Category Archives: Acquisitions

new acquisitions

50th anniversary of Beckett’s Imagination Dead Imagine

No trace anywhere of life, you say, pah, no difficulty there, imagination not dead yet, yes, dead, good, imagination dead imagine.

the dead5Jamie Murphy at The Salvage Press in Dublin has published a new edition of Samuel Beckett’s Imagination Dead Imagine, to coincide with the 50th anniversary of its release in 1965. Beckett first wrote the prose fragment Imagination morte imaginez, in French and translated it himself to English. The new edition is a collaboration between typographic designer Jamie Murphy and the visual artist David O’Kane, with an essay by Stanley E. Gontarski, the Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English at Florida State University and a Beckett scholar who specializes in twentieth-century Irish Studies.

The Salvage Press is a new studio, devoted to preserving, promoting and pursuing excellence in design, typography & letterpress printing. You can follow them at:
the dead4
the dead          the dead3Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Imagination Dead Imagine. A collaboration between typographic designer Jamie Murphy & visual artist David O’Kane. Essay by Stanley E. Gontarski. (Dublin: Savage Press, 2015). Copy 2 of 40. Graphic Arts Collection GA2015- in process.

the dead2savage


This new edition of loose sheets celebrates the 50th anniversary of the original publishing in 1965. The project is a collaboration between typographic designer Jamie Murphy & visual artist David O’Kane. The work is introduced with an essay by renowned Beckett scholar Stanley E. Gontarski.

The text has been hand-set & letterpress printed by Jamie Murphy in 18 point Caslon Old Face, supported by a newly drawn ten line grotesque typeface by Bobby Tannam, cut from maple by Tom Mayo. David O’Kane has supplied two lithographs inspired by the text, editioned by Thomas Franke at Stein Werk Lithography studio in Leipzig. The sheets are printed on 250 gsm French made Venin Cuve BFK Rives mouldmade.

The edition is limited to 50 copies, 40 of which make up the standard format, ten accounting for the de luxe. The bindings were executed by Tom Duffy in Dublin. The standard is housed in a cloth covered portfolio, protected inside a slipcase. The de luxe is presented in a clam-shell box accompanied by a typographic triptych based on the text. The standard copies are numbered 11-50, the de-luxe are numbered 1-10. Each copy has been signed by the collaborators.

Notes on the images: The two images included in this edition were made using a lithography technique called Schablithografie. This lithography technique is highly labour intensive and involves scratching away at a surface of the blackened lithographic stone to form the image; literally scraping light forms out of darkness, reinforcing the constructed nature of the text, which Beckett goes to great lengths to emphasise.

The first image is a kind of schematic. It is not fully formed and harkens back to Greek and Roman style images, suggesting a metaphorical excavation. The letters and image turn it into a kind of logotype [literally word-imprint in Greek] or emblem and form a bridge between the text and the image.

The second image is larger. The unusual format of the image echoes the formatting of the prose text as it appears in this edition. There are noticeable discrepancies between what Beckett describes and what is depicted in the image. The image is in fact a failed attempt to portray what is fabricated in the story. What interested the artist in staging it is the fact that the positions and space Beckett describes are anatomically impossible without gross distortion of the human body. Beckett would have known this as he also sketched the space out in his notes. So he deliberately stresses the cramped nature of the scenario. The fact remains that in the artist’s mind’s eye the extreme positions were not exactly related to what is described in the story. The spatial discrepancies are only revealed completely when the space is mapped out point for point.

The finalised lithographs are a combination of the mental image conjured up during the initial reading of the text and the interpretation of the physical reenactment made in the artist’s studio.

Typoretum: A Letterpress Workshop from Jamie Murphy on Vimeo.

First Lithography in English, 1813

We are proud to announce that the Graphic Arts Collection has acquired the earliest independent work on lithography in the English language.

bankes lithography





Henry Bankes (1757?-1834), Lithography; Or, the Art of Making Drawings on Stone, for the Purpose of Being Multiplied by Printing (Bath: printed by Wood and Co., 1813). Purchased with funds from the Rare Book Division and the Graphic Arts Collection 2015- in process


The first edition of Henry Bankes’s treatise was published in Bath in 1813 with the title Lithography; or, the Art of Making Drawings on Stone, for the Purpose of Being Multiplied by Printing. A second edition was published in London in 1816 without the name of the author and titled Lithography; or, the Art of Taking Impressions from Drawings and Writing Made on Stone. As an independent publication, it is predated only by Heinrich Rapp’s Das Geheimniss des steindrucks, in 1810. It wasn’t until 1818 that Alois Senefelder completed his own account of the process he developed, entitled Vollständiges Lehrbuch der steindruckerey.

bankes lithography2

According to Michael Twyman “The value of Bankes’s treatise today is as an historical record of attitudes to the process in England in the period between its introduction right at the outset of the century and its revival by Ackermann, Hullmandel, and others around 1818; and it is of particular interest for the few shafts of light it throws on those associated with the process in Bath and on changing attitudes to lithography between 1813 and 1816.”

bankes lithography3

Only a handful of public institutions hold the 1813 edition, among them are the Bodleian Library at Oxford University; Bristol Public Reference Library; Yale University; the Lessing J. Rosenwald Collection at the Library of Congress; the Bath Somerset Council; the British Library; the Victoria & Albert Museum Library; and now Princeton University Library. In addition, only a few of these small, ephemeral volumes include their original plates, most having been removed over the last two hundred years.

Not only is Princeton’s copy in perfect condition, untrimmed and partially unopened with its original stab sewing, but it has all three (title page only promises two) of Bankes’s lithographic plates. We post them here in the hope that we can complete Twyman’s survey of copies and their plates, published in the facsimile edition. It would be interesting to match them with other institutional copies:

bankes lithography8

bankes lithography7

bankes lithography5

“Lithograph, drawing on stone. An invention ascribed to Alois Sennefelder, about 1796; and soon afterwards announced in Germany as polyautography. It became known in England in 1801, but its general introduction is referred to Mr. Ackermann of London, about 1817. Sennefelder died in 1841. Improvements have been made by Engelmann and others.”– quote from Charlton Thomas Lewis, Harper’s Book of Facts: a Classified Encyclopaedia of the History of the World (New York: Harper & brothers, 1906).

bankes lithography4
bankes lithography6

See also: Henry Bankes’s Treatise on Lithography: Reprinted from the 1813 and 1816 editions. Introduction by Michael Twyman (London: Printing Historical Society, 1976). Graphic Arts Collection GA 2015- in process

Têtes de Pipes


L. G. Mostrailles (pseudonym for Leo Trézenik and Georges Rall). Têtes de Pipes. Paris: Léon Vannier, 1885. 21 original photographs by Émile Cohl. Copy 11 of 100. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process

pipe2                pipe6
The French poet and novelist Léon-Pierre-Marie Spruce (1855-1902) used a number of pseudonyms during his career including Leo Trézenik and the collective signature L.-G. Mostrailles when he worked together with Georges Rall. Both Trézenik and Rall were active member of the Hydropathes, a group of late nineteenth-century writers, artists, and musicians who worked and drank together, particularly connected with the Chat Noir cabaret after it opened.

pipe4Beginning in 1882, Tréenik and Rall acquired a small hand press and used it to print a weekly literary journal they called Lutèce, with Trézenik acting as publisher and Rall as editor. From time to time they printed humorous (bordering on cruel) descriptions of their friends.

In 1885, they used the same hand press to print and publish these text portraits under the title Têtes de Pipes in an edition of 100. At that time, the phrase “têtes de pipes” was pejorative since it only applied to a face with coarse features, in allusion to the rather crude heads carved on the stove of some pipes. The caricaturist and photographer Emile Cohl (pseudonym of Emile Eugene Jean Courtet 1857-1938) provided the photographs (2100 prints) to be pasted into the book.
The subjects include Fernand Icres, Maurice Rollinat, Laurent Tailhade, Emile Cohl, George Lorin, Edmond Haraucourt, Robert Caze, Francis Enne, Emile Peyrefort, Edouard Norès, E. Monin, Grenet-Dancourt, Georges Rall, Leo Trézenik, Emile Goudeau, Jean Rameau, Carolus Brio, Henri Beauclair, Jean Moréas, Paul Verlaine, and Léon Cladel.
Emile Cohl went on to have a career in cinema, credited with making some of the first animated films. Eventually, Cohl emigrated to the United States and worked at the Éclair film studios in Fort Lee, New Jersey. His animation entitled Fantasmagorie was first projected on August 17, 1908 at the Théâtre de Gymnase in Paris.


Tokens for Booksellers and Bookmakers


In 1989, Henry Morris, director of Bird & Bull Press, produced and published the book Trade Tokens of British and American Booksellers & Bookmakers. The book was accompanied by a heavy die-cut board folder containing eleven different copper tokens minted by individual booksellers & bookmakers especially for this book. The Graphic Arts Collection and Numismatics Collection have jointly acquired the dies and proofs used in the production of the these bookseller tokens.

Morris’s original dies, medals, and proofs are housed in a mahogany box with a token inset on the top cover, along with a metal plate inscribed “Original Dies for Bookseller’s Tokens, Bird & Bull Press.”
The participants whose tokens are included here are: Bird & Bull Press, The Book Press, Dawson’s Book Shop, Detering Book Gallery, Enterprise Books, Joseph J. Felcone, Kater-Crafts Bookbinders, George Frederick Kolbe/Fine Numismatic Books, G.T. Mandl (English papermakers), Iris Nevins (marbler), and Oak Knoll Books.
The tokens (with nine duplicates), along with a rough flan, were made under the supervision of Meyer Katz at the Unity Mint in Ambler, PA, from dies engraved by Kenneth Douglas at the Green Duck Co., in Olive Branch, MS. The set of 11 tool-steel dies (22 pieces), now coated with a protective lacquer, cost Morris $9800 in 1988, which he considered a bargain.
lead proofsLead proofs

Morris wrote a three-page letter and asked that it be kept with the collection. It is transcribed below.

Everything one might want to know about the dies for Bookseller’s Tokens, 1988.

This was a great project, and in addition to all the pleasure and challenges I had from producing it, I have these unique artifacts—the dies themselves. The first set of dies was made by the Green Duck Co (where did they get such an odd name?) in Miss[issippi]. This was my B&B [Bird & Bull] Token. When I got the idea to do the [Booksellers] Token book I went to Kenneth Douglas in Olive Branch, Miss., who was Green Duck’s die maker. His work was excellent and his price was much less than I would have had to pay locally. The 11 dies (set) here cost $9800, which I know was a bargain. The Green Duck dies have no [shoulder?] as their coining press was different than the Unity Mint in Ambler, who struck all the tokens for the book.

In 1991, I realized what a great B&B artifact this was and in order to keep them all together and protected I made the special box. The dies are made of tool steel and if not protected well easily rust. I gave them 2 coats of clear lacquer which should keep them safe for a long time. If there are signs the lacquer is degrading, remove the old coat with lacquer solvent (thinner) and re-coat.

Way back in 1956 when I started making paper, I bought some Honduras Mahogany to make molds. I still had some of this wood and used it to make the box. (Yes, I know the apostrophe on the label is in the wrong place—the book label is [liberize?]—my fault). Also enclosed here are the original lead proofs which the die maker submitted prior to striking (like a printer’s proof—but in metal).

The box also seemed like a good place to keep the original molds for silver reproductions of Dutch Guild Medals, in my Rarities of Numismata Typographica, 1996. I have written the note to be kept in the box so that someone at some future time knows the main details of the contents, also to know that the contents as described, are complete. H.M. [Henry Morris]


Henry Morris, Trade Tokens of British And American Booksellers & Bookmakers, With Specimens of Eleven Original Tokens Struck Especially For This Book (Newtown, PA: Bird & Bull Press, 1989). One of 300. Accompanied by a heavy die-cut board folder containing 11 different copper tokens minted by individual booksellers & bookmakers especially for this book, all enclosed in a slipcase. Graphic Arts Collection Z234.M67 1989.

William Blades, Rarities of Numismata typographica: four examples of early Dutch printers’, bookbinders’ & booksellers’ guild medals: cast in sterling silver from original specimens. Descriptions by William Blades; introduction by Henry Morris (Newtown [Penn.]: Bird & Bull Press, 1996). Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Z234 .B632 1995

In Honor of the Printer

medallions3Jehne no. 323: Paris, Freedom of the Press, 1827.

Princeton’s Numismatics Collection and the Graphic Arts Collection have jointly acquired a collection of 457 medals and tokens issued by printers, booksellers, and others in the book arts. A spread sheet with basic information on each one can be accessed here: Copy of MorrisMedals (1).
medallions2Blades 22: Harlem, 1740. “The wood near Haarlem, with Coster in the scholar’s dress of his time, seated on the stump of a tree; his name being written on the hem of his tunic . . . on the border is N.H. (Martin Holtzhey), the initials of the engraver.”

“This, the most ambitious of the Dutch Medals, was struck in commemoration of the 1740 Jubilee at Haarlem, by Michael Holtzhey, Medallist to the king.”
medallions9Verso: Aux amis de la Maison du Livre 1900. Ch. Meunier [publisher/binder Charles Meunier]


medallions8The collection is the life-work of Henry Morris of the Bird & Bull Press, who designed and printed books relating to the book arts (with additions by Robert Fleck). Morris spent many years tracking and acquiring this archive of medals and tokens, which led to a number of publication from his press, including:

Henry Morris, Trade tokens of British and American booksellers & bookmakers: with specimens of eleven original tokens struck especially for this book. Compiled and edited by Henry Morris (Newtown, Pa.: Bird & Bull Press, 1989). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Z234 .M677 1989

Elizabeth M. Harris, The art of medal engraving: a curious chapter in the development of 19th century printing processes (Newtown, Pa.: Bird & Bull Press, 1991). Graphic Arts Collection (GA) NE2720 .H37

William Blades (1824-1890). Rarities of Numismata typographica: four examples of early Dutch printers’, bookbinders’ & booksellers’ guild medals : cast in sterling silver from original specimens. Descriptions by William Blades ; introduction by Henry Morris (Newtown [Penn.] : Bird & Bull Press, 1996.) Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Z234 .B632 1995

and many other titles.


medallions7Here are a few examples of the medals. More about the tokens that Morris had produced in a later post.

William Stillman’s Athens in carbon prints

stillman athens 2015h

William James Stillman (1828-1901). The Acropolis of Athens. Illustrated Picturesquely and Architecturally in Photography. London: Printed by the Autotype Company for F.S. Ellis. 1870. Graphic Arts Collection 2015- in process. Purchased with funds given by the Program in Hellenic Studies with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund and matching funds provided by a gift of The Orpheus Trust to the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, in honor of the 35th anniversary of Hellenic Studies at Princeton. Additional funds provided by the Friends of the Princeton University Library and the Graphic Arts Collection.

stillman athens 2015In 2007, the Princeton University Library acquired (thanks to the help of the Friends of the Princeton University Library) a portfolio of photographs by the American painter, journalist, photographer, and US Consul in Crete William James Stillman (1828-1901). In an article for the Princeton University Library Chronicle, Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, Jane A. Seney Professor of Greek at Wesleyan University, proved that our portfolio was an early model for Stillman’s projected book, The Acropolis of Athens, mocked-up in (relatively) quick albumen silver prints. The following year the book was published using carbon prints, both more expensive and time-consuming but also a permanent printing process.

At the time of this purchase, we hoped there would be a day when Princeton could also acquire Stillman’s 1870 published book, offering scholars the opportunity to compare the early composition and design side-by-side with the finished volume. That day has finally arrived.

stillman athens 2015fThanks to two generous gifts we have been able to acquire Stillman’s The Acropolis of Athens, published with original carbon prints. The first gift is from the Program in Hellenic Studies with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund and matching funds provided by a gift of The Orpheus Trust to the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, in honor of the 35th anniversary of Hellenic Studies at Princeton.

The second gift came when the Friends of the Princeton University Library heard about the generosity of Hellenic Studies and The Orpheus Trust, inspiring them to join in the fun and also donated funds to make this acquisition possible. Our sincere thanks to these admirable organizations and congratulations to the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies on their anniversary.

stillman athens 2015ePrinceton’s new volume contains 53 unnumbered leaves. The printed title page has a mounted carbon print photograph vignette (Ancient Gate of the Acropolis), followed by a leaf with Stillman’s dedication to Miss Marie Spartall (1844-1927, soon to be his second wife), a leaf with Stillman’s “Notice,” and 25 carbon print photographs with accompanying descriptions. Many plates are numbered in the negative, several with Stillman’s signature and caption and date.

stillman athens 2015d

stillman athens 2015cAs Szegedy-Maszak has suggested, Stillman’s sequence subtly reveals a profound ideological program, in which the Acropolis is ultimately portrayed allegorically as an emblem of liberty. It is an agenda that ties convincingly with Stillman’s lifelong political idealism.

“His [Stillman’s] work is nominally in a straight-forward nineteenth-century topographical mode, fulfilling the brief of documenting the Parthenon and Erectheum, but it also functions as a conscious vehicle for the photographer’s artistic ambitions . . . Photographing the Acropolis was clearly a highly personal project, and it shows in the work. He needed to make money from the endeavor, but he also believed—quite rightly—that he could make better photographs of the monument than anyone else.” (Parr & Badger).

stillman athens 2015bDimitri Gondicas writes, “This very special acquisition adds to our Hellenic Collections at Princeton, complementing perfectly our unique holdings of early photography in Greece and the Eastern Mediterranean. These visual documents are frequently consulted by Princeton students in our classes. Through our Seeger fellowships, we make accessible these research collections to visiting scholars from around the world. On this happy occasion, we wish to thank the Trustees of the Orpheus Trust, in particular, Mr. Christopher Cone, President of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund, and Mr. Hubert Ashton.” –Dimitri Gondicas, H. Stanley J. Seeger Director of the Center for Hellenic Studies, Classics. Lecturer in Classics.

stillman athens 2015g
stillman athens 2015s

“[Stillman] embarked on a career as a diplomat, being posted as consul to Crete in 1865. Due to his support of a Cretan revolt against Ottoman rule, he had to flee in 1868 to Athens with his wife and children. Although his family was battered by a series of tragedies, Stillman undertook to photograph the monuments on the Acropolis. A selection of twenty-five photographs was published in London in 1870 as The Acropolis of Athens Illustrated Picturesquely and Architecturally in Photography.”–Szegedy-Maszak

The photographs themselves are at once documents of a civilization past and sublime elegies in light and shadow. They begin with distant views showing the imposing nature of the Acropolis within its city surroundings, and move closer with dramatic and picturesque studies of individual structures and sculptural details. The images include several figures, one of whom is thought to be Stillman himself.

See Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, “Athens. Photographed by W.J. Stillman,” Princeton University Library Chronicle, 70, no.3 (spring 2009): 399-432.stillman athens 2015mstillman athens 2015n

Celebrating the 35th Anniversary of Hellenic Studies

dalla via athos3Alessandro dalla Via (active 1688-1729), General View of Mount Athos, printed ca. 1707. Etching and engraving. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2015- in process. Gift of the Program in Hellenic Studies with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund and matching funds provided by a gift of The Orpheus Trust to the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, in honor of the 35th anniversary of Hellenic Studies at Princeton.

dalla via athos2

dalla via athosThis extraordinary new engraving is the gift of the Program in Hellenic Studies with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund and matching funds provided by a gift of The Orpheus Trust to the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, in honor of the 35th anniversary of Hellenic Studies at Princeton. It is first independently issued representation of Mount Athos by the engraver Alessandro dalla Via (active 1688-1729), printed ca. 1707. The monumental view was created on four sheets joined together to form a single print 77.3 x 111.5 cm.

“This wonderful acquisition strengthens our Hellenic Collections at Princeton,” writes Dimitri Gondicas, Director of the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, “especially our excellent holdings in the Byzantine and early modern Greek fields, and complements our recently acquired collection of paper icons of Mt. Sinai in Graphic Arts. Through our Seeger fellowships, we are pleased to make accessible these research collections to students and scholars from around the world. We wish to thank the Trustees of the Orpheus Trust, in particular, Mr. Christopher Cone, President of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund, and Mr. Hubert Ashton.”

dalla via athos9

Only three other copies have been found in contemporary collections: two in the Bibliothèque nationale de France (one hand-colored) and one in the Museum of Prince Czartoryski, Krakow. Another version also exists dated 1707 but without engraver’s name (67 x 105 cm.). It is known in a unique copy preserved at the University of Uppsala, Sweden.
dalla via athos8

dalla via athos6    dalla via athos5

At the bottom of the sheet is a broad band divided into six columns with a description of the Holy Mountain, written in metric verse in Greek, Latin, and Russian. The text exhorts the faithful to visit Athos. At the bottom of the fourth column there is the inscription: “Sumptibus Rever(endissi)mi abbatis Domini Abbacum Adriani, et Revere(n)di Sacerdotis, et monachi Pauli Clementis ” (also in Greek at the bottom of the fifth column).

The composition is described by Dory Papastratos:

“The two aspects of Mount Athos are shown together in this view: the western face on the left, the eastern on the right; the peak, depicted twice to illustrate both flanks, appears in the center. A torrent cascades from close to the western summit, sweeping stones and boulders before it in its almost vertical course to the sea. Set among the hills on the mountainsides and atop the cliffs along the seashore, and surrounded by their lands and gardens and plantations, are the fortress-like buildings of the twenty monasteries with their defensive towers and domed churches: the Protaton, the sketes of Saint Anne and the Virgin, Prophitis Elias (skete), Mylopotamos, and the tower of Morphonou (that replaced the old monastery of Amalfitans after its destruction); at the sea’s edge are the tower-shaped arsenals or warehouses of the monasteries, their cannon firing out to sea.”

“The names of the various buildings are written in Greek and Latin on small oval tablets above them. Diminutive figures of monks move about the landscape, some on foot, others mounted on beasts of burden. A procession wends its way from Iviron monastery towards the shore where it will receive the icon of the Portaïtissa held by the monk Gabriel standing erect on the waves. Monks can be seen also on the courtyard of the Protaton. Six tall crosses project above the cypress trees lining the ridge of the mountain range.”

“Scattered about the sea in the foreground are galleys and oared ships, large fishing vessels with monks aboard, and two huge sea-monsters. With crosses at their mastheads and on their sails, the Christian vessels display Venetian or French coats of arms on their sterns, while the crescent distinguishes the Turkish vessels. The two religious scenes in the sky represent, left, the Deisis with Christ enthroned and flanked by the full-length figures of the Virgin and the Forerunner and, right, the Virgin half-length, her arms outstretched in benediction.”

dalla via athos4See also:

Mapping Pathways to Heaven:

Deluga, Waldemar, “Greek Church Prints”, Print Quarterly, 19:2 (2002), p. 130.

Deluga, Waldemar, “Mont Athos dans les gravures balcaniques des XVIIIe et XIXe siècles”, Balkan Studies, 38:2 (1997), p. 243.

Mylonas, Paul M., Ὁ Ἄθως καί τά μοναστηριακά του ἱδρύματα μεσ’ ἀπό παληές χαλκογραφίες καί ἔργα τέχνης, Athens 1963, no. 4.

Papastratos, Dory, Paper Icons: Greek Orthodox Religious Engravings, 1665-1899, translated by John Leatham, 2 vols, Athens 1990, no. 420.

Provatakis, Theoharis, Χαρακτικά Ἑλλήνων λαϊκῶν δημιουργῶν, 17ος-19ος αἰώνας, Athens 1993, no. 72.

Tolias, George, “Ἀθωνική ἱερή χαρτογραφία. Οἱ ἀπαρχές”, in E. Livieratos (ed.), Ὄρους Ἄθω γῆς καί θαλάσσης περίμετρον. Χαρτῶν Μεταμορφώσεις, Thessaloniki 2002, pp. 158 -62.

The History of the Monument, Extra-Illustrated

monument5 monument4
Charles Welch (1848-1924), History of the Monument (London: City Lands Committee of the Corporation of the City of London, 1893). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process.

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired this extra-illustrated copy of Welch’s history of the London Monument, including many engravings, printed broadsides, albumen silver prints, related printed ephemera, printed guides to the Monument, as well as manuscript letters and notes. The whole was collected by Aleck Abrahams of Willesden Green, London, who assembled the collection and had it bound in black morocco and marbled boards, ca. 1910 by T. Ross, Binders to the King. There is a pocket on inside lower cover containing additional printed guide books.
monument11  monument8

This is an extraordinary assemblage of images and printed ephemera relating to Christopher Wren’s Monument, which was erected in the city of London in 1677 to commemorate the Great Fire of 1666. The Doric column had a viewing platform at the top, the highest vantage point in the city of London, with unparalleled 360 ° views across London.

Unfortunately it was also a suicide hotspot, particularly for women, and Welch records a number of actual deaths (p. 54). Abrahams has added to this several large, popular broadsides depicting suicides. “Another Dreadful Suicide at the Monument by a Young Woman” was printed and published by E. Lloyd, ca. 1842. The woman falling to her death has been identified as Jane Cooper, a servant, who threw herself off the Monument. Another hand colored print, ca. 1810, shows a man and woman together leaping off the column, while onlookers watch from below.

There is also a printed pamphlet Another Suicide by Precipitation from the Monument (London, 1839), with large folding woodcut of man falling from the Monument, in plain contemporary purple wrappers. News accounts of suffragettes marching and picketing around are juxtaposed with caricature and cartoons making fun of the structure. And much more.

At the end of his published book, Welch lists all the different “Views of the Monument” (p. 95-99) as well as printed books (mostly guide books) pertaining to the Monument (pp.99-100). Abrahams followed these lists and managed to find a large number of the prints and photographs, which he pasted, bound, and stuffed together into this single book. Here are a few examples.

monument1Charles Welch:
“The City of London heard with much regret of the death on Monday of Mr. Charles Welch, F.S.A., who for many years was the Librarian of the Guildhall,” reported The Times on January 17, 1924. “He was in his 76th year, and has been in retirement since 1906. The son of a physician at Hackney, Mr. Welch was born on July 21, 1848, and was sent to the City of London School under Dr. Mortimer. On leaving school joined at once the then small staff in the Guildhall Library, which consisted of a librarian and two assistants. During his service of more than 40 years he helped the library to develop into the largest in London, next to the British Museum . . . On the history and antiquities of the City Mr. Welch became an authority second only to the late Dr. R. R. Sharpe. He wrote lives of civic worthies in the Dictionary of National Biography, and contributed to the Victoria County Histories . . . His Modern History of the City of London, which justifies its title, is of great value to the student.”– Obituary. The Times Thursday, Jan 17, 1924; Issue 43551; pg. 14; col D — Mr. Charles Welch

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.”