Category Archives: Acquisitions

new acquisitions

Don’t Forget A Little Chaos

Get to the theater early to pick up your tickets for the 7:00 sneak preview of A Little Chaos today, June 17, at the Garden Theatre. Thanks to the co-sponsors: the Friends of the Princeton University Library and Renew Theaters

 A Little Chaos comes to the Princeton Garden Theatre for one night only on June 17, prior to its June 26 release. This special early screening is being presented in conjunction with the Princeton University Library’s current exhibition Versailles on Paper: A Graphic Panorama of the Palace and Gardens of Louis XIV, which continues through July 19.

The exhibition will stay open until 6:30 so you can drop by before going to see the movie. Alan Rickman both directs and stars in the historical drama, which was shot in England using Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, to represent the Palace at Versailles.800px-Blenheim_Palace_panoramaBlenheim Palace:

About Renew Theaters: Renew manages the County, Ambler, and Hiway Theaters in Pennsylvania and the Princeton Garden Theatre in New Jersey. These historic movie houses function as arthouse cinemas, screening independent, foreign, and classic films for their local audiences.

For more information on the exhibition, see the website:
For more information on the Garden Theater’s films and special events, see

Georges Gremillet

gremillet5 Georges Gremillet (1893-1971), Montmartre. Descriptive notes by H. de Labruyere (Paris: Edmond Chognard, 1928?). 13 etchings variously signed, dated and titled in the plate; lettered with publication detail and address of artist on cover: Au singe qui lit, 4 Place du tertre, 12 & 14 rue Lamarck, Paris 18e. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process. Gift of David McAlpin, Jr., Class of 1950.


In the 19th century, the inexpensive working class neighborhood of Montmartre became the home for artists, actors, and writers. By the 1920s, when Georges Gremillet moved in, the bohemian 18th arrondissement was the destination for wealthy art collectors and tourists.

Gremillet specialized in etchings offering charming views of Paris, which he hung in his Montmartre shop, known as Au singe qui lit (The Monkey that Reads). Located at 4 Place du Tertre, Gremillet was in the exact center of Montmartre’s central square, in the area where artists spent their days in the sidewalk cafes and their nights in the cabarets, dance halls, theaters, and bars.

Today, Gremillet’s shop is still open, filled with postcards and posters for visiting art historians. The Graphic Arts Collection is fortunate to have received a gift of two Gremillet portfolios from the 1920s, holding dozens of the artist’s drypoints and etchings. Thanks to David H. McAlpin, Jr., Class of 1950 for these wonderful new acquisitions.

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Thomas Annan of Glasgow: Pioneer of the Documentary Photograph


Photographic Views of Loch Katrine and of Some of the Principal Works Constructed for Introducing the Water of Loch Katrine into the City of Glasgow… (Glasgow: Glasgow Corporation Water Works; printed by James C. Erskine, 1889). Photographs by Thomas Annan. Graphic Arts Collection

Congratulations to Lionel Gossman, M. Taylor Pyne Professor of Romance Languages emeritus at Princeton University, who just released a study of the Glasgow photographer, Thomas Annan, through the online publisher Open Book. The book available for free download at:–pioneer-of-the-documentary-photograph

Dougan64_0010wfA native of Glasgow, Gossman’s own graduation portrait was made in 1951 at the studio of T. &. R. Annan in Sauchiehall Street. Several years ago, we introduced him to our nearly complete collection of Annan’s photography (bound and unbound) in the Graphic Arts Collection and Gossman was immediately entranced. The Scottish images brought him back to his roots, triggering a period of intensive research on the places depicted and the man who created them.

As a scholar committed to the open access of information, Gossman is the author of two other books published by Open Book Publishers: Brownshirt Princess: A Study of the ‘Nazi Conscience’, The Passion of Max von Oppenheim: Archaeology and Intrigue in the Middle East from Wilhelm II to Hitler. For OBP he also edited and translated The End and the Beginning: The Book of My Life by Hermynia Zur Mühlen and On History, a collection of essays by Jules Michelet in English translation.


Alexander Hastie Millar (1847-1927), Castles and Mansions of Ayrshire: illustrated in seventy views, with historical and descriptive accounts ([Edinburgh : W. Paterson], 1885). Includes albumen prints by Thomas Annan. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2008-0021E

Mitchell’s new book will be ready in 100 years

Princeton students will have the pleasure of reading David Mitchell’s new book, in 2115. The British novelist has been named as the second writer to contribute to Future Library, a public artwork by Scottish artist Katie Paterson that will unfold over the next 100 years. A thousand trees have been planted in Nordmarka, Norway, which will supply paper for a special anthology of books to be printed in 100 years’ time. Between now and then, one writer every year will contribute a text, with the writings held in trust, unpublished, until 2114. As a member of the Future Library, Princeton University Library will collect its new books in 100 years.

The first text has been written and delivered by the internationally renowned Canadian author Margaret Atwood, titled Scribbler Moon. David Mitchell will hand over his manuscript at a special ceremony in Norway in 2016. In the meantime, you can read other books by David Mitchell including: Ghostwritten (1999); Number9dream (2001); Cloud Atlas (2004); Black Swan Green (2006); Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (2010); Reason I Jump (2013); and Bone Clocks (2014).

On being invited as the 2015 author David Mitchell commented:

“Civilisation, according to one of those handy Chinese proverbs, is the basking in the shade of trees planted a hundred years ago, trees which the gardener knew would outlive him or her, but which he or she planted anyway for the pleasure of people not yet born. I accepted the Future Library’s invitation to participate because I would like to plant such a tree. The project is a vote of confidence that, despite the catastrophist shadows under which we live, the future will still be a brightish place willing and able to complete an artistic endeavour begun by long-dead people a century ago. Imagine if the Future Library had been conceived in 1914, and a hundred authors from all over the world had written a hundred volumes between 1915 and today, unseen until now – what a human highway through time to be a part of. Contributing and belonging to a narrative arc longer than your own lifespan is good for your soul.”

The Prophecies of the Sibyls

Philippus de Barberis (ca. 1426-1487), Opusculum de vaticiniis Sibillarum (Oppenheim: [Jacob Köbel, ca. 1514). Large woodcut on title-page and 12 full page woodcuts of female soothsayers. Previous owner: W.J. Le Mattre. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process

This collection of the prophecies of the Sibyls was printed by Jacob Köbel (1460-1533), who ran a press in Oppenheim from 1503 to 1532. Although there is no date in the book, we believe it was printed about 1514 (Goff B-122, after 1500). Counting the title page, there are 13 large woodcuts with quotations and architectural borders. This is not the copy owned by Arthur Vershbow but in equally good condition.
silillarum4The source for the texts of the prophecies of the Sibyls is by the Dominican Philippus de Barberis, Discordantiae sanctorum doctorum Hieronymi et Augustini adiunctis aliis opusculis, which was compiled c. 1479 and appeared in several printed versions.

“L’Opusculum de his in quibus Augustinus et Hieronymus dissentire videntur in divinis litteris fu riedito in una raccolta di scritti detta Opuscula (pubblicata perla prima volta nel 1481; il titolo è ricavato dalla prefazione), con il titolo di Discordantiae sanctorum doctorum Hieronymi et Augustini (unico opuscolo della raccolta che sia opera del B.): il contenuto degli altri scritti degli Opuscula (i vaticini delle sibille, i carmi della poetessa Falconia, il simbolo anastasiano, l’orazione domenicale, la salutazione angelica, ecc.) induce a pensare che questa raccolta fosse destinata a uso scolastico; essa, comunque, ebbe una certa fortuna e varie edizioni, alcune delle quali successive alla morte del Barbieri. Iù stata avanzata dal Di Giovanni l’ipotesi che il B. fosse anche l’autore di un’opera intitolata De vita et moribus philosophorum (Codice 3. Q.q. A. III, cc, 65 della Biblioteca comunale di Palermo): centoventotto biografie di filosofi, poeti e scrittori, seguite, per meglio porne in evidenza il pensiero, da brani delle opere dei biografati. Poiché il manoscritto proviene dal convento domenicano di Palermo e fu copiato in Sicilia, poiché il B., sino al Quattrocento, fu l’unico a interessarsi di storia delle scienze, il Di Giovanni gli attribui questo lavoro, seppure con riserva. Questa conclusione tuttavia non può che rimanere allo stato di ipotesi; né si può ritenere che tale lavoro sia da identificarsi con il De inventoribus,noto soltanto attraverso la citazione della Viroruni illustrium cronica dello stesso Barbieri.” Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani – Volume 6 (1964)


Lithographic covers by Toulouse-Lautrec

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Julien Sermet (born 1855), Les courtes joies: poésies (Brief Pleasures: poems); préface de Gustave Geffroy [Cover illustrations by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec] (Paris: Joubert, 1897). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2015- in process

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The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired four small books with original lithographic paper wrappers designed by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901). All of them were included in the exhibition catalogue Toulouse-Lautrec Book Covers & Brochures published by the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts, Houghton Library in 1972 (Graphic Arts GA NC980.5.T68 H37).

On several of these volumes the design continues around and onto the back cover. On this book, the artist depicts a fishwife selling herring  on the front, with the image of Don Quixote on the back.

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Tristan Bernard (1866-1947), Les pieds nickelés: comédie en 1 acte (Nickel-plated Feet, i.e. Those Who Don’t Work: A Comedy in One Act) [First performed in Paris at the Théâtre de l’Oeuvre, March 15, 1895. Cover illustrations by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec] (Paris: P. Ollendorff, 1895). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2015- in process

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On the front of this book [above], Lautrec has drawn three figures. The woman seen at the bottom has been identified as the pianist Misia Sert (born Maria Zofia Olga Zenajda Godebska, 1872-1950) who was a patron to many French artists and with her first husband Thadée Natanson, hosted a salon in Paris. She also posed for many of the painters, including Lautrec.



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Tristan Bernard (1866-1947), Le fardeau de la liberté; comédie en un acte (The Burden of Liberty. A Comedy in One Act) [Cover illustrations by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec] (Paris: Éditions de la Revue blanche, 1897). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2015- in process.

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Louis Marsolleau (1864-1935) and Arthur Byl (died 1908), Hors les lois: comʹedie en un acte (Outside the Law: a Comedy in One Act) [Performed first at the Thʹeatre Antoine, Nov. 5, 1897. Cover illustrations by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec] (Paris: P.-V. Stock, 1898). Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) 2015- in process

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If you open the wrapper fully on this volume, you will see a couple watching two costumed actors admiring a bust of Molière. Lautrec went to the theater often and designed both posters and programs for many productions.

Stamps, marks, and monograms by George Auriol

auriol9George Auriol, Le Premier Livre des cachets, marques et monogrammes. [with] Le Second Livre des monogrammes, marques, cachets et ex-libris. [and] Le Troisième Livre des monogrammes, cachets marques et ex-libris (Paris: Librairie Centrale & Henri Floury, 1901; 1908; 1924). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process

auriol2“Auriol served as writer, illustrator and editor of the Chat Noir for ten years (1883–93). He produced book covers for the Chat-Noir Guide (1888) and the two-volume Les Contes du Chat Noir (1889–91) as well as 15 programmes for the Chat Noir shadow theatre. From the end of the 1880s the bold colours and flat patterning of his illustrations and typographical designs show the influence of Japanese art.

In 1888 he created his first monograms for Rivière and himself in the style of Japanese seals, and during the next decade he produced hundreds of such monograms for artists, writers and publishers, including Rivière, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen, Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Verlaine, Anatole France, Ernest Flammarion and others. In 1901 Henri Floury published the first collection of Auriol’s Cachets, marques et monogrammes, followed by two more volumes in 1908 and 1924.

. . . Auriol’s assimilation of Japanese aesthetics resulted in highly decorative and often abstract floral designs for hundreds of book and sheet-music covers by the avant-garde writers and composers for the publishers Enoch, Flammarion and Ollendorff as well as ornamental typography for Larousse’s encyclopedias (1895–1930) . . . Auriol’s collaboration with the G. Peignot & Frères type-face foundry (1901–5) resulted in the creation of Auriol type styles such as Française Legère and Auriol Labeur.”– Dennis Cate
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Illustrated by Brunelleschi

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Alfred de Musset (1810-1857), La nuit venitienne. Fantasio. Les caprices de Marianne. Illustrated by Umberto Brunelleschi (1879-1949) (Paris: L’edition d’art H. Piazza, 1913). Colophon: Il a été tiré de cet ouvrage cinq cents exemplaires sur papier du Japon signés par l’artiste./ “Achevé d’ imprimer a Paris le 10 Novembre 1913.” Graphic Arts Collection 2015- in process. Gift of Andrea G. Stillman.

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Umberto Brunelleschi (1879-1949), Contes du temps jadis (Paris: l’Édition d’art, H. Piazza, 1912). “Achevé d’imprimer le 10 Octobre 1912 par G. Kadar, Paris”–Colophon. “Il a été tiré de cet ouvrage 400 exemplaires sur papier du Japon”–Verso of half-title. Graphic Arts Collection 2015- in process. Gift of Andrea G. Stillman.

Thanks to the generous gift of Andrea G. Stillman, the Graphic Arts Collection has acquired two volumes with illustrations designed by Umberto Brunelleschi. Both were published in limited editions by Jules Henri Piazza (1861-1929) under the imprint L’Edition d’Art (The Art Edition H. Piazza and Company). For over 30 years, Piazza issued luxury books in French and English illustrated with reproductions after designs by living artists. We are fortunate to add these two to our collection.

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La Lune: ou le livre des poème

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Pierre Albert-Birot, La lune, ou, Le livre des poèmes (Paris: Budry, 1924). “Cet ouvrage a été tiré à 326 exemplaires: 26 exemplaires sur Chine … dont un imprimé pour l’auteur, et 25 numérotés de 1 à 25 … [et] 300 ex. sur vergé pur fil Lafuma … numérotés de 26 à 326″–Page [2]. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process

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The artist who in his painting and drawing comes to an understanding of the creative act and produces a microcosm of creation through the form and space of the canvas applies himself as poet to the concrete dimensions of the poem to produce a construction which is at once visual and verbal. It is this which makes an understanding of Albert-Birot’s visual poetry essential for an appreciation of his work as a whole. The fact that he mastered the printing process cannot be reiterated often enough. Creation does not take place only in the mind of the poet, it is received not only in the mind of the reader: creation is concrete, the poem is an object.

The printed space is a practical, functional, mechanical one. The poet and the reader replace it with a “literary or aesthetic space”, an imaginary space, a space of the imagination. Here mechanics and aesthetics fuse to create space which is at once imaginary and material. The superficial visual delight belies deeper bodily sensation just as the sound poems of La Lune explore the archaic noises and rhythms of poetry. This is not experimental poetry for its own sake, nor merely playful audacity in breaking the rules, being willfully “modern”, not a sterile artistic practice in search of something “new”. The relationship between the body of the poet and the body of the poem is fundamental to Albert-Birot’s work as a whole and it is here that it assumes its place in the modern aesthetic as a questioning of the processes of creation and of the place of the self in that creation.”

–Debra Kelly, “From Painter to Poet: the Visual Poetry of Pierre Albert-Birot in La Lune: ou le livre des poème,” in Forum for Modem Language Studies 1996, Vol. xxm, no. 1, p. 50.

For the complete article see: luna8

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