Category Archives: Acquisitions

new acquisitions

Polyorama or Endless Changes of Landscapes

polyorama or endless changes

polyorama or endless changes3 Polyorama or, Endless changes of landscapes (London: Hodgson & Company, [ca. 1824]). 16 hand colored lithographed cards forming an interchangeable panoramic landscape view. Graphic Arts Collection 2015-in process

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired an early lithographic Polyorama, which presumably follows the success of John Clark’s Myriorama. The cards are printed by the English firm Hodgson & Company, which published a number of lithographic landscape views during the 1820s.

‘The formulaic nature of the picturesque landscape had become, by the nineteenth century, a visual cliché, so much so that it was fashioned by John Clark into a children’s game called the Myriorama, a Collection of Many Thousand Landscapes in 1824. Clark followed this first Myriorama of English-like scenery with a second series composed of Italian scenery which made explicit the classical, Claudean antecedents of Gilpin’s picturesque formula. As the suffix ‘orama’ suggests, Clark saw his Myriorama as the domestic counterpart to those large-scale popular landscape amusements, the panorama and diorama.’ –Ann Bermingham, Learning to Draw: Studies in the Cultural History of a Polite and Useful Art (London: Paul MellonCentre, 2000): 107–08.

According to an advertisement in the Bristol Mercury of 17th May 1824, the views were by the Irish artist Frederick Calvert (c.1785–c.1845), who specialized in seascapes and landscapes, and later, also published a series of 39 plates depicting picturesque views of Staffordshire and Shropshire.

polyorama or endless changes5
polyorama or endless changes4
polyorama or endless changes2

See also Ralph Hyde, “Myrioramas, Endless Landscapes: The Story of a Craze,” Print Quarterly, December 2004.

Nordfeldt on Wall Street

nordfeldt wall streetBror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt (1878-1955), Wall Street, no date. Drypoint. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2015- in process
nordfeldt wall street reversedThe same view today up Broad Street, looking toward Federal Hall at the corner of Wall Street. I have laterally reversed the image to match the etching above.
nordfeldt wall street3

There are two Nordfeldt drypoints from the early twentieth century entitled Wall Street or New York: Wall Street. One is looking west on Wall Street with a view of Trinity Church. The second one, seen here, is actually a view looking north on Broad Street, standing close to Exchange Place, ending with Federal Hall at Wall Street. A third drypoint focuses on a similar area in lower Manhattan looking north on Broadway. The three are often confused.
nordfeldt wall street2Detail of Nordfeldt’s drypoint

nordfeldt wall street 7Detail without reversing the architecture.

In the actual street, we see the old New York Stock Exchange on the left and the Federal Hall slightly to the right. Broad Street was named because it was broader than the other streets in the area. It follows the route of a colonial canal that emptied into the east River, until it was filled in and paved in 1676.

This corner offers an amazing view of three classical orders of columns: the plain, heavy Doric at Federal Hall; the slender Ionic at 14 Wall Street; and the elaborate Corinthian with their decorative capitals at the Stock Exchange (detail below).

nordfeldt wall street 8

Neither a borrower nor a lender be, for loan oft loses both itself and friend

credit print
credit print6 Attributed to Johann Peter Wolff (1655-1711), Credit liegt tödlich kranck, kein artzt vertreibt den schmertz als der mit sehr viel geld curirt das mare hertz … (Credit lies deadly ill; no doctor will drive out the pain, when the man with lots of money heals the faint heart). Nürnberg: Johann Peter Wolff, [c.1710]. Engraving with stencil color. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process
credit print5

This stencil colored engraving, warning of the dangers of credit, was published by the Nuremberg firm of Johann Peter Wolff (1655-1711), possibly made by Wolff himself. In the early eighteenth century, his four sons took over the publishing company and continued producing copperplate engravings under his name.

The engraving highlights the risks of wastefulness and profligacy, warning that “credit lies deadly ill; no doctor will drive out the pain, when the man with lots of money heals the faint heart.” The consequences are clearly shown in the two central panels, while the three down each side warns us of the dangers of money and the folly of living beyond one’s means.

credit print4
credit print3
credit print2



A book about Cook in a bottle

harvey any number2

Rebecca Harvey, Any number of things : being the story of events leading to the untimely death of Captain James Cook ([Columbus, Ohio] : Logan Elm Press, 2013). Includes paper scroll measuring 27 x 288 cm, glass bottle measuring 44 cm high, and ceramic saucer measuring 19 cm in diameter. Copy 10 of 100. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process

harvey any number
harvey any number4
“Any Number of Things was written, designed, & illustrated by Rebecca Harvey & was printed on her own handmade Kozo and Gampi fiber paper at The Ohio State University Libraries’ Center for Book Arts & Logan Elm Press, 2013.

Each copy is enclosed in its own handblown glass bottle resting on a ceramic saucer made by the artist for this book with a calligraphic portrait of Captain Cook drawn by Ann Alaïa Woods. Grateful acknowledgement is made to Jeff Bussone, Sara Galluzzo, David King and the team at the OSU hot shop, Helen Liebman, Bob Tauber, Kelly Watson and The Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences for their assistance in the making of this book.”–Colophon.
harvey any number6
harvey any number5
harvey any number3

Lettre de Dulis à son ami

mercier lettre3Louis Sébastien Mercier (1740-1814), Lettre de Dulis à son ami. Etchings designed by Gabriel de Saint-Aubin (1724-1780) (London and Paris: Nicolas Bonaventure Duchesne, 1767). Bookplate of the opera singer Emmy Destinn (1878-1930). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015-in processmercier lettre4

“A unique chronicler of bohemian Paris under the reign of Louis XV, Gabriel de Saint-Aubin was a marginal artist who roamed the streets of the capital his entire life, a sketchbook in his hands.

Since his rediscovery by the Goncourt brothers, admiration for his keen eye, liveliness of execution, sensuous use of materials and freedom of expression has never waned.”–Louvre 2008 exhibition.

When a second “corrected and enlarged” edition was planned immediately after this one, Saint-Aubin’s designs were removed and new plates created by the much sought-after artist Jean-Michel Moreau le jeune (1741-1814), who also illustrated the writings of Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.

mercier lettre2                                          mercier lettre

Peterborough Cathedral Ceiling Reproduced

petersborough cathedral ceiling2

petersborough cathedral ceilingWilliam Strickland (1787-1854), Strickland’s Lithographic Drawing of the Ancient Painted Ceiling in the Nave of Peterborough Cathedral. Together with descriptive letterpress (Peterborough: published by the author, W. Strickland; London: George Bell; Cambridge: E. Meadows [1849]). 12 pages and a folded color plate. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2015- in process.
petersborough cathedral ceiling3


Peterborough Cathedral ceiling

After a few pages of introductory text, this book consists of a single folded plate composed of 7 panels stretching slightly over 6 feet in length. The chromolithographic panorama reproduces the painted wood ceiling in the nave of Peterborough Cathedral, which dates from around 1230.

“The examples of painted woodwork of the Norman period are extremely uncommon, and it is doubtful whether any instances have come down to us, with the exception of the roof of the nave and transepts of Peterborough Cathedral. These roofs are flat and highly coloured, that over the south transept being plainer and somewhat earlier than that over the nave. On the latter are numerous figures within lozenge-shaped medallions of the Agnus Dei, various saints, and grotesque and allegorical figures.” –List of Buildings Having Mural Decorations by C.E. Keyser.

petersborough cathedral ceiling6

petersborough cathedral ceiling5
petersborough cathedral ceiling7
The plate is signed by the lithographers, Day & Son, and by the painter/lithographer John Sleigh (active 1819-1881, sometimes written John Sliegh). The architect and watercolorist William Strickland is recorded as working in London in 1839. It is conceivable that such a complex project might have taken ten years to complete; copying the ceiling, transferring the designs to multiple lithographic stones, and printing the plates. The color registration alone is an astonishing tour de force. Princeton is now holds only one of five copies in this country.

petersborough cathedral ceiling4

Engelmann Archive of Proofs and Samples has been digitized

engelmann samples4 Last summer, we announced the acquisition of three amazing albums filled with chromolithographic proofs and samples from Godefroy Engelmann (1788-1839) and his Société Engelmann père et fils, including examples from both houses in Paris and in London. [old post] [new digital collection]

Now, every page with every printing sample has been digitized and made available online to researchers around the world. While we don’t believe there is a chronological sequence within the volumes, the printing for each of their projects is placed together with a blank sheet in between the next project. As we identify the books and commissions represented here, we will add the appropriate indexing terms.

engelmann samples3

It is our hope that printing and book historians will find this useful and report back to us as the organization of this complex collection becomes apparent. You are welcome to share comments on this page or send them to Princeton directly.

engelmann samples2 engelmann samples1

The publisher and printer Godefroy Engelmann I (1788-1839) had offices in a number of locations, including Rue Cassette No.18, Paris (1817); Rue Louis-le-grand No 27 à Paris (1827); Rue du Faub No.6, Montmatre, Paris (after 1829); Paris & Mulhausen (1826); 66 St Martin’s Lane, Strand, London (1826-7); 92 Dean Street, Soho, London (1827-9); and 14 Newman Street, London (1829-30).

The British Museum identifies Engelmann as: “Lithographic printer, famed ‘Körner’ (grinder) for crayon-lithographs and patentee of chromolithography. Originally from Colmar; trained in Munich; set up press in Paris in June 1816. He improved lithography, particularly by developing lithographic wash in 1819. In 1825 he created a new company in association with Jérémie Graf and Pierre Thierry and named ‘Société Engelmann et Cie’. In 1826 an annex company is founded in London and named ‘Société Engelmann, Graf, Coindet et Cie’, which was dissolved in 1833. Then Engelmann returned to Mulhouse and created the company ‘Société Engelmann, père et fils’.”

Take a look:

Picturesque Views in the North-Western Province of India

murray views of indiaJohn Murray (1809-1898), Picturesque Views in the North-Western Provinces of India … with Descriptive Letter-press by Major-General J.T. Boileau (London: J. Hogarth, 1859). 12 pp., 26 salted-paper and albumen prints from paper negatives. Rebound in half straight grain red morocco over publisher’s red cloth covered boards. Purchased in part with funds provided by the Friends of the Princeton University Library and the Graphic Arts Collection. GAX 2015- in process

murray views of india5The Graphic Arts Collection is thrilled to have acquired one of the most important publications of nineteenth-century photography in India. We are now the only library in the United States with a complete copy of John Murray’s Picturesque Views in the North-Western Provinces of India. OCLC records other copies at Trinity College Dublin; the British Library; the National Library of Scotland; the Victoria and Albert Museum; and University of Oxford.

This volume includes the best of Murray systematic record of Indian antiquities at four historic sites, including Agra, Mathura, Sikandra, and Fatehpur Sikri. While his views are primarily architectural, they are also populated with figures working and living within these striking settings. In this way, the photographs serve as a living record of India both before and after their first war for Independence, known to the British as the Indian Rebellion of 1857.

The geographic subjects depicted are as follows: Entrance to the Jumna Musjid; East pavilion and part of the Taj Gardens; The Jumma Musjid; Interior of the Delhi Gate of the Fort of Agra; Part of the river face of the fort; North face of the Khas Muhul; East side of the Khas Muhul; The Dewani Khas; A river-side view; Entrance gateway, Etimad-ood Dowlah’s tomb; West Pavilion, Etimad-ood-Dowlah’s tomb; The Cheenee Kee Rozu; Views on the banks of the Jumna; Gateway of the gardens of Secundra; Mausoleum of the Emperor Akbar at Secundra; A Hindoo Mut’h; Enclosure and Gateway at Futehpoor Seekree; Mausoleum of Shekh Suleem Chishtee; and Views at Nynee Tal.

Scottish-born John Murray served as an officer in the Bengal Medical Service, living and working in India from 1833 to 1871. In 1848, Murray was appointed civil surgeon of Agra and for the next 20 years the main focus of his professional life was the fight against cholera. He learned to make calotypes (paper negatives) in 1849, exhibiting with the Bengal Photographic Society in 1857. That year, Murray returned for a brief sojourn in London, where he showed his photographs to publisher J. Hogarth, who agreed to sell both individual prints and in sets. In 1859, Hogarth published the present book containing 26 of Murray’s photographs.murray views of india2

Regarded as one of the greatest of the early British photographers, Murray created extraordinarily large negatives and from them, positive salt and albumen prints, as much as 20 inches in length. The prints are recognized for their artistic quality, their technical prowess, and for their documentation of mid-century Indian architecture, which was the doctor’s other love.

It has been the great demand for Murray’s individual images that has led dealers and collectors to disbind and cut-up copies of this volume, leaving few in their original format, We are happy to preserve the book as Hogarth and Murray conceived of it.


murray views of india4

The preliminary text is written by Major General John Theophilus Boileau (1805-1886), who entered military service in the Indian Army in 1820. Boileau rose to the position of Superintend Engineer in the Public Department of Works for the North-West Provinces, at Simla, before retiring with the rank of Major-General. Like Murray, Boileau was also active in British society and was named a fellow of the Royal Society.


musik africaanIs it a novel or a biography or an artists’ book hybrid? The three-volume set is from the wonderful South African publisher Fourthwallbooks. I will quote the prospectus because I could not do better.

Nagmusiek is a startling addition to contemporary South African fiction and biography. The book is both a scholarly study of the Afrikaans composer Arnold van Wyk and a work of fiction in which the author/biographer—who is and is not Stephanus Muller—highjacks his own literary undertaking. It is an extraordinary meditation on the art of biography, on South African classical music under the apartheid regime, and on the complicated relationship between life and fiction.

Van Wyk’s musical composition, for which this book is named, is a ‘modernist poem of loss, of pain, of flickering memory, of dignified death’. Muller sets out to explore Van Wyk’s work and in the process creates an epic and genre-defying work of his own. This is an important book, a profoundly scholarly undertaking that will be a vital contribution to the field of Van Wyk studies in South Africa, but at the same time a groundbreaking work of experimental fiction.

Stephanus Muller was raised in the Karoo and studied music and musicology at the universities of Pretoria, South Africa and Oxford. He teaches musicology at the University of Stellenbosch, where he is also the founder and head of the Documentation Centre for Music (DOMUS).

musik africaan4

musik africaan5

musik africaan6Stephanus Muller, Nagmusiek (Johannesburg: Fourthwall Books, 2014). Graphic Arts Off-Site Storage RCPXG-8841451


Not Your Standard American Dictionary

spitz dictionary2

Laurie Spitz and Amee J. Pollack, Spitz & Pollack’s New Standard and Movable Dictionary of the American Language: Comparing Selected Words and Phrases, Re-Interpreted with Full Definitions Abridged ed. (New York: Spitz & Pollack Publishers, 2005). One of 35 copies. Gift of the artists. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process.

spitz dictionary3It isn’t often we get a book with a warning. This one comes with two. The first reads: Caution: Rule of Accountability Applied. This is a handmade, movable book requiring the readers to take action to change the text. However, excessively harsh pulling of the pieces–whether in anger or empathy with the contents–will result in permanent damage.

The second: Warning: First Amendment Invoked. Spitz & Pollack’s New Standard and Movable Dictionary, Abridged Edition, is fully protected by copyright and the First Amendment. All persons are warned against infringing on our rights.
spitz dictionary8The Graphic Arts Collection is very lucky to add one of the last copies of this limited edition artists’ book to our library. The offset and digitally printed volume includes eight movables, including wheels, slides, dissolves, and spinners.

spitz dictionary6                  spitz dictionary5

spitz dictionary4Amee J. Pollack and Laurie Spitz have collaborated on many projects but Pollack singled out this dictionary, completed in 2005, as one of her favorites. “Bush was re-elected, and it was quite upsetting to Laurie and me,” she said. “So we created a dictionary with movables and it was a reinterpretation of words for our times.” Manipulate the circle and the word oil becomes spoil; reason becomes treason; and so on.
spitz dictionary7