Category Archives: Acquisitions

new acquisitions

Otfried Culmann and Franz Kafka


Das Schloss, also spelled Das Schloß (The Castle) was written by Franz Kafka (1883-1924) at the end of his life and published posthumously in 1926. Princeton University Library holds more than 60 editions of the novel or critical essays concerning the text. Its protagonist, known as “K” was the inspiration for this etching by Otfried Culmann titled Das Schloß – F. Kafka [The Castle – F. Kafka] and printed in 1970 in an edition of 50. With sincere thanks to the Ike und Berthold Roland-Stiftung an impression is now part of the Graphic Arts Collection.

The Roland Foundation generously donates art works to museums and libraries around the world, for example to the Goethe Museum in Rome, to the townhall of Capri, the National Library Austria, Vienna, the National Library of Switzerland, Bern, the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, and now, Princeton University. Originally owned by Dr. Berthold Roland, former Director of the State Museum of Mainz, Germany, this print is it one of many works on paper by German artists that he collected. We are especially grateful to his son Oliver Roland, Managing Director of the Roland Foundation for this donation.

Otfried H. Culmann (born 1949), Das Schloß – F. Kafka, 1970. Etching. Edition 7/50. Gift from the Ike und Berthold Roland-Foundation. Graphic Arts Collection 2020- in process

Culmann was born in 1949 and studied Academy of Fine Arts in Munich with Mac Zimmermann. This print was probably made while in Stuttgart where he work briefly with Walter Brudi at the State Academy of Fine Arts. In the 1980s, Culmann turned to writing and is known as much for his fantasy fiction as his visual art. The artist has also transformed the house where he was born, a former parsonage, into a fantastical work of architectural imagination, hopefully opening again soon to the public:

Parallèle des édifices anciens et modernes du continent Africain


Pierre Trémaux was a remarkable artist, naturalist, and architectural historian, best remembered for his three part publication on the architecture of Africa and Asia Minor: Voyage au Soudan oriental et dans l’Afrique septentrionale executes de 1847 a 1854; Parallèle des édifices anciens et modernes du continent Africain; and Exploration archéologique en Asia mineur. We are fortunate to be adding the second part to the Graphic Arts Collection, leaving only the third yet to be acquired.

Trémaux meant to document the people and places he saw using the early paper negative process but the quality of the prints was not good. Ultimately, the majority of the published plates are tinted lithographs. In the second volume, he bound the fading salt prints directly opposite a lithograph of the same scene, providing excellent historical comparisons for art and architectural historians. For our purposes here, only single plates are reproduced since photographing two pages in this oblong volume would make them exceptional small.

Now at Princeton: Pierre Trémaux (1818-1895), Voyages au Soudan oriental et dans l’Afrique septentrionale, exécutés de 1847 à 1854: comprenant une exploration dans l’Algérie, le régences de Tunis et de Tripoli, l’Égypte, la Nubie, les déserts, l’île de Méroé, le Sennar, le Fa-Zoglio, et dans les contrées inconnues de la Nigritie; atlas de vues pitoresques, scènes de mœurs, types de végétation remarquables, dessins d’objets éthologiques et scientifiques, panoramas et cartes géographiques (Paris: Borrani, [1852-58]). 37 x 55 cm. Graphic Arts Collection Oversize 2013-0025E. Purchased with funds from the Friends of the Princeton University Library. Fully digitized

Pierre Trémaux (1818-1895), *Parallèles des édifices anciens et modernes du continent africain: dessinés et relevés de 1847 à 1854 dans l’Algérie, les régences de Tunis et de Tripoli, l’Égypte, la Nubie, les déserts, l’Ile de Méroé, le Sennar, la Fa-Zoglo et dans les contrées inconnues de la Nigritie: atlas avec notices (Paris: Librairie L. Hachette et Cie., éditeurs, [between 1854 and 1858?]). 35 x 54 cm. Graphic Arts Collection 2020 in process

*No two extent copies are alike. This copy now at Princeton contains 84 lithographic plates (including title page) and 7 salt prints from paper negatives.

Architect, orientalist and photographer, Pierre Trémaux (1818-1895) made a first naturalist trip in 1847-1848 in Algeria, Tunisia, Upper Egypt, eastern Sudan and Ethiopia; Leaving Alexandria, he sailed up the Nile to Nubia and brought back many drawings. He left in 1853 for a second trip to North Africa and the Mediterranean (Libya, Egypt, Asia Minor, Tunisia, Syria and Greece), from where he brought back this time a precious set of superb photographs, taken on the spot using pioneering techniques for the time, as well as a fascinating travelogue and an interesting collection of natural history.

For this work devoted to the architectural history of Asia Minor and Africa and published in 3 parts over several years (1847-1862), Trémaux drew inspiration from his daguerreotypes, his own sketches and calotypes by the suite to compose the lithographic illustrations. Subsequent issues of his Voyage au Sudan Oriental et dans l’Africa Nord, from 1847 to 1854, contained prints mounted on salted paper which, poorly preserved, had to be replaced by lithographic reproductions.—rough translation from the listing by Pastaud Maison de Ventes aux Enchères

Complete images:

“These luxe publications, produced with the support of the French government, exploit an array of graphic techniques; they combine salted paper prints, engravings, tinted and colour lithographs, photolithographs, and texts in ways never previously attempted. Their examination provides insights into the ways these media interacted, and how comfortably photography in fact sat amongst its predecessors within the long-established context of the travel narrative.” –

Like many pictorial albums, few historians take the time to read Trémaux’s texts but are content to study and enjoy his images. Recently, some scholars have begun to evaluate his racist views on the populations he documented in Africa and later described in Origine et transformations de l’homme et des autres êtres (1865). For a discussion of Trémaux and Darwin, see: Wilkins, John S. and Nelson, Gareth J., “Trémaux on Species: A theory of allopatric speciation (and punctuated equilibrium) before Wagner”, Archives of Philosophy of the Science, University of Pittsburgh, 2008; texte repris dans la revue History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, 2008, 30, pp 179-206.



This acquisition lives in the Graphic Arts Collection but was made with sincere thanks to Deborah Schlein, Near Eastern Studies Librarian; Alain St. Pierre, Librarian for History, History of Science and African Studies; Holly Hatheway, Head Librarian, and Nicola Shilliam, Western Bibliographer for Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology; and Patty Gaspari-Bridges, Assistant University Librarian for Collection Development.

Over-dressed prints

Dressed prints; Decoupés prints; Adorned prints; Spickelbilder (embroidered pictures); Stoffklebebilder (pasted textile pictures); Tinsel prints (metal); Gusseted pictures

These are just a few of the many terms that have been used to describe the prints collaged with cut pieces of fabric or tin or paper. We have yet to agree on the terminology, perhaps because there are few large collections. Or maybe because they are so odd. Pictured here are four from a small group that recently joined the Graphic Arts Collection.

Our new collection of dressed prints are after Martin de Vos’ Life and Passion of Christ, one signed as engraved by Johann Bussemacher (active 1580-1613), one signed by Johann Christoph Weigel (1654-1726), others all unsigned. Each includes German Bible text at the bottom and are dated ca. 1710.

Alice Dolan wrote: An adorned print: Print culture, female leisure and the dissemination of fashion in France and England, around 1660-1779, RCA/V&A MA in History of Design,-female-leisure-and-the-dissemination-of-fashion-in-france-and-england,-c.-1660-1779/

Prints adorned with fabrics have largely been treated as extensions of the ‘fashion plate’, by historians, but this terminology fails to do justice to their complexity. (1) American museums have favoured the term ‘dressed plates’, but this phrasing too belies the complexity of the object, suggesting only a surface alteration, when, in fact, the majority of the decoration was placed underneath the print. (2) This article will use the terms ‘adorned prints’, ‘modified prints’ and ‘decorated prints’, although like ‘fashion plate’ and ‘dressed plate’, none of these terms were used by contemporaries.

The Morgan Museum and Library’s “twenty-one volumes entitled Engraved British Portraits contain nearly eight thousand prints, most of which date to the eighteenth or early nineteenth century. The collection of fashion prints consists of 391 examples from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Most are mounted, hand-colored extracts from published albums. Thirty-two of the plates are “dressed” or decoupés, created by cutting out portions of the print and facing them from the reverse side with fabric.”

Elsewhere the term Stoffklebebilder or Spickelbilder is used to describe extra-illustrated prints.

Michael Twyman’s Encyclopedia of Ephemera describes the tinsel print as “a hand-coloured print embossed with metallic foil and other materials,” making it one variations of the larger vogue to decorate prints particularly in 17th century France. “Flock and tinsel prints” by Laura Suffield in Grove’s Dictionary of Art, adds limited assistance but has a good bibliography: “Collective term for a type of woodcut to which powdered wool (flock) or tinsel (small fragments of metal) was applied. Such prints are rare. The technique was developed to imitate a patterned velvet in texture and appearance, its French and German names reflecting its appearance: empreinte veloutée, Samt-Teigdrucke.” Bibliography:
W. L. Schreiber: Manuel de la gravure sur bois et sur métal au XVe siècle, 5 vols (Berlin, 1891–1910) [s]
W. L. Schreiber: Die Meister der Metallschneidekunst nebst einem nach Schulen geordneten Katalog ihrer Arbeiten (Strasbourg, 1926)
C. Dodgson: Woodcuts of the XV Century in the Ashmolean Museum (Oxford, 1929)
A. M. Hind: An Introduction to a History of Woodcut, 2 vols (London, 1935, 2/1963)
A. Griffiths: Prints and Printmaking (London, 1980)
J. Hermans and P. Mahoney-Phillips: ‘Paper, Textiles and Tinsel Prints’, Paper and Textiles: The Common Ground: Preprints of the Conference Held at the Burrell Collection, Glasgow, 19–20 Sept 1991, 125–32

Note that ours are both hand colored and dressed with fabric. It is hard to tell if they are finished.

Exércices d’imagination de differens charactéres[sic] …

Joseph François von Götz (baron, 1754-1815), Exercices d’imagination de differens Caractères et Formes humaines, inventés peints et dessinés par Goez (Augsburg: Academie Imperiale d’Empire, ca. 1785). Graphic Arts Collection 2020-in process


Reproduced here are a few of the 100 engraving printed in differing shades of sanguine inks over black by Robert Brichet (French, active 1775–90) after designs by Götz (or by Götz himself). The social satires act as occupational “cries” of Augsburg rather than personal caricatures. This volume merges the French and German series, which appears elsewhere as Die heutige sichtbare Körperwelt oder 100 Charakter Züge. Only a very few copies were printed in colored ink.


Götz is credited with publishing the first graphic novel (Leonardo und Blandine, 1783). [c.f. Cohen-De Ricci, col. 443 («Il y a des exemplaires dont les figures sont tirées en rouge»); Hiler, p. 383; Lipperheide 3522; cf. Colas 1277, although as we all know, statements like that beg to be proven wrong. James Gillray was also publishing sequential image narratives. See:

Decrees of the King’s Council of State

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired an important collection of 35 Arrêts du Conseil d’Etat du Roi = Decrees of the King’s Council of State (1771 to 1789). These join several other collections of decrees in special collections beginning in 1704. The new acquisitions include parliamentary papers regulating the printing and book trade in France, most published in Paris but some from Lille. Here are a few examples.

In order to understand the nature, evolution, and basic conceptions of French administrative law, it is essential to study the role of the Conseil d’État, the supreme administrative tribunal. Creative and dynamic, often even bold, the jurisprudence of this remarkable body remains nevertheless prudent and fundamentally evolutionary. One would search in vain for the major principle of French administrative law in the legislative texts; they have been developed by the jurisprudence of this Council as it proceeds, by a series of successive decisions, from specific cases to ultimate yet flexible generalizations, establishing basic legal concepts not only by the skillful interpretation of texts, but also by creative construction when the texts are silent.

Together with its doctrinal achievements, the Council’s usus fori or judicial practice forms a flexible source of principles applicable to specific cases. The legislator may regulate according to circumstances and the necessities of the moment, without concerning himself with general principles or even conforming rigorously to those created by jurisprudence and theory. But the administrative judge, in administering justice, performs a genuinely creative task and establishes bases for legal thought.– Georges Langrod, The French Council of State: Its Role in the Formulation and Implementation of Administrative Law:



The new normal

We continue to teach live using the original material in the graphic arts collection to reach our students who are not on campus. Today was the practice run for Professor Linda Colley’s Junior Seminar in History, in which we will compare George III with George Washington while demonstrating the many mediums and formats through which you can learn. Here is a pochoir print reproducing the oil painting by Charles Willson Peale of George Washington at the Battle of Princeton together with a mezzotint after Thomas Gainsborough’s George the Third, King of Great Britain.



One of the many complications is adjusting the equipment to accommodate the very large as well as the very small, while continuing to talk about specific details.

Some material like the John Trumbull’s 1786 sketch of the Death of General Mercer [Sketch for The Battle of Princeton] is already digitized online: But others, like the watch in an open face case worn by Col. Thomas Turbott during the Battle of Princeton, is not.



Besides it is more fun to see and talk about the material live, than to hand out digital addresses. Such as Baricou Montbrun’s L’Apotre de la liberte immortalize (The Apostle of Freedom Immortalized or The Apotheosis of Benjamin Franklin), [Paris: Montbrun, ca. 1790], a stipple engraving in which Franklin is being assumed into heaven as the world mourns his loss.

Or Wha wants me, 1792, in which Thomas Paine holds a scroll of the “rights of man” surrounded by injustices and standing on labels.

Thanks to the many, many people who have helped set this up and continue to make these classes possible.



What the Rebels Claimed in 1861

The Progress of the Union Armies. What the Rebels Claimed in 1861. What They Hold in 1863 ([New York, August 1863]). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process

This rare American Civil War broadside is thought to have been published in the late Summer of 1863. To put it in perspective, here’s a brief timeline taken from:

January 1, 1863- The Emancipation Proclamation goes into effect. Applauded by many abolitionists including Frederick Douglass, there are others who feel it does not go far enough to totally abolish slavery.

May 18, 1863Siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi begins. Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant attack Confederate defenses outside the city on May 19-22. If Vicksburg falls, the Mississippi River will be completely controlled by the Union.

July 1-3The Battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The bloodiest battle of the Civil War dashes Robert E. Lee’s hopes for a successful invasion of the North.

July 4Vicksburg, Mississippi, surrenders to the Union Army under Grant. The capture of Vicksburg gives the Union complete control of the Mississippi River, a vital supply line for the Confederate states in the west. At Gettysburg, Lee begins his retreat to Virginia.

July 13, 1863– Draft Riots begin in New York City and elsewhere as disgruntled workers and laborers, seething over the draft system that seemingly favors the rich, attack the draft office and African American churches. The riots continue through July 16.

Publication of this broadside/election propaganda.

September –November 1863The Siege of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Confederate forces under Braxton Bragg surround the occupied city. General Ulysses S. Grant is assigned to command the troops there and begins immediate plans to relieve the besieged Union army.

November 19, 1863– Dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg. President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address.

December 8, 1863– Lincoln Issues his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, which would pardon those who participated in the “existing rebellion” if they take an oath to the Union.

The broadside’s map of the United States in 1863 shows the “Free States and Delaware” in white, with the partially shaded area indicating “the States and Territories claimed by Jeff. Davis, and over which for a considerable period his Rebel arms were triumphant, but which have been wrested from him by our heroic soldiers.” The darkest area indicates Confederate control. A table contrasts “The Claim of the Confederacy, 1861” with “The Situation—August, 1863.”

Recognized today as a campaign poster for the 1863 New York State elections, the broadside promotes a slanted perspective on the success of the Union army. Susan Schulten observes:

“There were no shortage of war maps for the northern public, but these were unique, recording conflict as a story of territorial control rather than discrete battles. Indeed they were a kind of first draft of history, an attempt to create a story where the outcome was not as yet unknown. Yet in generalization, they imply a steady state of progress and control that was at odds with the chaos on the ground. Again, one thing that strikes me about the use of such imagery is the suggestion of ongoing territorial progress. Such a depiction allows little room to acknowledge the notorious reversals of territorial control in the east. But to boost the flagging spirits in the Union, the image was compelling indeed, supported by extensive statistics of square miles and population under Union control.”– Mapping the Nation

Compare this map to another clearly labeled as a campaign promotion:

United States: map showing loyal states in green, what the rebels still hold in red, and what the Union soldiers have wrested from them in yellow. New York; Boston; Chicago, H. H. Lloyd & Co.;B. B. Russell; R. R. Landon, [1864].

The last line of the broadside reads: “Voters of New York, the good work must go on! While our brave soldiers, of your own blood and kindred, are fighting in the field for the Union, let your votes be recorded in the same glorious cause at home!”

Two tables near the bottom emphasize the point of the map, outlining the population of the Confederate and border states and territories in 1861, contrasted by how much land had been recovered by the Union, as compared to what remained in the hands of the rebels. The tables show that of the 1,222,385 square miles possessed by the Confederacy in 1861, 909,275 of that had been reclaimed by the Union.

Dictionnaire botanique or livre d’artiste, take your pick

J.J. Audubon spent his life tracking and painting all the birds in America. Edward Curtis spent the majority of his adult life photographing the Indians of North America. In this extraordinary set of four volumes, a Belgian natural history enthusiast or scientist or doctor spent “most of my life” writing and illustrating a study of transformism, or what we would call evolutionary theory. And if that weren’t enough, the elephant folio Étude sur la transformisme comes with a three volume Dictionnaire botanique, every page hand written and hand colored.

This massive and extraordinary gathering of knowledge addresses everything from air currents to the working of the inner ear; from geography to biology; from Charles Darwin to Victor Hugo. The books are illustrated throughout with thousands of the watercolor paintings. It has been dated from the early 20th century, although the truth is there is no date yet found in any of the volumes. We can only hope it will catch the interest of a future researcher, patient enough to read the small print and find out the truth about the books and their anonymous author.

Étude sur la transformisme holds approximately 150 leaves, many folded, all heavily illustrated in full color. The three volume Dictionnaire botanique offers more than 1200 with several thousand color diagrams, charts, and paintings.

Although the sheer weight of the volume is pulling the paging from the binding, its impressive cover still holds the book together, offering four quotes to the reader:

La vie sans science est presque l’image de la morte, C. Volpi = Life without science is almost the image of the dead

Chercher. Comprendre. Vouloir. Pouvoir. Oser. Sentir. Méditer = Search. Understand. Want to. Power. Dare. Feel. Meditate

Naître, mourir et renaître sans cesse, telle est la loi, telle est lavie. V. Hugo = To be born, to die and to be reborn without ceasing, such is the law, such is the life.

Travailler pour être estimé. Etre estimé pour être aimé. Etre aimé pour être heureux = Work to be esteemed. To be esteemed in order to be loved. To be loved to be happy



There is the name Dumoulin, but we known absolutely nothing about him or her or them. It is unlikely this refers to the French artist Louis-Jules Dumoulin (1860–1924), who founded the Société Coloniale des Artistes Français in 1908. “Dumoulin is an Orientalist painter linked to the official artistic circles and a great traveler from the various missions that will be entrusted to him. He made his first major trip outside Europe in 1888 on the occasion of an official mission to Japan ordered by the Ministry of Education.”




Here is the description that comes with the set:

The large folio volume is really a huge collection of charts devoted to human anatomy, animal and plant biology, the fossil record and evolution (or transformisme). Botany makes up the largest proportion, but there are sections on insects, reptiles, birds, flying lizards, marsupials and mammals. Dumoulin also had an interest in Africa and there are sections on the Sahara and on the Belgian Congo. The focus is worldwide and is drawn from reference works rather than original research, but the arrangements are highly idiosyncratic. Several evolutionary charts are attempted, mentioning Linnaeus, Darwin, Lamarck and Jussieu.

The Dictionnaire botanique is a large 3 volume compilation mainly devoted to botanical classification, from the smallest mosses and seaweeds, to exotic flowering plants and forest trees. Like the larger folio volume, these volumes are illustrated throughout, with accompanying text in coloured inks and often containing emblematic figures of human figures appropriate to the origins of the plant: including Africans and Americans. They have apparently been bound from a large number of separate files (whose stiff paper cover with labels are preserved) each devoted to a different botanical family. The third volume contains additional materials at the end, including a study on Pasteur and germs, another on insects and another on bird classification. Like the preceding parts, these are also copiously illustrated in colour.

There is a note inserted that the author hoped his/her/their work would find its way into a university. Happily, the unusual set found a home in the Graphic Arts Collection at Princeton University. Please share the few facts presented here with colleagues and let us know if you have a theory about this massive undertaking.


High noon at the Whitney Museum of American Art, week 2 open to the public.

Aaron Douglas, Into Bondage, 1932.

Diego Rivera, Flower Festival: Feast of Santa Anita, October 13, 1931

Charles Demuth, My Egypt, 1927

Alexander Calder’s Circus


Political Animals. Note: this post includes offensive racial slurs

Politicians frequently use animals to symbolize their party, currently a donkey for the Democrats and an elephant for Republicans. Beginning in the 1840s, the American Whig party took the raccoon as its symbol, along with its associations with independent frontiersmen and their raccoon-skin caps. Nineteenth-century Democrats used the rooster.

During the presidential election of 1844 between Democrat James K. Polk (1795-1849) and Whig Henry Clay (1777-1852) these two symbols were used effectively in rude and offensive caricatures of the other party. According to the Dictionary of Etymology the abbreviation for raccoon was already in use as a vulgar reference to African Americans, giving added weight to the ridicule loaded into anti-Whig texts and images.

“The now-insulting U.S. meaning “black person” was in use by 1837, said to be from barracoon (by 1837), from Portuguese barraca “slave depot, pen or rough enclosure for black slaves in transit in West Africa, Brazil, Cuba.” If so, no doubt this was boosted by the enormously popular blackface minstrel act Zip Coon (George Washington Dixon) which debuted in New York City in 1834. But it is perhaps older (one of the lead characters in the 1767 colonial comic opera “The Disappointment” is a black man named Raccoon).”–


One of the chief issues in the 1844 election was slavery and the annexation of the Republic of Texas. This can be seen in the use of the raccoon caricatures in the anti-Whig newspaper The Ohio Coon Catcher, published by the Democrats in the pro-Whig state of Ohio. There were several other similar newspapers on either side.


The Graphic Arts Collection has an incomplete run of The Ohio Coon Catcher, which was published between August and November 1844, during the first American election held in November. A complete digital run has been posted by the Ohio Memory project The paper was the project of Samuel Medary (1801-1864) the editor and publisher of the Ohio Statesman, as well as head of the Ohio delegation to the democratic National Convention. In both text and image, it promoted Polk’s candidacy with news items, political opinion, testimonials of reformed Whigs, poems, and cartoons.



In the national popular vote, Polk beat Clay by fewer than 40,000 votes, a margin of 1.4%.

See also: W. Miles, The people’s voice: An annotated bibliography of American presidential campaign newspapers, 1828-1984. Westport, CT: Greenwood press, 1987.