha Jayega, Sab Kuch Yad Rakha Jayega,
Aur Tumhari Laathiyon Aur Goliyon Se,
Jo Qatl Huwe Hain Mere Yaar Sab,
Unki Yaad Mein Dilon Ko Barbaad Rakha Jayega,
We will remember everything. We will not forget it at all.
The dearest friends of mine who you murdered with lathis (or sticks) & bullets;
In the remembrance of them, we will keep our hearts broken-down. …

Additional reading: Indian antiquary. Bombay, Popular Prakashan [etc.]