Category Archives: Acquisitions

new acquisitions

Perforated embroidery patterns

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a group of 83 perforated designs or pounce patterns, assumed to be stencils made to transfer a design to fabric for embroidery or other decoration. In addition, there is a circular from August Bernard, described as the successor to Leon Cendrier, “designer, manufacturer, & importer of perforated French stamping patterns for braiding and embroidery,” located at 401 Canal Street, New York City. There is nothing on the sheets to verify they are from Bernard’s shop, but the flier confirms he had, at that time, the largest collection of such patterns in the United States, so it is likely these came Bernard.


One other possible source for these vegetable parchment patterns might be Mrs. T.G. Farnham. On the verso of one of the decorated initial patterns is the rubber stamp of “Mrs. T.G. Farnham, Art Needlework, Stamping, Embroidery, Etc., 16 West 14th St., N.Y. City.”

In the 1880s, Farnham advertised perforated patterns etc. for sale in such magazines as Harper’s Bazar and The Youth’s Companion and was the author of Home Beautiful, a Descriptive Catalogue of Art Needle Work (New York, 1884).

The article on the left was found in New York’s Great Industries: Exchange and Commercial Review, Embracing Also Historical and Descriptive Sketch of the City, Its Leading Merchants and Manufacturers .. (Historical Publishing Company, 1884). Neither Bernard or Cendrier are listed.

Of course, anyone can make their own patterns but these are extremely detailed and regular in their piercing, suggesting they were made by an experienced commercial vendor.

Both Bernard and Farnham also sold the colored powders and fine felt pounces used to apply the powders to the patterns. The same waxy blue powder is found on the rectos of most of the patterns in the portfolio, indicating they were all used by the same person. One of the patterns bears a partial watermark “CO. DALTON MA”, suggesting that the vegetable parchment was made by Crane and Company.

Most paper stencils were used and soon discarded as they became worn out. The Graphic Arts Collection has a number of metal stencils and horsehair Japanese stencils but very few on paper or vegetable parchment as these have been described. This is a rare surviving collection.

83 needlework stamping patterns and a circular issued by August Bernard of New York City ([New York: August Bernard?, ca. 1880s]). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process.

 

“One day Filliou will be a great classical poet”–Dieter Roth

The Graphic Arts Collection recently added a rare piece of Fluxus art by Robert Filliou (1926-1987) entitled Research in Dynamics and Comparative Statics [Recherche en dynamique et statique comparée] (Bruxelles: Lebeer Hossmann, 1973). It is a wooden suitcase (50 x 31 x 12.5 cm), unvarnished, with single brass hinge screwed into right-hand side, two metal clasps at front edge, and a wire handle, supplemented by cautionary manuscript note that warns of the handle’s fragility; “mieux faut porte le honorable valise sous le bras.” The work’s title is inscribed by Filliou to a green index card, [once tied to the handle now inside the box]. To the top inside of the lid, a manuscript label reads “16704 cm3 de Pre-Territoire de la République Géniale;” green chalk measurements to the lid outline a space of 48 x 29 cm. At the bottom side of suitcase is Filliou’s signature and date in pencil.

The only other examples of this work are in France at the BnF, the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, and MAC Lyon. Princeton’s copy comes from Filliou’s son.

Contents inside suitcase comprise: (1) 28 folders of various colours, each featuring large manuscript labels to front covers, with approximately 248 pages of manuscript and typescript facsimiles; (2) a table of contents, in facsimile manuscript (5 pp.) [with this copy appearing to miss the penultimate page]; (3) an audio cassette, in original case, with manuscript labels to both sides A and B (“Singing Sade” and “The Wisdom of R. Filliou”); (4) a further manuscript label, affixed to inner lid: “1958-1965 Mss brought out today (comparative statics) to create tomorrow the Ding Dong Territory of the Genial Republic (dynamics)”; and (5) a typescript manifesto (in French), on a sheet of pink graph paper (30 x 21 cm.), with manuscript corrections and an additional manuscript note at bottom, where this copy is hand-numbered as 16 of 30.

Writing for the New York Times, Grace Glueck noted, “Filliou, a charter member of Fluxus, the 1960’s performance group that specialized in esthetic nonevents, believed that art didn’t have to express itself in the form of objects. He saw it as a form of play that could even occur as unrealized notions. … Ephemeral as it is, Filliou’s gadfly work refreshes by undermining heavy notions of what art is or should be. Like the French composer Erik Satie, he knew how to play with the serious.” https://www.nytimes.com/1998/07/24/arts/art-in-review-robert-filliou.html

Princeton holds a number of important works by Filliou, beginning with the 1965 Ample food for stupid thought (GAX 2006-2009N). **Note, unfortunately our library now offers images in the online catalogue that are not taken from our material but found somewhere on the internet and may not, in many cases, represent that work owned by our library. Generic pictures of a book jacket are one thing, but works of graphic art frequently differ in significant ways from one impression to another. The image pictured with Ample Food is not the copy in the Princeton University Library.

At one time, Filliou and his friends managed their own gallery along the French Riviera, near the French-Italian border. “The Smiling Cedilla was a non-shop,” commented the artist, “because it was only open on demand. This Centre of Permanent Creation, by George Brecht, Marianne Staffeldt, Donna Brewer and myself, opened in Villefranche-sur-Mer in 1965 and lasted three years. Our activities were multiple. They were summarized in the book Games at the Cedilla, or The Cedilla Takes Off (Something Else Press, New York, 1967). When the Smiling Cedilla closed its doors, it announced the birth of the “Eternal Network, La Fête permanente.”

The box now in the Graphic Arts Collection comes from the period Filliou called The Eternal network, a movement when neither he nor his work had a permanent home.

 

Here is a bit more of his interesting history taken from: https://metropolis.free-jazz.net/robert-filliou-art-is-what-makes-life-more-interesting-than-art/artist-portraits/70/

In 1943, Robert Filliou joined the Resistance movement organized by the communists and became a member of the French Communist Party during the war (he would later leave it after Tito’s exclusion for the Communist International). In 1947, he went to the United States to meet his father who he had never known. After working as a labourer for Coca Cola in Los Angeles, he began to study (while continuing to do “odd jobs” to earn his living) and achieved a masters in economics.

… In Paris, in the Contrescarpe area, Daniel Spoerri introduced him to the world of the plastic artists. This was in the middle of the boom of the 1960s, with the return in strength of Duchamp’s ideas, the appearance of Fluxus and the effervescent avant-garde of the Nouveaux Réalistes. … In 1962, determined to remain outside the exhibition circuit, Robert Filliou carried his gallery in his hat. He became his own exhibition space: “La Galerie Légitime” [The Legitimate Gallery]. His works, gathered together in his beret and stamped “Galerie Légitime Couvre Chef d’Oeuvre” [Legitimate Gallery Masterpiece Hat], circulated in the streets with him (the idea is reminiscent of Marcel Duchamp’s suitcase). He then met George Maciunas, the centralizer of the activities of Fluxus.

… In 1965, with George Brecht, Robert Filliou founded the gallery “La Cédille qui sourit” [The Smiling Cedilla) in Villefranche-sur-Mer, although it was usually closed because the artists were at the local café: “In my opinion, that’s where you get your best ideas”.

In his book-length interview with Lebeer (Secret of permanent creation), Filliou repeatedly refers to this box as a failure. “If I could, I’d give people their money back. If I could find a way I’d do that. Because what I said I was going to do I haven’t done. I had the feeling I got the money under false pretences.” Lebeer, as publisher, repeatedly assures him that sales were positive; Dieter Roth was one of the first buyers, stating “one day Filliou will be a great classical poet.”

The Suffolk Engraving & Electrotyping Company

The Graphic Arts Collection acquired an early 20th century sample book from the firm of John Andrew & Son, Department of the Suffolk Engraving & Electrotyping Co., 394 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, Mass.

After an introduction (see below), the reader is shown 36 plates with examples of their photogravure work including 2 letterheads, 2 engravings, 1 etching, 1 painting, 3 Edward Curtis Indians (1 from Flute of the Gods), 1 portrait of Edward Curtis (unmarked), 26 photographs of scenery, goods, and portraits of George Washington (1732-1799); William Henry Moody (1853-1917); John William Dawson (1820-1899); William McKinley (1843-1901); King Camp Gillette (1855-1932); William Molson (1793-1875); and others.

[1] John Andrew & Son. In presenting this selection of reproductions by photogravure of a varied line of subjects … / John Andrew & Son. Boston : John Andrew & Son, [1915?] [Text] In presenting this selection of reproductions by photogravure of a varied line of subjects, we desire to call attention to the superiority of this process to any in existence at the present day for the reproducing of pictorial or commercial subjects. Its place, as regards the reproduction of paintings and book illustrations, needs no comment, and its use, in presenting high-class goods to select lists of patrons, presents possibilities which can be readily appreciated from the samples shown in this booklet. Its distinctive quality suggests the same quality of goods advertised.

The wide range of selection of paper and the method of printing insure a result, in the final product, absolutely equal to the first finished proofs, with no falling off of in quality as in half-tone or other mechanically printed reproductions. It is a process of plate-making and printing that at once lifts a piece of advertising matter out of the ordinary. We respectfully solicit your correspondence, or an invitation to confer with you, regarding the production by photogravure of any work you may have in mind. Following a brief description of plate-making and method of printing by this process. 30 cm. Page no. [1]

[2] John Andrew & Son. Photogravure. Photogravure has been justly called the aristocracy of photographic reproductive processes. Boston : John Andrew & Son, [1915?] [Text] Photogravure. Photogravure has been justly called the aristocracy of photographic reproductive processes. It is an intaglio process having every advantage of photographic accuracy, and the depth and richness of a steel engraving or an etching. It is printed in exactly the same manner as the latter, from a copper plate, the surface of which is protected with a delicate coating of steel. It must be borne in mind that it is exactly the opposite from relief or letterpress printing, inasmuch as the paper is squeezed into depressions in the plate, which are filled with ink, instead of taking the ink off of a surface which is covered with ink. The process of plate-making is as follows: On a highly polished copper plate is deposited a very fine dust of bitumen, which is a resinous powder. This is subjected to a proper degree of heat which melts the fine particles of the powder to a certain extent, and gives a plate covered with very fine resinous grain. This copper plate is then coated with sensitized gelatine in practically the same manner as a photographic dry plate is made.

A regular toned negative, of the same nature as would be required to make a good print on photographic paper, is made, and from this a positive of the size called for in the final photogravure print. This positive is of the same nature which we see in a window transparency or latern slide. The sensitized grained copper plate is then placed in contact with the positive in a printing frame and placed in the proper light, exactly as if we were making a photographic print on paper.

The action of the light on the sensitized grain on the copper hardens it in different degrees, according to the different tones in the positive. The highlights or transparent parts of the positive allow the strongest action of light, which hardens the particles of grain protecting these parts of the plate to the greatest extent, so that when we come to etch the plate the acid has very little chance, or none at all, to disturb the surface of the copper. The shadows being acted upon less, or not at all, leaves the copper in different degrees of protection, and gives the acid a chance to bite into copper to a greater or less extent, as called for in different values of shadows or blacks in the subject. We must bear in mind all the time that this operation is exactly opposite from that which we wish to obtain in a half-tone or relief plate, as we wish the lights to be solid metal and the darks to be depressions in the metal, hence the use of a positive instead of a negative. When we get a proper print on the copper and have washed away the superfluous gelatine, we have a plate which is protected in varying degrees in accordance with the tones of the subject. 30 cm. Page no. [2]

[3] John Andrew & Son. Next step is to protect all the surface of the copper outside the boundaries of the picture, as this must be perfectly polished copper. Boston : John Andrew & Son, [1915?] [Text] The next step is to protect all the surface of the copper outside the boundaries of the picture, as this must be perfectly polished copper. This is painted over with an asphaltum varnish, as well as the back of the plate, and we are ready to etch. The etching is done with perchloride of iron solution as an acid, and the result is then dependent on the skill and judgment of etcher.

The plate is then thoroughly cleaned, and we have in the darks of the picture a roughness of copper, but extremely fine in texture, and this roughness or grain smoothing itself out through the different tones until, when we get to where we wish white paper, we have no grain at all, but smooth, polished copper. Any defects are corrected, or minor changes are now brought about, in the same manner that a steel engraver or etcher would manipulate a steel or copper plate, and we are ready for a proof. The plate is put on the bed of the press, which is flat, and kept slightly heated, and the ink applied by a hand roller in quantity sufficient to fill all the interstices of the grain in the plate, and the excess wiped away with cloth, and afterward with the bare hand.

The paper, which can be of almost any nature, except coated or highly sized, is dampened and laid on the plate. The bed is then run under a roller covered with a woolen blanket, with considerable pressure, which squeezes the paper into the filled-in grain, and the result is a print which in depth of shadow and beautiful gradation, and softness of tone, cannot be equaled by any other photographic reproductive process. As soon as this proof is considered approved, and we are ready to print an edition, the plate is electro-plated with a very thin coating of steel which in no way affects the quality of the tones, but protects the delicate grain which would soon wear away, as the copper itself is too soft to stand the continued wiping and general wear of printing. Photogravure has been used to the greatest extent for high-class book illustration and the reproduction of paintings for framed pictures.

 

It has come into use recently, however, along commercial lines where the edition has not been too large, and many exquisite booklets, covers, menus, announcements, etc., have been produced. These have the quality and value of steel engravings, but are much more artistic and yet not so prohibitive in regard to expense as the latter. The impression of quality is heightened when the photogravure is printed on one of the many imported hand-made papers from Japan, Italy, France, Spain and England. 30 cm. Page no. [3]

 See also: https://graphicarts.princeton.edu/2018/06/05/who-printed-the-north-america-indian/

The first printing of a Mozart cantata commissioned by Franz Heinrich Ziegenhagen

First of several music plates

This is the first printed appearance of Die ihr des unermeßlichen Weltalls (also called Eine kleine deutsche Kantate; Little German Cantata) (K619) written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) in 1791, the same year as he wrote The Magic Flute and also the year of his death. The setting here is for soprano and piano but later composers have arranged the work for orchestra as well as string quartets.

The libretto by Franz Heinrich Ziegenhagen (1753–1806), who commissioned the work from his fellow mason, covers the relationship of the progressive and masonic ideal to the commandment of love as outlined in Ziegenhagen’s book Lehre vom richtigen Verhältniss zu den Schöpfungswerken.

Franz Heinrich Ziegenhagen (1753-1806), Lehre vom richtigen Verhältniss zu den Schöpfungswerken und die durch öffentlicche Einführung derselben allein zu bewürkende allgemeine Menschenbeglückung [=The Teaching of the Right Relationship to the Works of Creation and the General Happiness That Can Only Be Admirable by Public Introduction of Them]. Herausgegeben von F. H. Ziegenhagen… einer Musik von W.A. Mozart (Hamburg: Herausgeber, 1792). Prints by Daniel Niklaus Chodowiecki (1726-1801). Graphic Arts Collection 2019- in process

Ziegenhagen was a German industrialist, freemason and philanthropist who spent his entire fortune trying to realize his utopian ideals in actual communities.

The utopian minded philanthropist Franz Heinrich Ziegenhagen appeared just as “revolutionary” in Hamburg in 1792. …. Ziegenhagen’s utopian concept of a social order of “Liberté, égalité et fraternité” rested upon Rousseauian principles, and he … conceived of agrarian colonies where everything is built upon communal property and communal work. Here the political principle that every member of the community is electable would rule, that is to say that there would be an absolute democracy. Indeed, Ziegenhagen dared even to send an abbreviated version of his essay to the National Convention in Paris in the fall of 1792 with the demand to implement his suggestions as soon as possible in France. However, neither the French National Convention nor the few German princes and universities to whom he sent this book reacted to his appeal. –Peter Uwe Hohendahl, Patriotism, Cosmopolitanism, and National Culture: Public Culture in Hamburg 1700-1933 (Rodopi, 2003)

At the heart of the community was Ziegenhagen’s passion for educational reform: An “Erziehungs-kommune,” or educational commune, was to be set up where all children would be educated together without distinction based on birth, wealth or any other kind of status. An emphasis was also to be placed on activities, with practical lessons taught alongside the theoretical.

Ziegenhagen actually founded an agricultural community along these lines in Billwerder, near Hamburg but failed to gain the wider support needed for his initiative to succeed. Forced to sell the property in 1802, Ziegenhagen retired to his home town of Elsass where he committed suicide in 1806.

The etched plates are by Daniel Niklaus Chodowiecki (1726-1801), born in Poland but who spent most of his life in Berlin and became the director of the Berlin Academy of Art. His largest folding plate depicts the realization of Ziegenhagen’s utopian project, featuring [above] the author on horseback surveying the busy scene of the community in action. The frontispiece [top] shows a lecture hall with its tall walls filled with illustrations of natural history and students packed into the benches. Six other etchings depict classroom scenes, including a scene with older children in a laboratory, a ‘Kunst-Kammer’ in the background, being taught how to dissect a pig.


 …Love me in my works,
Love order, proportion, harmony!
Love yourselves and your brothers!
Strength and beauty shall be your ornament
And clarity of understanding your nobility.
Hold out the brotherly hand of everlasting friendship;
It was delusion, not truth, that withheld it for so long.

Winsor & Newton watercolor paintbox

Gambose; raw sienna; yellow ocher; chro.yel.pale; chro.yel.deep; burnt sienna // vermilion; light red; chimson lake; purple lake; new blue; prussian blue // emerald green; hooker’s grn.2; brown pink; neutral tint; burnt umber; lamp black

What is Gambose? It’s a bright mustard yellow, with a great story attached to it: https://www.theawl.com/2017/11/gamboge-a-sunny-yellow-with-a-deadly-past/

Read the story of Hooker’s Green: https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2018/10/03/hookers-green-the-color-of-apple-trees-and-envy/

What is a Lake color? A lake pigment is an insoluble material that colors by dispersion. Lakes are basically a pigment which has been manufactured from a dye by precipitating a soluble dye with a metallic salt. The resulting pigment is called a lake pigment. These are often used to color food.

What is New Blue? This is Ultramarine blue, also sold as French blue, Gmelin’s blue (A synthetic ultramarine blue first manufactured by Christian Gmelin in Germany in 1828), Royal blue and New blue. Different brand-names offer different strengths, degree of grinding, and consequently, differences in tinting power.


If you find the hidden pin and remove it, a secret bottom drawer can be opened and used to hold all your personal color recipes.

Max Ernst and the Gallant Sheep



Max Ernst (1891-1976) and Benjamin Péret (1899-1959), La brebis galante [The Gallant Sheep] (Paris: Editions premières, 1949). Graphic Arts GAX 2019- in process.
***Note this was a collaboration, not illustrations as after thought.***

Cet ouvrage, le premier de la collection GBMZ … a été achevé d’imprimer … le douze novembre mil neuf cent quarante-neuf … Il a été tiré trois cent seize exemplaires … Un exemplaire unique sur vieux Japon … Quinze exemplaires sur Vélin Montval … Trois cents exemplaires sur Grand Vélin d’Arches, numéroté de 1 à 300 et comportant trois eaux-fortes originales. Il a été tiré en outre cinq exemplaires nominatifs sur Vélin Montval …”–Page [2]. =This work, the first in the GBMZ collection … was finished printing … on November 12, 1949 … 316 copies were printed … A single copy on old Japan … 15 copies on Vélin Montval … 300 copies on Grand Vélin d’Arches, numbered from 1 to 300 and containing 3 original etchings. Five nominative copies were also printed on Vélin Montval … “–Page 2.

Beyond the three ‘original’ etchings, 18 of the relief line block illustrations are pochoir colored in striking yellows, greens, reds, oranges, and blues.

M.E. Warlick, Max Ernst and Alchemy: A Magician in Search of Myth (University of Texas Press,  2013)

Sadness is a Bird


The Fine Press Book Association co-sponsors two book fairs: the Oxford Fine Press Book Fair and the Manhattan Fine Press Book Fair. The Oxford event is biennial and at the March 2018 fair, the Judges’ Choice Awards went to three fine press editions.

One of the winners was Elies Plana, Barcelona, for an edition of the poem Neijmantototsintle by Ateri Miyawatl, with linocuts by Francisco Villa, editioned and printed by Plana. Originally written in Nahuatl in 2016, the poem has been translated into Catalan and English.

https://fpba.com/2018/03/prize-winners-announced-at-fpba-oxford-book-fair/

The Nahua actress/poet Ateri Miyawatl was born in Acatlán, Chilapa, Guerrro and graduated from the Michoacana University of San Nicolás de Hidalgo (UMSNH). Together with Celeste Jaime and Mara Rahab Bautista, she directs Originaria, a project that aims to show women poets who express themselves in native languages.

Here is a rough translation of her biographical statement: Ateri Miyawatl is the name that my parents gave me and with which my community knows me, it is also the name with which I identify. Ateri is a Purépecha word and Miyawatl a Nahuatl word. The day I was born my father gilded his brown back in the sun on the beaches of Jalisco selling hammocks to tourists. My mother decided that she would give birth in the town’s bajareque clinic, where Nahuales and wholesale atlapixques were born. That morning, when I came out of my mother’s body, I slipped from the hands of the apprentice nurse, with my head toward the floor. What happened next, just before hitting me on the ground, I leave to the imagination.

Anna Gatica, is the name with which my parents registered me in the Civil Registry. They have never named me that. As Anna, I studied theater and Cultural Management. My lines of research and creative execution are developed with native peoples, with themes and in peripheral geographies. My actress training is complemented by performance studies, audiovisual media, Cultural Management, Gender Equality and Indigenous Rights. I have collaborated with various artists, non-governmental organizations and civil associations in Mexico, the United States and South America.

See her in this video, discussing Originaria.

 

“De los factores que identifico,” noted Miyawatl, “uno es el poder sobresalir respecto a los compañeros varones, respecto a las compañeras que se dedican a hacer poesía en estas lenguas. …Otro factor importante es la barrera del lenguaje, muchas mujeres llegamos a las escuelas a estudiar y todo se encuentra en español, es como si ustedes llegarán a estudiar su carrera y todo lo encontrarán en italiano, no existe un apoyo para las personas que hablamos otra lengua.”

 

Ateri Miyawatl, Neijmantototsintle = La tristesa és un ocell = Sadness is a bird. Illustrations by Francisco Villa ([Barcelona, Spain] : Elies Plana, 2018. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

…in that Empire

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired the collectors edition of “…In That Empire housed in a sepele wood box in an edition of eight. All sixty-one directional positions are stamped into the top of the lid and each interior compartment is velvet lined with its own cover. Archival, inkjet prints of each turn live comfortably in their respective niches. A vellum reproduction of “On Exactitude in Science” by Borges, with Siegel and Smith’s markings, sits atop each stack of photos. Velvet tabs help ease the photos out for viewing and the bottom of the box is lined with felt for safe display on any surface”.

. . In that Empire is a conversation, an experimental cartography bound by each initial decision. Jorge Luis Borges’ story “On Exactitude in Science” frames the encounter. Both artists’ bodies move in space, simultaneously and an image is snapped at each turn, marking their presence. Each “L” and “R” in order of appearance creates a list of sixty-one positions. The images collapse atop one another, each resting its weight on the other’s back. In this empire, the bodies chart the arbitrariness of turns.

The companion 144-page publication includes sixty-one photos by each artist taken in West Newbury, Massachusetts and Harlem, New York. The reader is invited to access the book through multiple entry points, from front to back, in any order. No matter the beginning, a turn of the page becomes an act of continuing the conversation of experimental cartography established in the making of this book.

 

Cal Siegel & Sable Elyse Smith, … In that Empire (Pacific, 2019). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

Page through the bound volume here: https://www.pacificpacific.pub/products/in-that-empire-1

Monsieur Francois introduces Master Pr***tly to the National Assembly

Johann J. Beecher believed in a substance called phlogiston. When a substance is burned, phlogiston was supposedly added from the air to the flame of the burning object. In some substances, a product is produced. For example, calx of mercury plus phlogiston gives the product of mercury.

Joseph Priestley heated calx of mercury, collected the colorless gas and burned different substances in this colorless gas. Priestley called the gas “dephlogisticated air” but it was actually oxygen. It was Antoine Lavoisier who disproved the Phlogiston Theory. He renamed the “dephlogisticated air” oxygen when he realized that the oxygen was the part of air that combines with substances as they burn. Because of Lavoisier’s work, Lavoisier is now called the “Father of Modern Chemistry”.–http://www.columbia.edu/itc/chemistry/chem-c2507/navbar/chemhist.html

James Sayers (1748-1823), Monsieur Francois introduces Master Pr…tly to the National Assembly, June 18, 1792. Etching. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process.

In July 1791, while living in Birmingham, Dr Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) and his friends arranged to have a celebratory dinner on the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille. British rioters gathered outside the hotel and attacked attendees as they left. Priestley and his wife escaped but their home was burned down and their possession destroyed. The Priestleys eventually settled in Hackney, where he gave a series of lectures on history and natural philosophy. Read more: http://www.bl.uk/learning/histcitizen/21cc/utopia/methods1/priestley1/priestley.html

 

Multiple British caricatures were published against Priestley, making life in England became more and more difficult. On June 8, 1792, his son William was presented to the French Assembly and granted letters of naturalization. Dr. Priestley was granted French citizenship in August and in September, elected to the French National Convention although he declined the position. Ultimately, he and his family left England for the United States.

Sayers’s print is set inside the hall of the French National Assembly, whose members are depicted with animal heads. On the top left Nicolas Louis François de Neufchâteau (1750-1828) pulls the strings attached to William Priestley as he is presented to the Assembly. Young Priestley holds an electrical rod to shock the Assembly members sending sparks into a jar inscribed “Phlogiston from Hackney College.”

For more about Priestley and dephlogisticated air, see: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/whatischemistry/landmarks/josephpriestleyoxygen.html

Visit Priestley House in Northumberland, PA: http://www.josephpriestleyhouse.org/

 

See also James Gillray, A Birmingham toast, as given on the 14th of July, by the Revolution Society, 1791. Dr. Priestley seen standing to give the toast.

The Petersburg Press

[Publications from the Petersburg Press]. London / New York / Milan, 1968–1976. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

The master printers of the Petersburg Press worked with many of the best artists of the 1960s and 1970s, including Patrick Caulfield, Gene Davis, Richard Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Jasper Johns, R. B. Kitaj, Allen Jones, Henry Moore, Ed Moses, Claes Oldenburg, Eduardo Paolozzi, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Dieter Roth, Mark Tobey, William Tucker and John Walker. All of these artists are including in our recently acquired reference binder, with cataloguing and documentation for their projects published by Press.

Was this an in-house index or a collector’s bibliography? We don’t know for sure. Founded in London in 1968, with a New York branch opening in 1972, the core activity of the Press was collaboration with artists to publish limited edition prints and livres d’artistes. The Press was a continuation of the collaborative publishing initiated by Paul Cornwall-Jones on the founding of Editions Alecto (EA) in 1961 as a post-graduate at the architectural schools at Cambridge University.

Housed in blue binder (31 x 23 cm.), this small volume features catalogue entries on 66 leaves, inserted loose into plastic sleeves. The alphabetically-organized entries provide details on the works, including title, date, medium, edition size, dimensions, and sometimes prices, with each work illustrated with an accompanying photograph. The majority of the entries appearing on the letterhead of the Petersburg Press.


Here’s an inventory, alphabetical by name: /Petersburg Press Inventory