Category Archives: Acquisitions

new acquisitions

The House Beautiful

William C. Gannett (1840-1923) and Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959), The House Beautiful (River Forest, Ill.: Auvergne Press, 1896-1898). Printed by William Herman Winslow. Copy 71 of 90. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

“In a setting designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and printed by hand at the Auvergne Press in River Forest by William Herman Winslow and Frank Lloyd Wright during the winter months of the year eighteen hundred ninety six and seven.” Includes a brochure sewn to 1st front fly-leaf containing 12 collotypes [not photogravure] of dried weeds. Completed at the end of 1898. Cf. Mary Jane Hamilton, Frank Lloyd Wright and the book arts, 1993.

“In 1895 the Auvergne Press … printed its first book, an edition of Keats’s The Eve of St. Agnes, for which [Frank Lloyd] Wright designed the title page. They then set to work on a second, Wright contributing photographic studies of dried weeds and several pen-and-ink designs of highly stylized flower patterns. The book’s title was The House Beautiful, a reprint of a sermon by William C. Gannett, editor of Unity and close friend of Jenkin Lloyd Jones. Gannett’s account of the construction of the Lloyd Jones family church made the first public mention of the family’s “boy architect.” Gannett’s sermon is not inspired, but his title was most up-to-date and symbolic, echoing as it did the central concern of the Arts and Crafts Movement.”

“The chance to experiment in a new field was obviously a great lure for Wright, but what seems to have meant most to him was the importance of the message being put forward by this old friend of his family, one that he could ‘clothe with chastity,’ as he noted in the book itself. Later, he explained to Gannett, ‘its [sic] good to catch a glimpse sometimes of what the world will be like when cultivation has mellowed harshness and gentle unselfishness is the rule of life.’” –Meryle Secrest, Frank Lloyd Wright: A Biography (1998).

Édouard Chimot and Les Editions d’Art Devambez

From 1923 to 1931, the fine print publishing house of Maison Devambez established the imprint, Les Éditions d’Art Devambez (also written Ed. d’art Devambez), which produced a series of limited edition, artist illustrated books. Édouard Chimot (1880-1959) was named artistic director of the imprint that he led with close, personal interaction with his fellow artists, often matching them with texts by nineteenth-century French authors. Most volumes include intaglio prints, with drypoint a particular specialty of their printers.

In its first years, Chimot published:
Anatole France, Le Petit Pierre, illustrated by Pierre Brissaud, 1923
Anatole France, La Vie en Fleur, illustrated by Pierre Brissaud, 1924
Henri de Regnier, La Canne de Jaspe, illustrated by Drian, 1924
Pierre Louÿs, Les Chansons de Bilitis, illustrated by Édouard Chimot, 1925
Maurice Barrès, La Mort de Vénise, illustrated by Edgar Chahine, 1926
Claude Farrère, L’Homme qui Assassina, illustrated by Henri Farge, 1926
Gustave Flaubert, Salammbô, illustrated by William Walcot, 1926
Pierre Loti, La Troisième Jeunesse de Madame Prune, illustrated by Tsuguharu Foujita, 1926
Pierre Louÿs, Les Poésies de Méléagre, illustrated by Édouard Chimot, 1926

Born in Venice, Edgar Chahine (1874-1947) became a French citizen in 1925 and spent the next few years creating prints as illustration for fine press editions. His work on Mort de Venise is of particular interest because his Paris studio was destroyed by fire in 1926, making the prints in this book some of the few surviving impressions from his Venice series (begun in 1906 with Impressions d’Italie). Chahine went on to illustrate books by Paul Verlaine (1844-1896); Anatole France (1824-1924); Collette (1873-1954); Gustave Flaubert (1821-1880); and others.

Maurice Barres (1862-1923), La mort de Venise. Illustrée de vingt-six eaux-fortes originales gravées par Edgar Chahine (Paris: Editions d’Art Devambez, 1926). Copy 94 of 231. Graphic Arts Collection GAX Q-000649

Fables drawn by Gustave Doré

Princeton University Library lists 696 versions of the Fables of Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695) dating from 1668 to 2018 in twenty identified languages, including both paper and online, audio, manuscript, visual, projected, and a senior thesis. Yet it was a surprise when a request came for the book illustrated by Gustave Doré.

His more than 300 designs were first published in Paris by Librairie de L. Hachette in 60 parts between 1866 and 1868. Our London and New York edition published by Cassell, Petter, and Galpin has no date connected to it but sources list 1868. It was a generous gift from the great book collector W.T. Scheide.


Don’t miss the lizard hanging from the ceiling.


Doré’s designs were handsomely wood engraved by T. Ettling; Huyot; Adolphe François Pannemaker (born 1822); George Auriol (1863-1938); Paul Jonnard (ca. 1863-1902); and possibly others, but the prints were not well received. “La Fontaine sees clearly and true; M. Doré sees falsely, strangely and eccentrically,” wrote a critic (recorded by Jules Claretie). The artist himself was worn out by the effort and wrote, “-the job appalled me, crushed me.”

Regardless, readers loved the translation and the prints leading to multiple editions, including a sold out trade edition. The unusual presence of human beings in these animal tales seemed to resonate with people. Situations are presented with great dramatic flare and a realistic terror usually reserved for Dante or Milton. What do you think? Read more about the project in Nigel Gosling, Gustave Doré, (Newton Abbott: David and Charles, 1973) Marquand ND 553.D7G6.


Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695), The Fables of La Fontaine, translated into English verse by Walter Thornbury, with illustrations by Gustave Doré (1832-1883) (London and New York: Cassell, Petter, and Galpin, [1800?]). GAX copy: Bookplate of William Taylor Scheide (1847-1907). Graphic Arts Collection Oversize 2003-0072Q


Hey, comrade Faust, how about airing out your study a bit?

The caption reads “Hey, comrade Faust, how about airing out your study a bit?”

Thanks to the work of Thomas Keenan, Slavic East European and Eurasian Studies Librarian, the Graphic Arts collection recently acquired a complete year of the short-lived satirical magazine Revizor = 42 issues for 1929.

Because this is such a rare and exceptional serial, I will quote from the dealer’s description:

For a brief period, Revizor was the lone surviving title among the generalist Soviet satirical magazines that had flourished during the 1920s. Its closure left only the peasant-oriented Lapot’ (shuttered in 1933), the anti-religious Bezbozhnik (discontinued in 1941), and the staple Krokodil, which essentially acquired a state-sanctioned monopoly on the satirical genre. In April 1927, a Central Committee decree “On Satirical and Humorous Magazines” opened an intense campaign against such publications.

A rapid string of directives held these journals to account, both collectively and individually, for “alienating mass audiences” and “caving to petty bourgeoisie tastes.” The Party demanded an immediate course correction, compelling publications to replace staff and rebrand. Buzoter, for example, transformed into Bich before it was shut down by decree in August 1928. Similarly, Smekhach morphed into Chudak, ran afoul of authorities, and was forcibly merged with Krokodil in February 1930.

Revizor represented the final, desperate iteration of the satirical supplements that had been published for nearly a decade by the newspaper Krasnaia gazeta. These supplements first appeared as Krasnaia kolokol’nia (August 1918-September 1918), and, after a hiatus, reemerged under the titles Krasnyi voron (August 1922-September 1924) and Begemot (October 1924-August 1928). On Party orders, Begemot folded into one of its offshoots, Pushka (April 1926-February 1929), which quickly floundered.

During its existence, Revizor maintained a print run of 55,000 to 90,000 copies, slightly smaller than its closest peers and approximately one-third the distribution of Krokodil. The magazine’s artistic contributors included Nikolai Radlov, Lev Bodraty, Bronislav Malakhovsky, Nina Noskovich (neé Lekarenko), Konstantin Rudakov, and Aleksandr Yunger. Among the writing staff, the most notable names were Konstantin Fedin and Mikhail Zoshchenko. Several of Zoshchenko’s short stories were first published in Revizor, including “Zemletriasenie” (No. 28, 1929) and “Burliatskaia natura” (No. 38, 1929), which formed the basis for his play Uvazhaemyi tovarishch.

Revizor: satiricheskii ezhenedel’nik (Leningrad: Krasnaia gazeta, 1929). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

Justus Freiherr von Liebig (1803-1873)

Sérgio Costa Araújo, a colleague from Portugal, noticed that although we have wonderful tradecards from the chemist Justus Freiherr von Liebig (1803-1873), we don’t have a good portrait and so, he sent one.

The wood engraving is titled Justus v. Liebig in seinem Arbeitszimmer. Originalzeichnung von G. Theuerkauf [Justus von Liebig in His Study. Original Drawing by Gustav Theuerkauf], and was published in Über Land und Meer. Allgemeine Illustrierte Zeitung [Over Land and Sea. General Illustrated Newspaper], Stuttgart, 1873, the year of Liebig’s death.

The print is after a drawing by the German artist Christian Gottlob Heinrich Theuerkauf (1833-1911), who made numerous illustrations for high-circulation publications of his time, such as Over Land and Sea. For more information see: Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart / 33 Theodotos – Urlaub.

Liebig is pictured in his study by a large desk with numerous papers and books. Unfortunately none of the portraits on the wall or the books on the shelves can be identified by title.

See also: August Wilhelm von Hofmann (1818-1892), The life-work of Liebig in experimental and philosophic chemistry, with allusions to his influence on the development of the collateral sciences and of the useful arts; a discourse (London: Macmillan, 1876). Series: Faraday lecture; 1875. ReCAP – Lewis Library 8303.584.47

Louche binding

This book was purchased by the Graphic Arts Collection in small part because the binding was listed as “louche.” Louche is an adjective that describes something of questionable taste or morality while at the same time kind of attractive—ugly/beautiful–; one definition reads “the louche world of the theater.”

It seems apropos of Jim Dine’s consciously informal facsimile of the annotated script and his sketches for a never realized production of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. This is perhaps his most well-known artists’ book and the first of many celebrated volumes from Petersburg Press. Later projects include Foirades by Samuel Beckett and Jasper Johns (1976); The Departure of the Argonaut by Alberto Savinio and Francesco Clemente (1986); Notes in Hand by Claes Oldenburg (1971); Shards by Richard Meier and Frank Stella (1983) and dozens of others.

The Petersburg Press had two incarnations, first in London in 1968 and again in New York in 1972, publishing limited edition prints, livres d’artistes, and artists’ books in collaboration with a list of noted contemporary artists that few presses could rival. Here is the Guardian’s obituary for its founder Paul Cornwall-Jones.

Jim Dine, Picture of Dorian Gray: a working script for the stage from the novel by Oscar Wilde (London: Petersburg Press. 1968). Limited edition, 125/200 signed by Jim Dine. Bound in emerald green velvet over boards with the title blocked in silver on the upper cover. This is edition B of Dine’s three editions of Dorian Gray. The original colour lithographs, etchings and text pages were prepared on zinc and aluminium plates by Jim Dine in February 1968 and subsequently printed on Velin Arches at the Atelier Desjobert and Atelier Leblanc in Paris. It contains twelve lithographs six of which are the signed set issued loose in Editions A and C. This copy lacks the four signed etchings which are called for in the publisher’s notes. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process


Rufino Tamayo and Benjamin Péret

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired Air Mexicain by the Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo and French poet Benjamin Péret, born within days of each other in the summer of 1889. According to Juan Carlos Pereda,

“The second project undertaken by Tamayo as illustrator was Air Mexicain, by the French poet Benjamin Péret, written in 1949 and printed in 1952. The poem was written immediately after Péret returned to France after having lived in Mexico since 1942. During his stay in Mexico, Péret studied pre-Columbian myths, chronicles, testimonies, ruins, and works of art; paying as much attention to popular stories as to the geography of the country. His descriptions reflect a knowledge of Mexican history and his bedazzlement at the discovery of the wonderful, exotic elements of the culture.

In the poem Péret offers metaphors related to indigenous symbolism, synthesizing history from the pre-Hispanic past up to the present. According to Jean Louis Bédouin, who translated Air Mexican into Spanish, Péret is ‘one of the writers who is most sensitive to Mexican contradictions, one of the most attentive to the phenomena of historical hybridization, of which he is the result.’”


Benjamin Péret (1899-1959) and Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991), Air Mexicain ([Paris]: Librairie Arcanes, 1952). Four color lithographs. Copy 80 of 250. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

The text was composed by hand and printed on the presses of M.M. Arroult et Cie. (master printers in Tours, France) and the color lithographs were printed at the Desjobert Workshop in Paris.

Having returned to France, [Péret] fought for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. In 1940 he was imprisoned for his political activities. Upon his release he sailed for Mexico with the aid of the American-based Emergency Rescue Committee to study pre-Columbian myths and American folklore. He had originally wished to emigrate to the United States but was unable to do so due to his Communist affiliations.

Peret went to Mexico with his lover, the Spanish painter Remedios Varo. In Mexico City he became involved with the European intellectual community around the Austrian painter and surrealist Wolfgang Paalen living there in exile. He was particularly inspired by Paalen´s huge collection and knowledge about the “Totem Art” of the Northwest Coast of British Columbia; 1943 he finished a long essay on the necessity of poetical myths, exemplified with the mythology and art of the Northwest Coast, which was then published in New York by André Breton in VVV. Whilst living in Mexico City Péret met Natalia Sedova, Trotsky’s widow. He remained in Mexico until the end of 1947. He returned to Paris and died there on 18 September 1959.

See more: Rufino Tamayo: Catalogue Raisonné: Gráfica 1925-1991 = Prints 1925-1991 / [coordinación de proyecto, Juan Carlos Pereda] (México, D.F.: Fundación Olga y Rufino Tamayo: CONACULTA-INBA; Madrid: Turner, [2004]). Marquand Library Oversize ND259.T15 P425 2004q

Profile portraiture

James Craig Annan (1864-1946), Janet Burnet, 1907. Photogravure. Graphic Arts Collection GA2018- in process

The full profile is among the oldest and most enduring forms of portraiture. Ancestors include Egyptian bas-relief figures and Roman coins. During the Renaissance, the stoic profile portrait modeled on antiquities enjoyed a brief vogue and again, in the late 19th-early 20th centuries, artists used the stark profile against a flat background to emphasize form over personality.

As early photographers struggled to place their work in a traditional art historical context, these formal poses were adopted by several ateliers, in particular members of the London Brotherhood of the Linked Ring. The individuality of each paper print, most often finished in photogravure, was emphasized over the individuality of the sitter. One person or another might be substituted in the chair as long as the surface and the texture of the page was unique, and the light and shadows fell on the paper with perfection.

Here are a few others in this tradition.

Edward Steichen (1879-1973), George Frederic Watts, 1900. Photogravure. National Portrait Gallery, London.



David Octavius Hill (1802–1870) and Robert Adamson (1821–1848), Mrs. Rigby, 1843–47. Salted paper print from paper negative. Getty Museum


Detail: James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1 [Whistler’s Mother], 1871. Musée d’Orsay



Antonio del Pollaiolo (1429–1498), Profile Portrait of a Young Lady, ca 1465. Gemäldegalerie der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin

Bidloo’s Martyrdom of the Apostles

As many people are in their first week of new year’s resolutions, it might be appropriate to look at the popular volume Brieven der gemartelde apostelen [Letters of the Tortured Apostles] by the Dutch surgeon and professor of anatomy Govard Bidloo (1649-1713). First published in 1675 and reissued several times before Bidloo’s death, the text and plates depict the author’s warning against the seducing power of good food, wine, and other earthly delights. Gruesome suffering shown includes stoning, quartering, beating, burning, and other bodily tortures endured by these saints, as necessary preparation for the next world.

A complete transcription of the texts can be found on The Digital Library for Dutch Literature (DBNL), the wonderful digital collection of texts that belong to Dutch literature, linguistics, and cultural history from the earliest times to the present. The collection represents the entire Dutch language area and is the result of a collaboration between the Taalunie, the Flemish Heritage Library and the Royal Library in The Hague.

Although the plates are not signed, several sources attribute the engravings to the gifted and socially well connected artist, Romeyn de Hooghe (1645–1708). There might have been dissatisfaction with the result because Bidloo writes elsewhere about the artist’s incompetence* and later, the plates for Bidloo’s monumental Anatomia humani corporis, published in Amsterdam in 1685, were drawn by Gérard de Lairesse (1640–1711) and engraved by Abraham Blooteling (1640–1690) and Peter van Gunst (1659?–1724?).



Govert Bidloo (1649-1713), Brieven der gemartelde apostelen [Letters of the Tortured Apostles] (Amsterdam: Hieroymus Sweerts, 1675). Plates by Romeyn de Hooghe (1645–1708). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2018- in process.


*Luuc Kooijmans, Death Defied: The Anatomy Lessons of Frederik Ruysch (Leiden: Brill, 2010), Firestone Library QM16.R89 K6613 2010

Henk Van Nierop, The Life of Romeyn de Hooghe, 1645–1708: Prints, Pamphlets, and Politics in the Dutch Golden Age (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2018)

Diverses figures humaines

Abraham Bosse (1604-1676), Represent[i]on de diverses figures humaines. Avec leurs mesures prises sur des antiques qui sont de present à Rome. Recueillies et mises en lumière par A. Bosse, graveur en taille douce, en l’isle du Palais à Paris ([Paris : s.n.], 1656). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2018- in process

Which works of art have such ideal proportions that they can be used as a guide to perfect anatomical structure? According to Abraham Bosse that would be Farnese Hercules, the Pichini Meleager, the Apollo Belvedere, and the Venus di Medici. In this rare pocket guide, precise mathematical equations are placed on these four figures to demonstrate the apex of human beauty. Do not try this at home.

Inspired by and perhaps thought of as a sequel to:

Gérard Desargues (1591-1661), La manière universelle de Mr. Desargues, Lyonnois pour poser l’essieu, & placer les heures & autres choses aux cadrans au soleil / par A. Bosse, graueur en taille douce …(Paris : De l’imprimerie de Pierre Des-Hayes, ruë de la Harpe, à la Roze Rouge, 1643). Graphic Arts Collection 2007-1817N