Category Archives: Acquisitions

new acquisitions

“O António Maria” followed by “Ponto nos II”

O António Maria, edited and directed by Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (Lisbon). Complete: Vol. 1, No. 1 (June 12, 1879) to Vol. 7, No. 3 (January 21, 1885)
Ponto nos II, edited and directed by Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (Lisbon). Complete: Vol. 1, No. 1 (May 7, 1885) to Vol. 7, No. 293 (February 5, 1891). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

Few artists rise to such stature that an entire museum is created in their honor. Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (1846-1905) is such a talent. The Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro Museum and Library in Lisbon describe him as

“a striking figure of the Portuguese culture of the second half of the 19th century. He was born in Lisbon on Rua da Fé on March 21, 1846 [and] followed the family tradition of a life dedicated to the Arts. An enterprising and multifaceted artist, he has traveled a very personal way, dedicating himself to the graphic arts, plastic arts, ceramics, drawing of objects and decoration, producing a vast work that almost always critically reflects the daily cultural, political and social of the time in that lived.…

Pinheiro was also innovative, developing humorous design and cartoon as an artistic expression. Integrating the circle of intellectuals and artists who defined the Generation of 70 [ also called the Generation of Coimbra]… to show a true portrait of the society of that time. Conscious of the power and strength of the press, he founded several periodicals, using caricature as a vehicle for the defense of his ideals.”

The Graphic Arts Collection has acquired complete runs of two of Pinheiro’s satirical magazines, openly political and focused on changing public opinion against the corruption in the Portuguese government of that period. While extremely popular O António Maria faced opposition from various agencies and in 1884, the government passed new laws, resulting in serious limitations to freedom of the press. Publication of the magazine ended in January 1885.

After several months and a change of title, Pinheiro began once again with Ponto nos II, this time joined by his son, Miguel Gustavo Bordalo Pinheiro. One reviewer notes: “Ponto nos II goes beyond the erosive action of political caricature. In its pages also there is space for the news, the chronicle, literary activity, the success of exploration trips in Africa, the Portuguese representation at the Paris International Fair.”

An additional note comes from the dealer:

From the middle of 1889, colonial policy, within the framework of the conflict of interests between Portugal and England, is the theme that dominates weekly the pages of Ponto nos ii. In the face of the government’s vacillations before the “English arrogance,” the weekly assumes itself as the mouthpiece of national interests and calls everyone to fight. The allusions to republicans and to the Republic also grow. Political tension and popular outrage roar on every page.

On 31 January, the Republican revolt erupts in Porto, a fact the newspaper Pontos nos ii does not hesitate to analyze in the following numbers: “Cowards!” In February of the following year, the same author will present a more sober reading of the events. It is a true republican manifesto that Ponto nos ii welcomes in its pages. The price of such high courage is not unexpected: the newspaper is suspended.

Thanks to Fernando Acosta-Rodríguez, Librarian for Latin American, Iberian, and Latino Studies at Princeton University Library for his help with this acquisition.


The First Capitol of the United States

The New York Magazine; or, Literary Repository for March 1790 (New York: T. and J. Swords, 1790). One engraving included by Cornelius Tiebout (ca.1773-1832) “Perspective View of the Federal Edifice in the City of New York, engraved for the New-York Magazine,” 1790. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

The New-York Magazine began publication in January 1790 and ran until December, 1797, making it one of the longest running eighteenth-century American magazines. The Graphic Arts Collection is fortunate to have acquired a rare issue for March 1790 (Vol.1, No.3).

Each issue included a full page engraving and this particular issue contains a “Perspective View of the Federal Edifice in the City of New York”, also known at that time as the capitol of the United States. During the first two years of George Washington’s presidency, the United States Congress, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, met from March 4, 1789, to March 4, 1791, at Federal Hall in New York City and then, later at Congress Hall in Philadelphia.

New-York Magazine‘s varied content includes the weather report, local marriages and deaths, as well as four pages of “Congressional Affairs,” with reports from Alexander Hamilton and George Washington. Among the topics under discussion were establishing a 24 diplomatic corps, organizing a national militia and considering the request of Yale College that the duties on a lately­ imported “philosophical apparatus” be refunded to the college so as to encourage science.

The magazine listed 469 subscribers at the close of its first volume, George Washington among them and his library at Mount Vernon included at least the first five volumes. Princeton’s issue is signed by John Barron, Broad Street­­, assumed to be the subscriber.

Federal Hall in New York City today.

Tiebout was around eighteen-years-old when he began engraving for the editors Thomas and James Swords, cutting simple copper plates from drawings by Alexander Anderson and others. In 1793 he went to London, where he studied with the printmaker James Heath, returning an expert in stipple engraving. His plate in March 1790 of the New York City Federal Building details the embellishment by Pierre Charles L’Enfant in 1788 and the issue opens with an article describing the building at length. It is assumed that the print was originally not bound in but simply laid into the issue and so, exceedingly rare to find it still included.

De heerlyke beloning en glorieryke zegepraal der deugd




De Heerlyke Beloning en Glorieryke Zegepraal der Deugd : Vertoond in de Verwonderlyke Lot- en Levensgevallen, van een Door het Huwelyk Ongelukkig Geworden Huisvrouw; Die, Na Dat ze Door Haar eige Man Tot Slavinnen Was Verkogt … Eindelyk Door Hem Weder Wierd Opgezogt ... = [The Wonderful Reward and Glorious Triumph of Virtue: Shown in the Astonishing Fate and Life of a Housewife Who Became Unhappy With Her Marriage; [and] After She Had Been Turned Into a Slave By Her Own Husband … Was Finally Returned Again To Him …] (Amsterdam: Steven van Esveldt, boekverkoper in de Kalverstraat, 1758). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process


The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired this rare first edition an anonymously published novel on the virtues of women, illustrated with eight engraved plates by an equally anonymous artist.

The book tells the story of the beautiful young Antonetta, Marquise Alb***, a married noble-woman living in Genoa who gets into trouble when she finds out her husband is sleeping with another woman. Her husband sells her as a slave to the Turks in Algiers and she ends up living in a harem.

When Antonetta finally manages to escape and travel back to Italy, her ship is destroyed during a storm near Tuscany. Thankfully, she is found by a hermit, who takes care of her until she is able to finish her journey back to Genoa. Spoiler:  Antonetta forgives her husband and they live happily ever after.

According to the preface the story is based on true events. The author also promises that it will be both entertaining and educational, a real example for women.

#me too 1758


Internationale situationniste

Guy Debord and Asger Jorn, Mémoires (Paris: Internationale situationniste; [Copenhaguen, Permild & Rosengreen Press], 1959). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process


Printed in 1959, Mémoires (Memories) is the result of the second collaboration between the Danish artist Asger Jorn (1914-1973) and the French artist and theorist Guy Debord (1931-1994). Published by Éditions Situationist International (founded by Debord and Jorn), the book has been reprinted several times given its importance to the movement, first by Jean-Jacques Pauvert aux Belles Lettres in 1993 and then by Éditions Allia in 2004.

Mémoires is perhaps most famous for its cover made of heavy-grade sandpaper. Usually credited to Debord, the sleeve was actually conceived in a conversation between Jorn and the printer, V.O. Permild:

[Jorn] asked me, if I couldn’t find an unconventional material for the book cover. Preferably some sticky asphalt or perhaps glass wool. Kiddingly, he wanted, that by looking at people, you should be able to tell whether or not they had had the book in their hands. He acquiesced by my final suggestion: sandpaper (flint) nr. 2: ‘Fine. Can you imagine the result when the book lies on a blank polished mahogany table, or when it’s inserted or taken out of the bookshelf. It planes shavings off the neighbour’s desert goat. – “Memories on Asger Jorn” by Troels Andersen, quoted online in Christian Nolle, Books of Warfare, The Collaboration between Guy Debord & Asger Jorn from 1957-1959,

Although few people own copies of these rare publications, both the first collaboration Fin de Copenhague and Mémoires are embedded in art historical literature of the period, such as a review in Architectural Review, October 1957, calling Fin de Copenhague a “remarkable piece of improvisation among the techniques of graphic reproduction.” The startling layouts in both volumes “anticipate, by 30 or more years, the typographic and textual fragmentation of Cranbrook, CalArts and Ray Gun magazine, which became a global design phenomenon.”

One of many descriptions of the making of these books, both publishing and performance, recounts:

Having just arrived in Copenhagen, Jorn and Debord rushed into a newsagents, stole a huge amount of magazines and newspapers, and spent a drunken afternoon collaging elements together. The next day they arrived at the printers with 32 collages, which were transferred to lithographic plates. Jorn then sat at the top of a ladder over the zinc plates, dropping cup after cup of Indian ink onto them. The plates were then etched and printed over the black texts and images.


Grand jeu de l’histoire de Paul et Virginie

Grand jeu de l’histoire de Paul et Virginie. Avec figures coloriées (France, after 1863). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a scarce set of playing cards inspired by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre’s popular novel Paul et Virginie, first published in 1788. The cards are housed in a mid-nineteenth-century romantic paneled cloth binding, ornately decorated with gilt and colored detailing. The central panel on the front cover has been cut away to enclose a further colored vignette and title caption from the playing cards.

Rare book dealer and historian Amanda Hall determined that the previous occupant of the binding was “Madame Wolliez’ Souvenirs d’une mère de famille, a collection of educational stories that was first published in 1833 but which continued in print through to the end of the century. This seems most likely to have been a publisher’s binding issued by the booksellers Mame in Tours for their ‘fifth’ edition of 1863. Madame Wolliez’ work has been removed from its binding and is has been replaced by these beautiful playing cards, each separately mounted.”


The date of this collection is hard to judge but might be sometime after 1863, given the binding. OCLC suggests a date of 1815 but the Morgan Library copy has a watermark of the Dambricourt paper mill suggesting that it was created around 1834. “Some of the unsigned etchings can be traced back to the first illustrated edition of 1789, containing plates after Moreau le Jeune and Joseph Vernet.”–Morgan, Corsair online catalog.

It has been suggested that the cards were the work of Jean-Charles Pellerin at Epinal: “Dès 1800, Pellerin inaugure sa longue série d’illustrations du roman [de Bernardin de Saint-Pierre] avec son Grand jeu de l’Histoire de Paul et Virignie” (see François Cheval and Thierry-Nicolas C. Tchakaloff, Souvenirs de Paul et Virginie, 1995, p. 153). Paul Toinet, however, ascribes them to the celebrated artists and engravers of rue Saint Jacques in Paris (see Toinet, Répertoire bibliographique et iconographique de Paul et Virginie, no. 742).

Both the Morgan Library and Yale University record copies of the twenty-five cards printed on a single sheet. There are also copies in the Musée Léon Dierx de Saint Denis de la Réunion and at the Rouen Musée national de l’éducation.


The novel tells the story of Paul and Virginia, who are raised as brother and sister by two widows. Both mothers agree to marry the two children when they are old enough. Virginia’s aunt proposes to send her niece to France. Virginia accepts, though she is heartbroken to leave Paul, whom she loves. Two years later, she sails back to Mauritius Island, but her ship is pushed against reefs by a tempest and Paul fails to save her. Shortly after, he dies from grief.

In The French Revolution: A History, Thomas Carlyle wrote: “[It is a novel in which] there rises melodiously, as it were, the wail of a moribund world: everywhere wholesome Nature in unequal conflict with diseased, perfidious art; cannot escape from it in the lowest hut, in the remotest island of the sea.”


American War Information Unit, 1945

KZ: Bildbericht aus fünf Konzentrationslagern Amerikanisches Kriegsinformationsamt (S.l.: American War Information Unit, no date [1945]). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

One of the earliest reports and the first published by the United States Army on the horrors of Nazi concentration camps, this fragile pamphlet offers eyewitness accounts of American and British troops after the liberation of Buchenwald, Belsen, Gardelegen, Nordhausen and Ohrdruf.

KZ was distributed in Germany by the Psychological Warfare Division of the American War Information Unit (Amerikanischen Kriegsinformationsamt im Auftrag der Oberbefehlshaber der Aliierten Streitkräfte) at the end of the war in order to convey the enormity of the crimes committed under the Nazi regime. Despite wide circulation, relatively few copies remain and so, it is important that one has now entered the Graphic Arts Collection.

These photographs are reported to have played an important role as evidence in the Nuremberg Trials. Note, only a few pages have been posted here due to the horrific content depicted.


Ricketts’s drawings, published and unpublished

[Above] John Byrne Leicester Warren, Baron de Tabley (1835-1895), Poems dramatic and lyrical; with illustrations by C. S. Ricketts (London: E. Mathews and John Lane ; New York : Macmillan and company, 1893). ExC J. Harlin O’Connell Collection 3713.1.1893. “This edition is limited to six hundred copies.”

[Above] Charles Ricketts (1866-1931), Nimrod, 1893. Pen and ink drawing for John Byrne Leicester Warren, Baron de Tabley (1835-1895), Poems dramatic and lyrical; with illustrations by C. S. Ricketts (London: E. Mathews and John Lane ; New York: Macmillan and company, 1893). Graphic Arts Collection GA 2006.02078

[Below] Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), The Sphinx; with decorations by Charles Ricketts (London: E. Mathews and J. Lane, 1894). Rare Books 3989.5.386.11. “Limited for England to 200 copies.”

[Below] Charles Ricketts (1866-1931), The Sphinx, 1916. Pen and colored inks drawing, not included in Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), The Sphinx (London: E. Mathews and J. Lane, 1894). Graphic Arts Collection GA 2006.02079. The genesis of this drawing is not known. There was no proposed 1916 edition of the Wilde book.

Charles Ricketts has been called the quintessence of the nineties. In his life as much as his work, he embodied not merely an “aesthetic” devotion to art and beauty but also many of the fin de siècle’s finest creative energies. …In London, the writers Oscar Wilde, Michael Field, John Gray, Thomas Hardy, W. B. Yeats and Thomas Sturge-Moore were all eager for Ricketts to decorate their books or design stagings for their plays.

Wilde especially was proud of Ricketts’s involvement in his own work: he once called Ricketts “the subtle and fantastic decorator” of his books. In some respects, Ricketts was Wilde’s collaborator or kindred spirit. His sympathies with Wilde were profound. His designs for Wilde’s The Sphinx mark one of the high points, if not the high point, of late-Victorian book design.”

–selection by Nicholas Frankel, Associate Professor of English at Virginia Commonwealth University, editor of Ricketts’s The Sphinx and author of Oscar Wilde’s Decorated Books and Masking The Text: Essays on Literature and Mediation in the 1890s.

Première Imprimerie Royale

L’abbé François-Philippe de Laurens de Reyrac (1734-1781), Hymne au soleil (Paris: de l’Imprimerie royale, 1783). Previously owned by Bernard H. Breslauer. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

Étienne-Alexandre-Jacques Anisson-Duperron (1749-1794) joined his father at the Imprimiere Royal (Royal printing office) in 1783 and succeeded him in 1788. He was especially interested in papermaking and printing methods, and claimed to be the inventor of the ‘one-shot press’. This work ended in 1792, when the Office became the Imprimerie nationale (National Printing Office) and not long after this Anisson-Duperron was arrested on charges of provoking disturbances, finally sentenced to death and executed on April 25, 1794. He is the author of a thesis presented to the Royal Academy of Sciences from March 1783 and published in 1785 under the title “First Memoir on the printing in letters, followed by the description of the new press executed for the service of the King …”. —

In 1783, one of Anisson-Duperron’s first projects at the Imprimiere was to produce this little book as a demonstration of his new press (the invention of which was claimed by Didot l’Aîné). For a text, he chose L’abbé de Reyrac’s Hymne au soleil, written in 1776 and reprinted several time in various formats due to its popularity.

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a copy this first book printed with the new press “à un coup.” It is a superb presentation copy bound in morocco with the royal coat of arms. According to the catalog of the Breslauer collection, “this version of the Royal arms (45 mm high) is not recorded. […] No other book printed by the Imprimerie Royale in a binding with its arms appears to be known”. –From the library of Bernard Breslauer (Bibliotheca bibliographica breslaueriana I, New York, 2005, no. 66: “The recipient of this handsomely bound work of publicity, presumably presented by the director of the Royal Press, is not identified”).

There are two known issues. In the first issue, printed on laid paper, p. [1] (1st count) is blank and the text “Première épreuve …” is printed on the front cover. In the second issue, printed on wove paper, the text “Première épreuve …” is printed on p. [1] (1st count), and substantial portions of the text have been reset. The copy in the Graphic Arts Collection is the second issue, with text “Première épreuve” printed on p. [1].

“Première épreuve d’une nouvelle presse inventée pour le service de l’Imprimerie royale: et approuvée par l’Académie des sciences le 17 mai 1783. Cette presse qui diffère des autres dans presque toutes ses parties, est plus expéditive d’un quart que les presses ordinaires, & rend la main d’œuvre moins pénible: Elle procure aussi aux ouvrages une perfection indépendante du talent des ouvriers.” = First test of a new press invented for the service of the Royal Printing Office: and approved by the Academy of Sciences on May 17, 1783. This press, which differs from the others in almost all its parts, is more expeditious than a quarter ordinary presses, and makes work less painful. It also gives the book a perfection independent of the talent of the workmen.


Thanks in particular to John Logan, Literature Bibliographer, Collection Development, Scholarly Collections and Research Services, for his help in this acquisition.

State of the Union

Werner Pfeiffer, State of the Union: a Snapshot of Our Political and Social Conundrum ([Red Hook, N.Y.] : Pear Whistle Press, 2012). Graphic Arts Collection.

A representation of the flag of the United States divided into 8 rectangular sections, each holding accordion folded reproductions of articles from periodicals on one side, the other containing images of fanciful 19th-century mechanical instruments surrounded by political quotations.



“Werner Pfeiffer was born in 1937 in Stuttgart in the southwestern part of Germany. He studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in his home town. In 1961 he emigrated to the United States. Initially, he was active as a designer and art director on a variety of projects. In this capacity he received many citations and awards from the New York Art Directors Club, the New York Type Directors Club, the New York Society of Illustrators, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts. His design work has been widely published in the international design literature in magazines such as Graphis, Gebrauchsgrafik, Print, Modern Publicity and Art Direction.

In 1969 he was appointed Professor of Art at Pratt Institute in New York. At the same time he assumed the position of director of the Pratt Adlib Press, a publishing venture of the Department of Graphic Art at Pratt.”

Death’s Arrow

The Christian’s Looking-Glass. In four parts. I. Contemplations on the Life of Man; Shewing his Birth, Progress, and Manner of living, his Thirst after Riches, and sudden Decay from that Vain-Glory. Set forth in a plain and easy Stile, for the instruction both of old and young. II. An excellent Poem on Time; fit to be purused by those who spend their precious Time in voluptuous, sinful, and unnecessary Pleasures. III. Sacred Contentment: Or, The best Companion for an afflicted Mind. IV. Rules out of the Golden Tables of Ptolomy [sic]. Printed and sold at the printing office in Aldermary church-yard, Bow Lane, 1780. Graphic Arts Collection, on deposit from Bruce Willsie, Class of 1986.

This simplified woodcut of death with an arrow is a common symbol in western art. Here are a few more examples.

Hieronymus Bosch, Death and the Miser, ca. 1485/1490. Oil on panel. National Gallery of Art


Willem van Swanenburg, after Maarten van Heemskerck, Allegories of the Misuse of Wordly Property, Plate 4, ca. 1609. Engraving. British Museum


Jan van de Velde II, Death with arrow and hourglass, 1633.


Thomas Bewick, Fable of the Old Man and Death, ca. 1789. Illustration to an unidentified publication. Wood engraving. British Museum


Unidentified artist, The Last Drop, 1778. Etching. Published by Matthew Darly.


Wall-painting commemorating Louis, duke of Orléans, in the family chapel at the monastery of Les Célestins, Paris, commissioned in the late fifteenth century and destroyed ca.1779. Antiquarian Gaignières drawing. Bodleian Library, MS Gough-Gaignières 1, fol. 1r.


After Francis Hayman, The Bad Man at the Hour of Death, ca. 1784. Hand-colored mezzotint. Published by Carington Bowles. British Museum


after Joshua Gleadah, Death and the Dancer, 1800s. Aquatint. Wellcome Library, London.