Category Archives: Acquisitions

new acquisitions

Book of Darkness

book of darkness2

book of darkness

The Book of Darkness. Eleven poems by Chard deNiord; eleven etchings and paintings by Michele Burgess (San Diego: Brighton Press, 2015). Copy 27 of 30. Graphic Arts collection GAX 2015- in process. Text hand set in Perpetua and printed letterpress on Gampi paper. Etchings printed on Gampi. Paintings in gouache on Twinrocker paper. Housed in a clamshell box covered in hand woven cotton from Guatemala.

Michele Burgess, of Brighton Press, writes: “I asked Chard [deNiord] how he felt about the idea of ‘night’ as an archive of thought. He sent me these poems. After reading them I thought about and drew shafts of moonlight and sunlight in the woods of Vermont.

Chard had recently and reluctantly cut down 100 trees to protect his house from falling limbs and to create a meadow on his property. This seemed a very dramatic event to me, as a woman from the arid southwest, and I was captured by the duality expressed in it.

I used those trees as metaphors for his poems to explore the way darkness orients and reorients itself in nature and in the human imagination. The paintings felt necessary to add physicality to the blackness and to enclose the etchings.”

book of darkness4

This fall, Chard deNiord will be named Vermont’s eighth Poet Laureate. A cofounder of the New England College MFA program in poetry, he is the author of Asleep in the Fire (1990), Sharp Golden Thorn (2003), Night Mowing (2005), and The Double Truth (2011). His latest poetry collection, Interstate, is due out next month.

DeNiord joins an exclusive club of official Green Mountain bards. Vermont’s first poet laureate, Robert Frost, was appointed in 1961 and served until 1963. He was followed many years later by Kinnell (1989-93), Louise Glück (1994-98), Ellen Bryant Voigt (1999-2002) Grace Paley (2003-07), Ruth Stone (2007-11) and Lea (2011-15). –this is taken in part from “Chard deNiord Appointed Next Vermont Poet Laureate,” Posted by Ken Picard on Mon, Aug 24, 2015.
book of darkness3

Michele Burgess is the Director of Brighton Press and a prolific artist. For more information, see:

Edition Et

edition et6edition et3

Edition Et ([Berlin]: Verlag Christian Grützmacher, 1966-1967). Edited by Bernhard Höke (except for no. 4, edited by Rochus Kowallek). Issues 1-2, 13-15 published in 1966; issues 3 and 4 published in 1967. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process.

edition et1

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a complete set of this artist-designed and produced serial, edited by the German conceptual artist Bernhard Höke. It is rare to find a complete set of this title, which was issued unbound in cardboard portfolios. Both private and institutional collectors have often separated individual projects by celebrated artists originally found within Edition Et and discarded the less well-known works.

Each volume of this set is complete with the required 50 plates and a few folded posters, photomontages, xeroxes, typographical art, screenprints, concrete and visual poetry.

Editon Et presents an international selection of artists, musicians, and writers active in the 1960s including George Brecht, Gomringer, Ben Vautier, Emmett Williams, Max Bense, Eugen Gomringer, Dick Higgins, Gerhard Rühm, Wolf Vostell, Roy Lichtenstein, Nam June Paik, Dieter Roth, Christo, Joseph Beuys, Sigmar Polke, Gerhardt Richter, and dozens of others. Volume 15 is the work of a single artist, Dieter Roth, and makes up one part of a complex work he titled “Snow”.
edition et5

The publication follows in a long tradition of fluxus multiples. “The term ‘multiple’ was coined by Swiss artist Daniel Spoerri” writes Maja Wismer, “when he introduced his publishing project Edition MAT (Multiplication d’Art Transformable) in Paris in 1959. Spoerri’s project aimed to undermine the exclusivity of the original work of art by creating replicated objects, still claiming each to be an original. Without providing an exhaustive account of the different strategies of multiplication developed and carried out by various artists in the succeeding years, it is worth noting that the multiple proliferated rapidly throughout the United States and Europe during this time.”

“In 1963, just a few years after Edition MAT introduced the multiple, George Maciunas founded Fluxshop in downtown New York, solidifying the form as a critical tool for questioning the exclusivity of art and challenging the separation between art and life.” –Maja Wismer, One of Many, The Multiples of Joseph Beuys (Walker Art Center, 2015).
edition et2When asked about his use of the multiple, Joseph Beuys commented, “Well, it’s a matter of two intersecting things. Naturally, I search for a suitable quality in an object, which permits multiplication.… But actually, it’s more important to speak of distribution, of reaching a large number of people.… I’m interested in the distribution of physical vehicles in the form of editions because I’m interested in spreading ideas.”

Tree of Codes, the book and the ballet


In 1912, Stéphane Mallarmé’s L’après-midi d’un faune (1876) inspired the ballet The Afternoon of a Faun, choreographed by Vaslav Nijinsky for the Ballets Russes.

In 2015, Jonathan Safran Foer’s Tree of Codes (2010) inspired Wayne McGregor’s Tree of Codes, performed by fifteen soloists and dancers from the Paris Opera Ballet and Company, with music-scapes by JamieXX and visual-scapes by Olafur Eliasson.

In a few weeks, Tree of Codes comes to New York City. The publisher Visual Editions writes “Making Jonathan Safran Foer’s vision a reality four years ago, with the help of the incredibly talented Sara De Bondt, not to mention the only printers in the world who would do it, Die Keure in Belgium, and Jon Gray’s cover design, has been a big emotional part of Visual Editions: a benchmark for how far we, through the collective creative power of ambition and can-do-ness, can push the boundaries of how we read and what a book as an object can be.”

Jonathan Safran Foer, Tree of Codes ([London]: Visual Editions, 2011, c2010). Artist’s book with a unique die-cut on every page of the story. Publisher’s note: “In order to write The Tree of Codes, the author took an English language edition of Bruno Schulz’s The Street of Crocodiles and cut into its pages, carving out a new story.” Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2011-0591N

Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898), L’après-midi d’un faune (Paris: A. Derenne, 1876). Copy 57 of 175. Prints by Édouard Manet (1832-1883). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2011-0088Q

Ĉtyři básně

visual poetry5Thanks to Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Librarian Thomas Keenan, the Graphic Arts Collection has acquired this rare book of visual poetry by the experimental Czech writer Bohumila Grögerová (1921-2014). Entitled Ĉtyři básně (Four Poems), OCLC records only one other copy of this fragile volume in the United States.

visual poetry2

Bohumila Grögerová and Alois Chvála, Ĉtyři básně ([Prague]: UB, 1965). “Upravil, vysadil a na ru čním lisu vytiskl Alois Chvála …”–Colophon. Graphic Arts collection GAX 2015- in process

visual poetry3visual poetry

visual poetry6visual poetry4See also: Vrh kostek : česká experimentální poezie / [editors, Josef Hiršal, Bohumila Grögerová ; Zdeněk Barborka … et al.] (Praha: Torst, 1993). Firestone Library (F) PG5025 .V74 1993

Cuba, ca. 1850

cuba album3
cuba album2After Frédéric Mialhe (1810-1881), Album pintoresco de la isla de Cuba ([Havana]: B. May y Ca., 1850-1853?). 27 chromolithographs, 2 maps. Graphic Arts Collection 2015- in process
cuba album1Cover title: Album Pintoresco de la Isla de Cuba.

Frédéric Mialhe (1810-1881) arrived in Cuba in 1838 under contract to the printers Real Sociedad Patriótica to record views of the island. In the late 1840s, they published a set of chromolithographs under the title Viaje Pintoresco al Rededor de la Isla de Cuba.

In the 1850s, the work was pirated several times by the Berlin publisher Bernardo May, “who succeeded in defending himself against a breach of copyright suit by Mialhe and his Havana publisher Louis Marquier. Ironically May’s pirated edition guaranteed the availability of Mialhe’s well into the future for the original Havana edition is virtually unobtainable today.” It is one of the pirated editions that we have acquired for the Graphic Arts Collection.

cuba album11Dia de Reyes. The Holy Kings Day.

cuba album9

cuba album8Contents: 1. Morro y entrada puerto de la Habana; 2. Vista de la Habana; 3. Vista de la Habana : parte de Estramuros; 4. Haban; 5. Habana; 6. Habana; 7. Plaza de Armas; 8. Puertas de Monserrate; 9. Teatro de Tacon y parte del Paseo de Isabel II; 10. Fuente de la India en el Paseo de Isabel IIa.; 11. Alameda de Paula; 12. El quitrin; 13. El panadero y el malojero; 14. El casero; 15. Valla de gallos; 16. Dia de reyes = The holy kings day; 17. El zapateado = The zapateado (national dance); 18. Matanzas; 19. Morro y entrada del puerto de Santiago de Cuba; 20. Vista genl. de la ciudad y montañas de Baracoa; 21. Cercanias de Baracoa; 22. Vista de la iglesia major y de la Ermita del Buen Viaje; 23. Vivienda de los pescadores de esponjas; 24. Trinidad; 25. Corrida de toros; 26. Vista de una casa de calderas; 27. Vista de una vega de tabaco.
cuba album7
cuba album6
cuba album5Vista General de la Ciudad y Montanas de Baracoa (Costa del Norte)

cuba album4

 See also Emilio Cueto (born 1944), Mialhe’s Colonial Cuba: the prints that shaped the world’s view of Cuba (Miami: Historical Association of Southern Florida, 1994). Firestone Library (F) NE2325.5.M5 A4 1994


Tamayo’s Apocalypse de Saint Jean


Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991), written by Issac-Louis Lemaistre De Sacy (1612-1684), Apocalypse de Saint Jean (Monaco: Club international de bibliophile: Jaspard, Polus & cie, 1959). Printed by Jean Paul Vibert, Grosrouvre, and Lucien Détruit, Paris. “Le texte de la présente édition reproduit integralement la version de Lemaistre de Sacy, publiée pour la première fois à Paris, en 1672″–Title page verso. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015-in process



When the Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo died in 1991 at the age of 91, Michael Brenson wrote an extended obituary for the New York Times. He called Tamayo “a force in Mexican art for more than 60 years and one of the leaders of the Mexican Renaissance.” He continued “Mr. Tamayo was prolific. Although he is best known for his painting, he was an influential printmaker who liked being involved in every step of the process, including making his paper by hand.”

The Graphic Arts Collection is fortunate to have acquired the most beautiful livre d’artiste by Tamayo, Apocalypse of St. John (Apocalypse de Saint Jean), which he completed in 1959. The cardboard clamshell box with Tamayo’s design across the front and back, is in surprisingly good condition after almost 60 years. The color of his lithographs is fresh and pure. It is Tamayo’s color that many of us loved the best.

“If I could express with a single word what it is that distinguishes Tamayo from other painters of our age,” commented Octavio Paz, the Mexican poet and Nobel laureate, “I would say, without a moment’s hesitation: sun. For the sun is in all his pictures, whether we see it or not; night itself is for Tamayo simply the sun carbonized.”



Making Paper

bertram2The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a rare trade catalogue from the Scottish firm Bertram, presenting their entire line of papermaking machinery. Note below the watermark printed on each plate so that people can’t steal and reproduce their images.



Paper Makers’ Catalogue ([Edinburgh]: [James Bertram & Son], printed by Mackenzie and Storrie, letterpress and lithographic printers, 1890). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process

Happily the Capital Collections site for Edinburgh Libraries and Museums recently posted the history of this important manufacturer and the quote here is a portion of their text:

Bertram Limited, Sciennes was founded in 1821 in Edinburgh and developed into a major manufacturer of papermaking machinery. The firm was founded by George and William Bertram, who came from a family which had been involved in papermaking in Midlothian for generations.

After spending about twenty years in Dartford, Kent learning their craft as papermaking machinery engineers, the brothers returned to Edinburgh to set up their own business, a workshop erected near Sciennes, with a few machines and a small forge. The company moved to new, larger premises around 1859, on the site which it was to occupy for over a century. Another engineering company James Bertram & Son was set up in Leith Walk, by a younger brother in 1845.

In 1860 William Bertram retired after 40 years in the business. He died the same year. George continued to supply not only papermaking machines but other machinery used in the paper making process, including steam engines. David, George’s son took over the business from his father. He was the last of the direct line of Bertrams. When he died in 1907, the family name disappeared from the board.





An Imagined View of Philadelphia

philadelphia view3 This vue d’optique was made to be viewed through a zograscope, which would enhance the three-dimensionality of the scene. The harbor seen here is the same one seen on many other optical views, offering an imagined picture of Philadelphia by German artists who had never visited the United States.

This print has a text in two languages but there are also separate German and French versions, marketing the scenes to as many audiences as possible.

“Philadelphie la ville capitale de Pensylvanie province Nord-Americaine William Penn, à qui Charles II Roi d’Angleterre donna cette province entiére la planta en 1682, entre deux fleuves navigables et l’apella Philadelphie, parceque les habitans y vivoient dans une harmonie fraternelle.”

philadelphia view4philadelphia view2 philadelphia viewBalthasar Friedrich Leizelt (active 2d half 18th century), Vue de Philadelphie, 1776. Engraving with hand coloring. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process


The Difference between Bookbinders

james fraser

William Poole (active 1803-1807), after Robert Dighton (1752-1814), James Fraser, Aged 67, 1807. Engraving. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process

james fraser4

james fraser3

james fraser2In this portrait, master bookbinder James Fraser (1740-after 1813) of St. Martin’s Lane holds a paper headed, “A Plan for reconciling the difference between the Masters and Journeymen Bookbinders.” On the table are three books: Memoirs of Mr. Pitt, Estimates of Bookbinders, and Anecdotes of Lord Nelson, along with the newspaper The Oracle, May 28 1802.

These elements refer to Fraser’s his role as one of three “Prosecuting Masters” in the 1786 trade dispute among bookbinders. He described the costs of binding different types of books and advocated a piece-rate method of working, rather than the customary fixed weekly wage. One request was to reduce the work day from 14 hours to 13 hours. A strike, a trial and imprisonment of five men followed.

The complete story written by Lawrence Raithby, along with a reproduction of this engraving, was published in British Bookmaker: A Journal for the Book Printer, the Book Illustrator, the Book Cover Designer, the Book Binder, Librarians, and Lovers of Books Generally, Volume 5 (1892).