Author Archives: Julie Mellby

…What a way to make a living

(left) The Engraver or Plate cutter, ca. 1725.   (right) The Engraver, 1694.

In 1568, Jost Amman carved woodcuts depicting various occupations, printed together with several lines of verse by Hans Sachs. In 1694 the Amsterdam artist Jan Luyken (or Luiken) and his son Casper published a collection of 100 engravings depicting arts and craft professions, also with a six-line poem below.

Each of these books were enormously successful and many variant copies followed. Recently the Graphic Arts Collection acquired an Amsterdam edition by Reinier and Josua Ottens, published around 1725. This set of engravings includes occupations copied directly from the Luykens’ volume but with completely new verses below.

The prints are also shifted into a new order, offering little narratives. One such example, shown below, is a Doctor seen with a massive botanical open before him and an unhappy patient opening a flask. The verse translates loosely: “The sick people who appear before me are taken in by medics, unless their coincidence was too great, I know no drinks for death.” This is immediately followed by the grave digger seen with a collection of skulls.

A few more plates are posted here.

Afbeelding der menschelyke bezigheden, bestaande in hondert onderscheiden printverbeeldingen vertonende allerhande stantspersonen [= Depictions of Human Activities, Consisting of Hundreds of Distinguished Printed Images Showing All Kinds of People] (Amsterdam: Reinier and Josua Ottens, ca. 1725). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2018- in process.


See also:

Jan Luyken (1649-1712) and Casper Luyken (1672-1708), Het menselyk bedryf, vertoond. in. 100. Verbeeldingen [= Human Industry, exhibited in 100 Images] (t’Amsterdam: Gedaan door Johannes en Caspaares Luiken, 1694). Reprint of 1694 original. Rare Books 3382.34.358

Hartmann Schopper (born 1542), [Panoplia] omnium illiberalium mechanicarum aut sedentariarum artium genera continens (Francofurti ad Moenum: [Apud Georgium Coruinum, impensis Sigismundi Feyerabent], M.D.LXVIII [1568]). Verses by Hartmann Schopper, accompanied by woodcuts by Jost Amman (1539-1591). Graphic Arts Collection 2003-1720N

Hans Sachs (1494-1576), Eygentliche Beschreibung aller Stände auff Erden (Franckfurt am Mayn : [s.n.], 1568). British Library Online


Note, Jost depicts a woodcutter rather than an engraver, cutting wood rather than copper.

Rodin exhibition extended

Good news from Paris. The exhibition Rodin, Dessiner, Découper has been extended for a couple extra weeks and so, if you are in Paris in March 2019, you may still have time to see the ‘cut-outs’ from our Graphic Arts Collection at the Musée Rodin. The show includes nearly 250 drawings by Auguste Rodin (1840-1917), of which 90 are his rare and often surprising cut and assembled figures, 6 loaned by Princeton University.

“Jouant de la mise en espace de ces corps,” writes curator Sophie Biass-Fabiani, “ce procédé révèle des silhouettes découpées audacieuses et un dynamisme d’une grande modernité. Cette exposition annonce un des modes d’expression novateurs du XXe siècle.”

Here are a few gallery shots, thanks to our colleagues.


Note, if you are watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, you will also see Rodin’s museum highlighted.

Mr Pipp the Barber and other early comic strips

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired three items from the library of Anne and F.G. Renier of interest to early comic strip researchers. Two were drawn by John Lewis Roget (1828-1908), the son of thesaurus-creator Peter Mark Roget. For more examples of work by John Lewis Roget, see: The third volume has potential connections to Roget.

Above are a few of the 44 pages from Mr. Pipp,  in which he attempts to woo Mrs. Plum by learning to dance, wearing a wig, losing weight, and other personal improvements. Poor guy.

Viewers will immediately think of Rodolphe Töpffer (1799-1846), who is often credited with drawing the earliest European illustrated comic strip (although James Gillray was doing it much earlier). Töpffer drew Histoire de Mr. Vieux Bois in 1827 and then, published the small volume in 1837. See: There is no record of Roget’s Mr Pipp appearing in print.


Along with Pipp, we also acquired A Shepherd Once Had Lost His Love, which takes its title from the popular song from Storace’s Drury Lane Opera The Cherokee, 1794. Finally, seen below is a work by the unknown Adolphus Gosling, also named W.A.G. Neither moniker has been found in any database or drawing catalogue and yet, the very similar style suggests a connection with Roget.

What do you think?


John Lewis Roger (1828-1908), A Sketch of a Passage in the Life of Mr. Pipp the Barber; wherein the inroads made upon his peace of mind by the Widow Plum, the fair grocer, are duly registered by their mutual friend and admirer J.L.R. ([England] : J.L. Roget, 1848). Graphic Arts Collection GA2018- in process
John Lewis Roger (1828-1908), A Shepherd Once Had Lost His Love (1847). Graphic Arts Collection GA2018- in process
W.A.G. [Adolphus Gosling], Outlines of the the most interesting portion of the chequered life of that singular individual, designed and drawn by W.A.G. (1851). Graphic Arts Collection GA2018- in process


Those who attended the exhibition on Matthias Buchinger prepared by collector Ricky Jay and curator Freyda Spira at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2016 will remember the many examples of micrography shown, a traditional art form dating to the late ninth century, in which minute lines of text are used to shape patterns or forms. The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired two 19th century examples of micrography, each with decorative miniature text around a famous theologian.

The first broadside highlights Martin Luther (1483-1546)–different from the Luther seen at the MET–engraved and etched by Theodor Goetz (1779-1853) of Weimar, Germany. The print is dated 1817, suggesting it was prepared to celebrate the tercentenary of the reformation. Luther is seen “clad in the creed of the holy bishop of Afhanasii, and embraced with the apostolic and Nicene creeds.”

The second broadside is dedicated to John Calvin (1509-1564), a French theologian, pastor and reformer in Geneva during the Protestant Reformation. The miniature text is written in Hungarian and although we do not know where it was produced, it is likely this was also part of a tercentenary celebration.

Kees van Dongen and Kipling

The Dutch painter Kees (Cornelis Theodorus Maria) van Dongen (1877-1968) moved to Paris in 1897, where he was introduced to the artists associated with the Revue Blanche, making a name for himself in the popular press. Between 1901 and 1912, his work was published in L’Assiette au beurre a satirical journal loved by the political left for its radical, sometimes violent lithographs, along with Félix Vallaton, Kupka, Juan Gris, Jacques Villon, Steinlen, and Jean-Louis Forain, In particular, the October 26, 1901 issue devoted to prostitution in Paris was chiefly drawn by Dongen (Rare Books Oversize 0904.133q).

Beginning with the Salon d’automne of 1905, Dongen joined André Derain, Maurice de Vlaminck, and others showing wildly colored canvases, which became known as Fauvism, reinforced at the Salon des indépendants of 1906 and Salon d’automne of 1906.

Dongen’s travels through Spain, Morocco and Egypt led to exotic, sometimes erotic portraits earning him a reputation as chronicler of the period. See:

But in a departure, Dongen agreed to work on two project unlike anything previous. In 1919, the artist was enlisted to design the imaginative cover typography for a wealthy socialite, Irène Hillel-Erlanger’s book entitled Voyages en Kaleidoscope [Voyage in Kaleidoscope Marquand Library PQ2615.I35 V7 1919]. Sources say that shortly after publication in Paris, all copies of the book were confiscated and pulped, but clearly a few survived.

Then in 1920, Dongen illustrated a collection of short stories by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) entitled Les plus beaux contes de Kipling [The Most Beautiful Tales of Kipling]. In New York, Elmer Adler saw and immediately acquired a copy, which he brought to Princeton when he moved down in 1940.

Rudyard Kipling and Kees van Dongen, Les plus beaux Contes de Kipling, 2nd ed.  (Paris: [impr. Louis Kaldor; images coloriées par l’atelier Marty Henir] Jonquiéres & compagnie, 1926). Including 18 full page pochoir colour illustrations and several smaller illustrations (also coloured). Copy 170 of 300. Graphic Arts Collection GAX Oversize PR4853.F7 .F3 1920q

For a complete biography of Kees van (Cornelis Theodorus Maria) Dongen (1877-1968), see Anneke E. Wijnbeek’s entry in Oxford Art Online


PBT 1904-1917

Beginning in September 1904, the journalist and poet Eustaquio Pellicer (1859-1937) wrote, edited, and published the satirical weekly P.B.T. out of Buenos Aires. Subtitled “para niños de 6 a 80 años” [for children ages 6 to 80] the magazine lasted thirteen years–693 issues–and together with the Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS), the Graphic Arts Collection has acquired a rare, nearly complete run.

Vol. 1, no. 1 (Sept. 24, 1904)

“The Buenos Aires of the Early Twentieth Century is Reflected in its Pages with Intelligence and Humor,” writes one advertisement. “The word ‘pebete’ in the title was a popular expression in Spain at the time to refer to a boy and which would later take root in Argentina as ‘pibe’.”

The publication was a resounding success, beginning with a print run of 5,000 and explanding to 45,000 copies. It remained true to its motto, focusing on children and adults with varied content featuring photographs and illustrations of weekly current events, stories, poems and reports, jokes, and informative advertisements.

Political satire and caricature also held a prominent place in its pages. P.B.T. was produced by some of the most renowned graphic artists and caricaturists of the time, since a primary focus was precisely the publication’s visual aspects and political caricature. Among them were Mayol, Cao, Zavattaro and Fortuny. This weekly publication, which enjoyed great popularity, contains a wealth of information for the study of Argentine society from the early 20th century to World War I.  Pellicer retired in 1910, maintaining fluid contact with his publication.


Eustaquio Pellicer (1859-1937) was a Spanish journalist, poet, and humorist based in the cities of Rio de Janeiro first and Buenos Aires later. He studied high school in his hometown and in 1886 he traveled to the Río de la Plata where he worked in publications such as La unión Gallega de Montevideo and El Ferrocarril.

In the Uruguayan city of Montevideo he founded a humorous weekly called La Pellicerina and later, in 1890 he founded the magazine Caras y Caretas . Years later he settled in Buenos Aires and at the request of Bartolomé Mitre Vedia founded in that city the Argentine version of the magazine, which gained great popularity.


Eustaquio Pellicer (1859-1937 ), P.B.T.; semanario infantil ilustrado (para niños de 6 a 80 años) (Buenos Aires, 1904-1917). This collection was purchased in part with funds provided by the Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS) and in part the Graphic Arts Collection. GAX 2018- in process.

Playing the weather

Artist Sara Bouchard writes, “Weather Box is a hand-cranked music box, housed in scavenged cardboard and accompanied by 12 punch card scores derived from actual weather data. I obtained hourly reports from the National Climatic DataCenter then graphed changes in temperature, wind and precipitation onto a timeline, which became the foundation for each punch card score. Each score represents one month of weather observations as recorded by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, at the Belvedere Castle weather station in Central Park, NYC.”

Weather Box: March 2014 from Sara Bouchard on Vimeo.

When introduced to Professor Beatrice Kitzinger’s class “Arts of the Medieval Book,” who were comparing contemporary artists’ books with traditional codex structures, the students made comparisons to a Medieval book of hours that holds the offices of the canonical hours of the day. In Bouchard’s work, each page or strip activates the various senses in a small, personal reverie: it can be read with its graphic symbols; seen through its visual aesthetics; and heard as a sensory experience.

Sara Bouchard is a “multi-disciplinary artist and songwriter with a strong foothold in American roots. As an artist, I investigate ways to interact with and represent the American landscape through song. As a musician, I perform original and traditional tunes – drawn from bluegrass, old-time, jazz, country and blues – with my band Salt Parade.”–

Hans Burgkmair’s woodcuts reused in “Le relationi universali”

Lengthy essays have been written about Giovanni Botero’s Universal relations but for the Graphic Arts Collection, it is the book’s Aggiunta (supplement) added by publisher Alessandro Vecchi with 33 woodcuts from 32 blocks that must be the primary focus of this rare publication. Vecchi knew the power of pictures.

Now attributed to the Renaissance genius Hans Burgkmair (1473-1531), the 30 full-page and 2 half-page woodcuts fall into two sections: the first group depict semi-human monsters and the remainder represent natives of India, Guinea, and East Africa. Walter Oakeshott’s 1960 study claims this was “the first serious study of native life and dress made for publication in a European travel book.”

Thanks to funds provided by the estate of Gillett G. Griffin, the copy recently acquired by the Graphic Arts Collection comes from the collection of Count Wolfgang Engelbert von Auersperg (1641-1709). The volume also holds a 19th-century bookplate of the Auersperg princely library in Laybach (Ljubljana), along with a label of Helmut N. Friedlaender.

Hans Burgkmair the Elder was the foremost Augsburg designer of woodcuts of his time, and together with Hans Holbein the Elder, the most important painter of the early sixteenth century in the city. The British Museum notes that the artist:

“Trained with his father, the painter Thoman Burgkmair (q.v), and from 1488 to 1490, was apprenticed to Martin Schongauer in Colmar. Designed woodcuts for the leading presses in Augsburg throughout his career. He became a master in 1498, and had a short stay in Italy during 1507. Worked primarily for the emperor Maximilian from c.1508 to 1519, for whom he designed the Genealogy of the Habsburgs of 1509-11, Der Weisskunig of 1514-16, Der Theuerdank of 1517 and the Triumphal Procession of 1516-18. …Between 1508 and 1512, [Burgkmair] played a leading role, together with the printer Jost de Negker, in the development of printing in colour. He was particularly influential in the introduction of Italian Renaissance forms into Augsburg.

The first of Burgkmair’s 15 woodcuts in the Aggiunta show mythological semi-human monsters, including a centaur, a dog-headed man, and others reminiscent of the border cuts in Schedel’s Nuremberg Chronicle.

The remaining 17 cuts depict real men and women, in attire and appearance exotic to European readers, 8 of which form part of a panorama that was cut up into single vignettes. The British Museum owns a rare portion of this procession of the King of Cochin, noting:

“These three blocks come from a set of eight, which was originally printed in the format of a frieze … and was based on a short report by Balthasar Springer published in 1508 of the first voyage made by German traders in 1505-6 to Africa, Arabia and the East Indies.”

The Princeton University Art Museum owns a single section (seen below).

Burgkmair’s original woodcuts must have been known, as they were copied throughout the 16th century, but the blocks themselves were not published until the 1618 edition of Le relationi universali. For the 1622 edition now at Princeton, Vecchi added a title illustration and improved the layout, using a larger type fount.

Giovanni Botero (1544-1617). Le relationi vniversali … diuise in sette parti… In oltre vi s’ aggiunge … un breve racconto di Mostri, & Usanze di quelle Indie, con le sue Figure al naturale d’ Alessandro de Vecchi … Quinta impressione stampata & ricorrette (Venice: Alessandro Vecchi, 1622-1623). Eight parts, numbered to six: with the Aggiunta to Part 4, and Part 6 in two parts, separately titled and paginated. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2018- in process

See also:
Hartmann Schedel (1440-1514), Das Buch der Croniken und Geschichten (Liber chronicarum) (Nuremberg, Anton Koberger, 23 Dec. 1493). Rare Books and Special Collections EXI Oversize 1016.816.11f

Walter Oakeshott (1903-1987), Some woodcuts by Hans Burgkmair : printed as an appendix to the fourth part of Le relationi universali di Giovanni Botero, 1618 (Oxford: Printed for presentation to the members of the Roxburghe Club, 1960). Graphic Arts Collection 2009-0966N

Hans, the elder Burgkmair (1473–1531), The Savages of Calicutt woodcut; watermark: HG? Block. Princeton University Art Museum. Gift of Professor Robert A. Koch, Graduate Class of 1954 x1983-159

O Books! Books! Books!

Sections from the ode “To A, B, C, & Co.” have been reprinted many times in many sources over the years. A search for the original publication of the poem led to the November 9, 1827 issue of The Ariel, a Philadelphia literary gazette.

Although no author is given, the work was written by the New Jersey poet Samuel Joseph Smith (1771-1835), who lived as somewhat of a recluse outside Burlington, rarely leaving the family home. The biography by his cousin Amelia Smith that accompanies a compilation of his writings claims this verse is autobiographical.

Here’s the whole:

Ye wee bit, crooked things ! I mind
The time when first I spied your faces,
And found—no trifling job to find—
That I must learn your names and places.

My grandsire, with well-meaning care,
Bore me to where the mistress she was
Hard at ye—but naught fancying there,
I was at home as soon as he was.

O ‘t was a most unsavoury measure,
To take a weentie, small as me,
From all his young heart knew of pleasure,
And bind him down to A, B, C.

I liked ye not—I’ll ne’er deny it—
And did my best the dose to shun,
But scolded, flattered, shamed, to try it,
Ye all were swallowed, one by one.

For ye are pills that every wee thing,
Is, will he, nill he, doomed to take,
Like measles, itch, small-pox, or teething,
Whate’er wry faces he may make.

And now I love ye well, I’m thinking,
Acquaintance wears disgust away;
Even smoking, hanging, snuffing, drinking,
But few admire at first, they say.

Aye ! and at times my bosom feels
Some pity for the life ye ‘re leading,
By blockheads gripit, neck and heels,
And twisted into wretched reading.

In dead born volumes—never read—
From age to age ye lumbering lie,
Where old housekeeping spiders spread
Their bits of weaving out to dry.

And oft in flimsy novels worn,
Till folk may see ye through and through,
And oft by reckless urchins torn,
For they must have their novels too.

O books ! books ! books !—it makes me sick
To think me how ye ‘re multiplied;
Like Egypt’s frogs, ye poke up thick
Your ugly heads on every side.

If a young thought but shake its ear,
Or wag its tail, though starved it look,
The world the precious news must hear,
The presses groan, and lo ! a Book.

Some busy trifler travels—dies—
Commits a murder, plays or sings—
Makes silly speeches, gathers flies,
Or rhymes—and forth a volume springs!

A host of worthies, stimulated
By hope of pudding or of praise,
Serve up, for stomachs sick and sated,
Their vapid flummery fifty ways.

O, if one half—and may be t’ other,
Were fairly in the Red Sea tost,
And left with Pharaoh’s host to smother,
Little worth keeping would be lost.

However we may find, no doubt,
Some crumbs of comfort—and we need ’em;
Knowing, we are, though books come out,
Not absolutely forced to read ’em.

Aweel, poor things! ye mind me, too,
Of blessed hours for ever past,
When o’er life’s morning fresh and new,
The star of joy its radiance cast.

When dear delusive hope exposed
Her rainbow-tinted scenes before me,
And those loved eyes that death has closed,
Watched with parental fondness o’er me.

But hold; we’ve doubtless shown a sample,
Sufficient, of our tediousness,
And now must set a good example,
By thinking more, and scribbling less.

Samuel Joseph Smith, Miscellaneous Writings of the Late Samuel J. Smith of Burlington, N.J. (H. Perkins, 1836)

Published in The Ariel: A Literary Gazette, Vol. 1 no. 14 (November 3, 1827)


Fairburn’s Dreams

This preliminary design by George Cruikshank (1792-1878) from the Graphic Arts Collection does not seem to have ever been realized in print. While trying to connect it to one of the many publications Cruikshank illustrated for John Fairburn (active 1789-1840), we looked at all the books in our own collection, in the British Museum printroom, and elsewhere.

Our colleagues with the Mortimer Rare Book Collection at Smith College hold the only copy of Fairburn’s Fashionable Dream Book, which seemed like a good bet. Unfortunately, that volume has only one plate and the image is not the same as our drawing.


John Fairburn (active 1819-1843), Fairburn’s Fashionable Dream Book, or, Dreamer’s Oracle: clearly showing how all things past, present, and to come may be ascertained by dreams on the following subjects: acquaintance … winds &c. &c. : to which are added, remarks on moles, and their signification, either in men or women (London : Printed and published by J. Fairburn, 110, Minories, 1819-1843?). Illustrated with one plate by George Cruikshank. SC Rare Book Room Stacks 398.5 F159



Bishopsgate Library, London, did a lovely online exhibition of other Fairburn publications, with additional biographical information. Sadly no Fairburn Dreams there either.

Let us know if you have more luck finding this.


Written in pencil: Fairburns. The Dream of Love. [bottom] Dreamers. Golden. Magnet.