Author Archives: Julie Mellby

Where the West Begins

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a small photography album compiled by Elbert John “Dutch” Reuter (1896-1975), an Arizona printer, typographer, and publisher. Through approximately 230 photographs, the album documents Reuter’s trip from Peru, Indiana, to his new home in Prescott, Arizona. The pages are decorated with captions and poems presumable by Reuter himself, although he soon married Ruth Sylvia Reed in Gallup, New Mexico, and she might of helped to layout the book.


At the age of 14, Dutch became an apprentice to a printer in his hometown of Peru, Indiana, and learned all aspects of the printing and publishing trade. Not long after his 21st birthday, he joined the army but a few days later the  armistice was signed that brought World War I to a close and his release followed soon after.

In 1923, Dutch and a friend applied for a printing job at the Jerome Verde Independent in Arizona but when they showed up for work–after driving cross country for many days–the boys were told the paper decided not to expand and didn’t need them.  Two weeks later, they were hired by the Journal-Miner in Prescott, where Reuter remained for the rest of his life.

Eventually, Dutch became owner and publisher of the Yavapai County Messenger and manager of the Prescott Printing Company. The album follows him through his first years in Arizona as he gets to know the people and the landscape. Several photographs document his joining the “Smoki People,” a group of Prescott businessmen who dressed up and performed their own versions of Hopi ceremonial dances and rituals (finally shut down in 1990).

See more of his biography here:

Read more about the Smoki People here:

Dutch Reuter at the top right with his Linotype machine.

Welcome Baltimore Museum Friends

Members of the Baltimore Museum of Art’s Print, Drawing & Photograph Society (PDPS) traveled to Princeton on Saturday to visit our campus and collections. (Sorry we missed a few for the group picture above.) Treasures were pulled from the Princeton University Art Museum’s Prints and Drawings; the East Asian Library and the Gest Collection; and the Graphic Arts Collection.

Special thanks go to Rena Hoisington, Curator and Department Head, for her wonderful planning, and to Jay Fisher, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs; Ann Shafer, Associate Curator; and Morgan Dowty, Curatorial Assistant.

There are only a few more weeks left to see their exhibition: Off the Shelf: Modern & Contemporary Artists’ Books, closing June 25, 2017. The show presents more than 130 rarely shown artists’ books and related prints by more than 50 renowned artists, including Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Grace Hartigan, David Hockney, and Ed Ruscha. Stephen King, Frank O’Hara, and Robert Creeley are among the more than 30 authors represented.

For more information about exhibitions, programs, courses, and resources on artists’ books in the Greater Baltimore region, visit Book Arts Baltimore.

Dante and Virgil Attend an Exhibition

Antonio Manganaro (1842-1921), L’Esposizione Marittima Visitata da Dante e Virgilio. [The Maritime Exhibition visited by Dante and Virgil] Allegoria di A. Manganaro ([Naples: 1871]). 32 hand colored lithographs including the pictorial title-page. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2017 in process. Acquired with special thanks to Patricia A. Gaspari-Bridges.

Since Dante’s Divine Comedy (Divina Commedia) first appeared in 1320, visual artists have been rethinking Dante’s trip into hell with Virgil as his guide. Eugène Delacroix chose the subject for his first major painting, The Barque of Dante, also known as Dante and Virgil in Hell, which introduced the artist at the Salon of 1822. A few years later, William Blake drew visions of the Divine Comedy in London while G.G. Macchiavelli did the same in Bologna. William-Adolphe Bouguereau painted Dante and Virgil in Hell in 1850; Edgar Degas finished Dante and Virgil at the Entrance to Hell in 1858; and Gustave Doré financed his own Inferno in 1861, finishing the trilogy in 1868.

In the wake of Doré’s popularity, the Italian caricaturist Antonio Manganaro (1842-1921) translated Dante’s epic to his own era, imagining what would happen if Dante and Virgil attended the opening of The International Maritime Exhibition held in Naples in 1871. Manganaro’s rare lithographic volume, recently acquired by the Graphic Arts Collection, includes plenty of ghosts, fish, and wine. Here are a few images.



Abraham Lincoln for sale

On July 25, 1866, the artist William Marshall wrote to the Atlantic Monthly with information about his new, highly anticipated print.

I send you with this a proof of my engraved portrait of President Lincoln, Upon which I have been engaged so long, engraved as you are aware after my own painting. As a work of art, I submit it to yourselves and to the public on its merits. That it is a truthful portrait or Mr. Lincoln, as he appeared in his calm and thoughtful moments, I have the assurance of many who were Ultimately connected with him during hid whole official career, as well as the testimony of others who enjoyed his acquaintance for many years. On this point I would ask your attention to the opinions of Mr. Sumner, Mr. Stanton, Mr. Trumbull, and Mr. Colfajx, contained in the letters which I enclose.

The execution of this portrait has been a pleasant labor to me during the many months I have been engaged upon it; and in executing it, 1 have endeavored not merely to gratify a professional ambition in producing a work of art, but 1 have sought, so far as could be done in one picture, to represent Mr. Lincoln as he was, and as he will be known in the pages of history and biography.”

Similar announcement/advertisements were published in magazines and newspapers throughout the United States. Sold by subscription, the engraving was offered on various papers, with no limit to the number of plain proofs that would be pulled.

In some places, Marshall and his publishers purchased two full pages to include endorsements from Lincoln family members and colleagues. The advertisement below boasts letters from Robert T. Lincoln, William H. Herndon, John Greenleaf Whittier, Charles Sumner, Edwin M. Stanton, Hannibal Hamlin, Salmon P. Chase, George Bancroft, Lyman Trumbull, and Schuyler Colfax, all praising Marshall’s work.

William Edgar Marshall (1837-1906), Abraham Lincoln, 1866. Engraving. Gift of John Douglas Gordon, Class of 1905. Graphic Arts collection GA 2008.00294

Signed and dated in plate, l.c.: ‘Painted & Engraved by Wm. E. Marshall // Entered According to Act of Congress in the Year 1866 by Wm. E. Marshall in the Clerks Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York.

Alcott to Billings: Oh, Please change em!


The Graphic Arts Collection holds a proof of a wood engraving after a drawing by Hammatt Billings (1818-1874), which Billings intended as the frontispiece to the Second Part of Little Women. As the collector Sinclair Hamilton notes, Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) disliked it intensely, as is made evident by her letter to Elizabeth B. Greene:

“Oh, Betsy! Such trials as I have had with that Billings no mortal creter [sic] knows! He went & drew Amy a fat girl with a pug of hair, sitting among weedy shrubbery with a lighthouse under her nose, & a mile or two off a scrubby little boy on his stomach in the grass looking cross, towzly, & about 14 years old! It was a blow, for that picture was to be the gem of the lot. I bundled it right back & blew Niles [of Roberts Brothers] up to such an extent that I thought he’d never come down again. But he did, oh bless you, yes, as brisk & bland as ever, & set Billings to work again. You will shout when you see the new one for the man followed my directions & made (or tried to) Laurie ‘a mixture of Apollo, Byron, Tito & Will Green.’ Such a baa Lamb! Hair parted in the middle, big eyes, sweet nose, lovely mustache & cunning hands; straight out of a bandbox & no more like the real Teddy than Ben Franklin. I wailed but let go for the girls are clamoring & the book can’t be delayed. Amy is pretty & the scenery good but—my Teddy, oh my Teddy!”

At the top of the proof is a penciled note from the publishers: “If Miss A. will return this Friday A.M. Mr. Niles will be obliged.” Under this, in ink, in Miss Alcott’s handwriting is written “Oh, please change em!” and, on the sides of the engraving, also in her handwriting, are the words: “Amy too old & no curls. Amy is 17, slender & picturesque. Teddy much too young and no mustache. He is 21 in the story & very handsome.”

At the bottom of the engraving Miss Alcott has written “Lazy Laurence.”
Hamilton’s second attempt is the one found as the frontispiece to “Part Second” of Little Women.

Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), Little Women, or, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. Part second (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1869). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Hamilton 206(2)


Thanks to Ananya A. Malhotra, Class of 2020, for her help in locating this on her last day in RBSC.

Early Bookplates

Bookplate for Jacobus Maximilianus, count of Collalto and San Salvatore and count of the Holy Roman Empire, engraved in 1771 by Teodoro Viero (Italian, 1740–1819)

While searching our collections for Piranesi’s bookplate, other interesting prints turned up.
Here are a few.

Hand colored bookplate of the French politician Pierre de Maridat (1613-1689), Councillor at the Grand Conseil (1640), inscribed “Curae numen habet justu move 40 Eneid. / Inde cruce hinc trutina armatus regique deoque milito disco meis hcec duo nempe libris / ex libris Petri Maridat in magno Regis consilio Senatoris.”

Bookplate for David Garrick (1717-1779), engraved around 1755. Above is a bust of Shakespeare and below the inscription “La premiere chose qu’on doit faire quand on a emprunte un Livre, c’est de la lire afin de pouvoir le rendre plutot. Menagiana. Vol. IV.” = “The first thing one must do when one borrows a book is to read it in order to be able to give it back. Menagiana. Vol. 4.”


Bookplate of the booksellers C.S. Jordani and Associates, with their motto “Dulces ante omnia musae” (Sweet before all muses) at the top and below “Deus nobis haec otia fecit” (God has given us this tranquility, Virgil, Eclogues I, l.6).


Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) bookplate engraved by Francesco Bartolozzi (1727-1815).


Pour Raillerie

Bookplate collections often include prints that have names embedded in their design, mistaken as bookplates. This is the case with the above engraving found in a box of unsorted bookplates in our collection.

It is the title page for a series of eight plates by the Swiss engraver and entomologist Johann Rudolph Schellenberg (1740-1806). The small volume was called Pour raillerie (For mockery or All in Mockery) and was originally published in Winterthur, Switzerland, in 1772. (available for free download by the Swiss National Library):

Schellenberg partnered with Johann Caspar Fuessli (1743-1786) on multiple projects, most notably Archiv der Insectengeschichte / Archives de l’histoire des insects (Winterthour: Chez J. Ziegler, 1794). “The figures, which occupy 37 plates, are designed, etched and coloured by Mr. Schellenberg, of Winterthur, a man of uncommon knowledge in this branch of painting, whether we consider fidelity of character, high finish, or spirit of altitude. They appear chiefly to have been drawn from the insects themselves, a few excepted, in which the figures of Roesel may be traced.” –J. Johnson, Analytical Review: Or History of Literature, Domestic and Foreign, vol. 10 (1791).

We have yet to find the other plates in Pour raillerie, but they may still turn up.

Description of the Poets

Fabricious’s Description of the Poets. Vide:Gil Blas—“People think that we often dine with Democritus and there they are mistaken. There is not one of my fraternity, not even excepting the makers of Almanacs, who is not welcome to some good table. As for my own part, there are two families where I am received with pleasure. I have two covers laid for me every day, one at the house of a fat director of the farms, to whom I have dedicated a romance, and the other at the house of a rich citizen, who has the disease of being thought to entertain wits every day at his table; luckily he is not very delicate in his choice, and the city furnishes him with great plenty.” Print by Thomas Rowlandson, text from: Alain René Le Sage, The History and Adventures of Gil Blas of Santillane (London, 1716).

The Miseries of Human Life, written in 1806 by James Beresford, a Fellow at Merton College, Oxford, had extraordinary success and became a minor classic in the satirical literature of the day. Dozens of editions were published and printmakers rushed to illustrate their own versions of life’s miseries.

Thomas Rowlandson (1756/57–1827) began drawing scenes based on Beresford’s book as soon as it was published and after two years, the luxury print dealer Rudolph Ackermann selected fifty Miseries in hand colored etchings for a new edition of the Beresford work. Fabricious’s Description of the Poets (1807) is one of Rowlandson’s interpretations of the miseries of social life.

Thomas Rowlandson, Miseries of Human Life. Fifty etchings after James Beresford’s book of the same title. London: R. Ackermann, 1808.

The exhibition The Miseries of Human Life and other Amusements: Drawings by Thomas Rowlandson opens at the Princeton University Art Museum July 1, 2017.

The Chariot Race at Barnum and Bailey’s Show, 1898

While reorganizing and rehousing our circus poster collection, we can across this drawing for the weekly London newspaper, The Graphic. The drawing is mounted on the board’s recto and the published wood engraving on the verso. A double window mat is being made to house both as they are mounted.

The drawing is by William Small (1843-1929), who was a regular on the staff of The Graphic. Originally from Edinburgh, Small moved to London where he illustrated novels, magazines, and children’s books. Besides The Graphic, his work can be found in The Quiver, Good Words, and the Sunday Magazine, among others.

William Small, The Chariot Race at Barnum and Bailey’s Show, 1898. Graphite, chalk, gouache drawing. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2017- in process. Mounted with published wood engraving on verso.

William Small, The Chariot Race at Barnum and Bailey’s Show. Published in The Graphic, London, February 12, 1898. Wood engraving. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2017- in process

In the same issue of The Graphic is an advertisement for the performance at the Olympia on Hammersmith Road. Two performances were held each day, announced here “in its seventh week.”

Here is the art studio at The Graphic, posted at Spartacus Educational, where they note: “When it was first started, the journal was produced in a rented house. However, by 1882 the company owned three buildings, twenty printing machines and employed over 1,000 people. The Christmas edition, printed in colour and costing a shilling, was particularly popular, selling over 500,000 copies in Britain and the USA.”

Optical devices on view

Our new reading room includes a consultation room at one end for small classes and group discussions. The room also has a case now filled with a portion of the optical devices collection. On view are a portable camera obscura, camera lucida, stereoviewers, megalethoscope, zograscope, zoetrope, thaumatropes, magic lanterns, and much more.

You are welcome to come individually or with a group to see these objects Monday-Friday between 9:00-4:45. At some future date, the back wall will be removed and students will be able to view the collection whenever the building is open, seven days/week.

For more information on the individual items, see the category list to the right and select ‘Pre-cinema optical devices.’