The Ariel Poems

In 1927, the Curwen Press, Plaistow, partnered with Faber & Gwyer in London to publish a series called The Ariel Poems. Most are four pages with a previously unpublished poem and new printed image from a contemporary artist. No author was involved in the selection of the art and the final booklet (or keepsake) sold for one shilling.

“In his attempt to persuade eminent poets to contribute an Ariel poem, Richard de la Mare was not shy at telling poets that his father, Walter, had agreed to participate. In any case, he had come to know the older poets concerned through his father: in the displayed draft of a letter to Sir Henry Newbolt, for example, he writes that ‘Daddy has promised to let me have a new poem and so has T. S. Eliot’. In 1927, moreover, several of the writers when replying make polite enquiries about how his father was recovering from a recent illness. Rudyard Kipling was not able to help, but ‘A. E’ and W. B. Yeats were, and many other important literary figures came up with short poems for the sequence.”–

“Artists enjoyed the opportunity to work for the Curwen Press, not only for fees paid but because of the care taken reproducing their work. This was particularly true of illustrations reproduced by the pochoir (stencil) process, set up by Harold Curwen in 1925 and continued until 1932. The process was exploited with great skill by E. McKnight Kauffer, but even he acknowledged how much his book illustrations reproduced by pochoir owed their quality to Harold Curwen’s skill in running a department for which he trained the staff so well.” —

Between 1927 and 1931 Faber published thirty-eight poems in the Ariel series and then, in the early 1950s, after a gap of twenty years, it was decided to revive the series. Princeton University Library has a number of these, although not a complete set, spread out between a number of collections.

1. Yuletide in a younger world by Thomas Hardy, drawings by Albert Rutherston (London: Faber & Gwyer, 1927).

2. The linnet’s nest by Henry John Newbolt, drawings by Ralph Keene (London: Faber & Gwyer, 1927).

3.The wonder night by Laurence Binyon; drawings by Barnett Freedman (London: Faber & Gwyer, [1927]). 350 copies. ReCAP 3628.5.398

4.Alone by Walter de la Mare; wood engravings by Blair Hughes-Stanton (London: Faber & Gwyer, [19–?]). No. 68 of 350. Rare Books PR6007.E3 Z99046

5.Gloria in profundis by G. K. Chesterton; wood engravings by Eric Gill ([London, Faber & Gwyer, 1927]). No. 185 of 350. Rare Books 3675.85.339

6.The early whistler by Wilfrid Wilson Gibson; drawings by John Nash ([London: Faber & Gwyer, 1927]). ReCAP 3752.3.331

7.Nativity by Siegfried Sassoon; designs by Paul Nash ([London: Faber & Gwyer, 1927]. No. 18 of 350. ReCAP 3917.75.367

8.Journey of the magi by T.S. Eliot; drawings by E. McKnight Kauffer ([London; Faber & Gwyer, Limited, 1927]). Graphic Arts Collection 2004-4195N

9. The chanty of the Nona by Hilaire Belloc, drawings by Hilaire Belloc (London: Faber & Gwyer,

11.Self to self by Walter De la Mare, drawings by Blair Hughes-Stanton (London: Faber & Gwyer, Curwen Press, 1928).

12. Troy by Humbert Wolfe ; drawings by C. Ricketts (London : Faber & Gwyer, [1928]). ReCAP 3995.18.391

13. The winter solstice, by Harold Monro; drawings by David Jones (London, Faber & Gwyer, 1928?). Rare Books 3862.62.397

14. To my mother by Siegfried Sassoon, drawings by Stephen Tennant (London: Faber & Faber, 1928). Rare Books 3917.75.349.1928

15.Popular song by Edith Sitwell, drawings by Edward Bawden (London: Faber and Faber, 1928). Rare Books 3933.05.373

16.A song for Simeon by T.S. Eliot; drawing by E. McKnight Kauffer (London: Faber & Gwyer, 1928). Graphic Arts Collection 2004-4218N

18. Three things, by W.B. Yeats; drawings by Gilbert Spencer ([London, Faber & Faber limited, 1929]). Rare Books 3999.4.3895.11

20.A snowdrop by Walter De la Mare; drawings by Claudia Guercio (London: Faber & Faber,
192?). Rare Books PR6007.E3 Z99047

22. The outcast by James Stephens; drawings by Althea Willoughby ([London : Faber & Faber, 1929 ). Rare Books 3943.35.369

24. Inscription on a fountain-head by Peter Quennell ; drawings by Albert Rutherston (London : Faber & Faber, [1929]). Rare Books 3902.17.349

26. Elm angel by Harold Monro,. Wood engravings by Eric Ravilious (London, Faber & Faber, 1930). Rare Books 3862.62.332

27.In Sicily by Siegfried, drawings by Stephen Tennant ([London] : [Faber & Faber], 1927). ReCAP PR6037.A86 I575 1930

29.Marina by T.S. Eliot; drawings by E. McKnight Kauffer (London: Faber & Faber, 192?). RHT 20th-125

30.The gum trees by Roy Campbell ; drawings by David Jones (London : Faber & Faber, 1930). Rare Books 3664.55.341

31.News by Walter de la Mare ; drawings by Barnett Freedman (London: Faber & Faber, 1930).
Firestone Library PR6007.E3 N497 1930

33. To Lucy by Walter de la Mare ; drawings by Albert Rutherston (London : Faber & Faber, [19–?]). Rare Books PR6007.E3 Z99059

34. To the red rose by Siegfried Sassoon ; illustration by Stephen Tennant (London : Faber & Faber, [1931?]). Rare Books 3917.75.391

35. Triumphal march by T.S. Eliot ; drawings by E. McKnight Kauffer ([London : Faber & Faber, 1931]). RHT 20th-132

36. Jane Barston, 1719-1746 by Edith Sitwell ; drawings by R. A. Davies (London : Faber & Faber, [1931]). Rare Books PR6037.I8 J36 1931

38. Choosing a mast / by Roy Campbell ; drawings by Barnett Freedman (London : Faber & Faber, 1931). Rare Books 3664.55.325

Goody: new digital images
Little by little, digital images from the Graphic Arts Collection that have been hiding in various sites over the years, are being moved to a new location. Lorenzo Homar, James Gillray, and Thomas Nast have made the jump, along with a handful of other things.

The best way to get a look is to put your cursor in the search box but not type anything.  This gives you almost 2,000 digital images including prints, drawings, illustrated books, and more. We are still figuring it out. You can download single images or whole books, such as the one above from the Sinclair Hamilton Collection. Here are a few highlights:

Jakob Steinhardt (Hebrew: יעקב שטיינהרדט‬)

Born in Zerków, Germany (what is now Poznań, Poland), Jakob Steinhardt (Hebrew: יעקב שטיינהרדט‬) fled Nazi persecution in 1933 and made his home in Jerusalem for the last 30 years of his life. This is one of the last books he produced in Berlin, where he co-founded Die Pathetiker group together with Ludwig Meidner and the German painter Richard Janthur.

Here is a portion of the entry in the Grove Dictionary of Art:

“While serving in the German army in World War I Steinhardt successfully exhibited 50 drawings at the Berlin Secession in 1917. In 1919 J. B. Neuman began to publish Steinhardt’s etchings and also arranged his first one-man exhibition that year. During this productive period he received many commissions for book illustration, such as those for the Haggadah (Berlin, 1920–21). He visited Palestine in 1925 and fled there from Nazi persecution in 1933, settling first in Tel Aviv and then in Jerusalem. There he concentrated on woodcuts, producing such Expressionist works as The Butcher (1934; see 1987 exh. cat., p. 32). He ran an art school in Jerusalem from 1934 to 1949, when he took over the Directorship of the Belazel School of Arts and Crafts. Throughout his career his style was Expressionist and though predominantly a printmaker he also painted in oils. He produced a number of illustrations for the Bible, such as Isaiah the Prophet (1954; Los Angeles, CA, Co. Mus. A.).”


Special thanks to James Weinberger, Curator, Near East Collection, for helping with this acquisition.

Jacob Steinhardt (1887-1968), Neun Holzschnitte zu ausgewählten Versen aus dem Buche Jeschu ben Elieser ben Sirah; mit einer Einleitung von Arnold Zweig [Nine Woodcuts and Selected Verses from the Book of Ben Sirah–Soncino] (Berlin: Aldus Druck, 1929). Ninth Publication of the Soncino Society of Friends of the Jewish Book. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2018- in process


Sometimes contemporary material can be just as difficult to collect as that from hundreds of years ago. It has taken much effort and the help of an international group of colleagues to acquire a complete run of the typography journal DotDotDot (2000-2010).

First established in a basement room on the lower east side of Manhattan, this non-profit organization and publication evolved in 2010, ending the DotDotDot paper journal.

Today Stuart Bailey, Angie Keefer, and David Reinfurt, are based in Liverpool where The Serving Library has a publishing platform, a seminar room, a collection of framed objects, and an event space. The Serving Library currently resides at Exhibition Research Lab in the School of Art & Design, Liverpool John Moores University, which has been home to a regular program of free public talks since spring 2017.

Helena Bochořáková-Dittrichová

Written and illustrated by Czech graphic artist Helena Bochořáková-Dittrichová (1894-1980), this mostly wordless novel tells its story in 52 black and white woodcuts and 7 pages of text (also by the artist).

The book describes the struggles of the American Indians in the Midwest and Southwest, beginning with Ottawa war chief Pontiac’s battles against the British military occupation in 1763, followed by descriptions of Arizona and New Mexico American Indians.

Recognized as the first (or one of the first) woman graphic novelist, Bochořáková-Dittrichová began publishing woodcut narratives with Z mého dětství (From My Childhood) in 1929 and is credited with 15 graphic novels, the last published in 1969. Princeton University Library has only one other example of her work: Childhood: a Cycle of Woodcuts. Edition 300. Cotsen Children’s Library Eng 20 18173.

Considered extremely rare and yet, seminal to her oeuvre, Bochořáková-Dittrichová printed only 125 copies of Indians Then and Now with Josefem Hladkým. The only other holdings I see listed in the United States are at Columbia University and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. Happily, if you can’t come to Princeton, the entire volume has been digitized here:

Helena Bochořáková-Dittrichová (1894-1980), Indiáni jindy a dnes: kniha dřevorytů =
Indians Then and Now: a Book of Woodcutters. Copy 100 of 125. (Jozef Hladký, 1934). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2018- in process


Newspapers weigh in on cost of newsprint,541418

Mana-ka-Dana 1868

This photograph [a detail] is labeled: “The Attack on Mhunnah-Ka-Dhunnah,” although we are told common orthography for that place in the Agror Valley (Pakistan, not too far from Abbotabbad) is Mana-ka-Dana (probably not too far from here


Most researchers who ask about our photography album attributed to the British Army officer Alexander Dudgeon Gulland M.D. with 165 albumen silver prints ca. 1868, are looking for the section covering the rebellion in Jamaica.

Equally compelling is the next section (digitized here: with photographs of Kashmir and, in particular, the 1868 camp of the Hazara Field Force under Major General Wylde O.B. at Oghi. In one print [see above] the photographer caught a cannon ball in mid-air, leaving a trail of smoke arching across the sky.

…An expedition thus became necessary, and as the country inhabited was mountainous and difficult, and it was possible that more tribes beyond the Indus would join the enemy, the invading force had of necessity to be a large one. A force under Major-General Wylde, O.B., was collected at Oghi, and the Mahdrdja of Kashmir was also called upon to furnish a contingent, which he did with readiness.

The force left Oghi, October 3rd, and occupied the Machai peak after an ineffectual resistance on the part of the enemy, and returned to British territory on the 22nd idem. The submission of all the tribes was secured, except the chief Syad of Pardri, and a petty chief named Shal Khdn of Tahkd, who fled. Some villages of the Pathans were destroyed, and fines levied on the offending Swatis. List of killed and wounded Europeans, 1 wounded ; Natives, 35 wounded, 9 killed. –“Historical Record of No 4 (Hazara) Mountain Battery Punjab Frontier Force”


Attributed to Alexander Dudgeon Gulland, Photography album documenting the Morant bay Rebellion in Jamaica (1865), the Indian Northwest Frontier Hazara Campaign (1867-1870), views of Malta, Ireland, Guernsey, Spain, and elsewhere, no date [1860s-1880s]. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) (GAX) 2009-0016E

The Bard of Avon and the Bardavon

Leo Sielke, Jr., Design for the Bardavon Theater interior, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., 1923. Watercolor and gouache on board. Theater Collection, Rare Books and Special Collections


Charlotte Evans, “Poughkeepsie Saves 1869 Opera House,” New York Times 25 Apr 1981: 25:

“Poughkeepsie has a Cinderella story to tell. Five years ago, its Bardavon Opera House, the oldest opera house in New York State and the seventh oldest in the United States, was scheduled for demolition to make way for a parking lot. But three years ago it was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and this year the Bardavon is finally coming back into its own as a community-run, nonprofit theater. It is expected to attract 100,000 people to a full season of opera, music, theater and dance.

“The Bardavon, now known officially as the Bardavon 1869 Opera House, was originally the Collingwood, built in 1869 by James Collingwood on the site of his coal and lumberyard. In 1923, after the touring companies had declined and silent films had arrived, the Bardavon underwent a major renovation to become a movie theater.

On Jan. 3 of that year, The Poughkeepsie Evening Star and Enterprise reported that ‘every refinement in designing and decoration has been employed to make it a worthy setting for the best productions of the stage and the films, and no expense has been spared to assure the comfort and safety of its patrons.’

The theater was renamed the Bardavon after Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon, reflecting the “Shakespeare mania” of the day. . . . Over the stage hung a 72-foot mural depicting the Bard sitting on the banks of the Avon River, contemplating a fair, pensive woman on the other side.

But the theater could not stave off the woes of the inner city, and by the 1960’s the Bardavon was seedy. Several movie companies failed to revive it and in 1975, when the city’s master plan called for more downtown parking, eyes turned toward the opera house.”

Unfortunately, the mural has been lost or painted over, leaving this 1923 design by Leo Sielke the only record of the 72-foot painting that once decorated the Bardavon’s proscenium arch. Sielke’s watercolor and gouache sketch was recently conserved and rehoused for Princeton’s theater collection.

See other designs by Leo Sielke & Son:

Fête des Imprimeurs à Strasbourg

Every two years, the Espace Européen Gutenberg (EEG) in Strasbourg organizes a “Printers’ Day” around the time of Saint John’s Day. This year the celebration will take place June 22-24 and the following locations will be open to the public, with professionals offering demonstrations and exhibits of their work:
1 l’espace Saint-Michel de la cathédrale Notre-Dame
2 la cour intérieure des ateliers de la fondation de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame
3 le musée de l’Œuvre Notre-Dame
4 la Popartiserie
5 la chapelle des évangélistes de l’église Saint-Thomas
6 la place Gutenberg

The EEG includes a wide variety of Printing and Graphic Arts professionals. This is a separate celebration from La Fête de l’estampe held on May 26 throughout France, which is a celebration of engravers. 2018 will be the fourth time they have organized a “Fête des Imprimeurs à Strasbourg” and this year it is a special celebration in honor of the Gutenberg Year (the commemoration of 550 years of the death of Gutenberg).

Learn more:

L’Espace Européen Gutenberg (EEG) est une association qui œuvre pour l’ouverture d’un Conservatoire & ateliers de l’imprimerie et des arts graphiques à Strasbourg. L’EEG organise tous les deux ans une Fête des Imprimeurs à Strasbourg aux alentours du jour de la Saint-Jean.

En 2018, cette 4e édition s’inscrit dans le cadre de 2018: Année Gutenberg (commémoration des 550 ans de la mort de Gutenberg)*, elle met en lumière 6 lieux emblématiques dans le cœur historique de Strasbourg dans lesquels des professionnels donnent des explications, pour présenter leur métier en lien direct ou indirect avec le livre, qu’ils exercent toujours aujourd’hui. Les visiteurs sont invités à s’arrêter à différents ateliers démonstratifs et participatifs. Par ce parcours, il est proposé de découvrir les inspirations de Gutenberg et comment son invention a été révolutionnaire.

The Pène du Bois family

Three generations of the Pène du Bois family led book-filled lives.

“Gilles Menage somewhere wrote over two hundred years ago: ‘Les livres ont toujours ete la passion des honnêtes gens.’ [Books have always been the passion of honest people]. And that is the reason, I suppose, why Mr. Henry De Pene Du Bois is so popular in New York as a Bibliophile and Grolierite. I presume further, that it is also the reason why he gave to literature his interesting volume on the Art of Bookbinding, is why he has been chosen as the American correspondent of that fascinating Parisian magazine, Le Livre, whose destinies are superintended by Octave Uzanne . . . and is why Mr. Pene Du Bois has been engaged for so long a time on the compilation of his volume on American book-collectors entitled New York Bibliophile, and which will be shortly issued from the Paris press. The Library and Art Collection of Mr. Pene Du Bois has been his sole hobby during many years, and he daily could truly repeat the words penned by old Pynson in the sixteenth century:

Styll am I besy bookes assemblynge,
For to have plenty it is a pleasaunt thynge.

It is a good thing to read books, and it need not be a bad thing to write them; but it is a pious thing to preserve those that have been sometime written; the collecting, and mending, and binding, and cataloguing of books are all means to such an end.”

First in Brooklyn and then, Staten Island, the only language spoken in the Pène du Bois home was French. Patriarch Henri Pène du Bois (born Henry Dubois 1858-1906) required his son Guy speak only the language of their family friend and his namesake Guy de Maupassant.

Largely self-educated, both father and son aspired to artistic careers but supported their families mainly through writing. Guy left school at 16 years old to study painting. Henri paid his bills working as a reporter for the New York American and when he died, Guy took a job at his dad’s paper.

Guy Pène du Bois (1884-1958) was assigned first to the police beat, then became the opera critic (although he had never been) and finally took his father’s position as art critic. This was a perfect opportunity for Guy to review his friends from the Robert Henri School of Art; they got the publicity and he filed a story. In fact, Guy was the only artist to not only exhibit at the 1913 Armory Show but also review it. He went on to write the first biographies on the early American modernists, funded by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.

In 1914, Guy moved his family to no. 16 in The Enclosure, an artists’ colony in Nutley, New Jersey, commuting daily into New York City on the newly opened railroad.

“Around the turn of the 20th century there were more noted artists and writers in Nutley than in any other community in New Jersey, with the possible exception of Montclair. Many of the artists clustered around an area in Nutley called The Enclosure. James R. Hay, who lived in the John Mason House in Calico Lane, probably can be credited with convincing creative individuals to settle in The Enclosure. Hay dealt with real estate in New York City and was able to tap the enormous resources of the city, including the influx of artistic talent. It was probably not terribly difficult to convince people to reside or work in the area. The rustic beauty and the quiet setting of The Enclosure was certainly ideal for concentrating artists.”

William Sherman “Billy” Pène du Bois (1916-1993) was born at The Enclosure in Nutley and followed in the family footsteps, becoming a writer and illustrator. Like his father and grandfather, William was well-read, well-traveled, and fluent in French. He is best known for The Twenty-One Balloons, published in April 1947 by Viking Press, for which he won the 1948 Newbery Medal. From 1953 to 1960, William was the first art editor of The Paris Review, working alongside founder and editor George Plimpton. It’s William’s design of the Place de la Concorde that has become synonymous with the journal.



William Pène du Bois (1916-1993), The Three Policemen, or, Young Bottsford of Farbe Island
(New York : Viking Press, 1966). Cotsen Children’s Library Eng 20 152224