Category Archives: Acquisitions

new acquisitions

National Convention of the Moorish Science Temple of America

This panoramic photograph, approximately 3 feet wide, captured the 400 men, women, and children attending the tenth annual convention of the Moorish Science Temple of America in 1937. Members traveled from Illinois, New York, Wisconsin, Indiana, Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

 

10th Annual National Convention of The Moorish Science Temple of America Incorporated. September 18th, 1937. Prophet Noble Drew Ali founder (Chicago: Photograph taken by Burke & Koretke, 1937). Gelatin silver print. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2021- in process

 

The Moorish Science Temple http://msta1913.org/ was founded and developed by Noble Drew Ali between 1913 and 1925, combining Islamic tenets and elements from other major religious and spiritual traditions to provide inspiration to the African-American communities in the United States. Ali argued that Black people were descended from the Moabites, were thus Moorish, and also “Asiatic,” a term Ali used to describe all people of color to distinguish them from Europeans.

The organization was based in Chicago, where they held the first annual convention in 1928. The convention pictured above in 1937 also took place in Chicago. The closest Temple to Princeton is located in Newark: https://moorishsciencetempleofamerica.org/ . They hold an institutional archive and open one item each month online: https://moorishsciencetempleofamerica.org/archives/

Wikipedia offers an earlier conference, without credit

The Moorish Science Temple of America (a religious corporation) was founded by our Divine Prophet Noble Drew Ali in 1913 A.D. We have consistently demonstrated plans for the betterment of mankind, teaching those things that make our people better citizens. In our missionary work, we encourage those through example that our social, moral and economic condition can be better.We are Moslems who have accepted the religion of our Ancient forefathers (Islamism). Our nationality is Moorish American, and our Divine and National Principles are Love, Truth, Peace, Freedom and Justice. By proclaiming our nationality and divine creed we have met the constitutional standards of law of the United States of America, therefore having and enjoying a political status in our Government. https://moorishsciencetempleofamerica.org/about/

April 16, 2021

 

 

Geddes “Paul” Hyslop’s photography album

Paul Hyslop and Raymond Mortimer

 

Architect Charles Geddes Clarkson Hyslop (1901-1988) and his companion, journalist and critic Raymond Mortimer (1895-1980) lived for most of their 40 year relationship in a restored 18th-century home at 5 Canonbury Place, Islington, London. For business, Hyslop signed his drawings “Geddes Hyslop,” but to his friends he was simply known as Paul.

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired an album owned by Hyslop, including 111 photographs documenting his life from childhood to old age, ending a few years before Mortimer’s death.  Princeton already holds a rich collection of material by Raymond Mortimer C0271, including correspondence, notebooks, photographs and albums. Perhaps the dearth of material concerning Hyslop stems from the fact that they were together for so long, there was no need to correspond on paper. Regardless, this new album will add significantly to the story of their lives, their friends, and their homes.

 

E. S.W. (Eddy Sackville-West), Knole, 1927(?)

 Many photographs were made at Knole, home of the Sackville family, now part of the National Trust: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/knole

“Knole has many strong and significant literary links, starting with Thomas Sackville who bought Knole at the beginning of the 17th century (a well-respected poet, playwright and linguist as well as lawyer and courtier). Thomas arranged the marriage between his grandson (Richard, 3rd Earl of Dorset) to Lady Anne Clifford – it was not to be a happy union, and Lady Anne went on to document her deteriorating relationship with her unfaithful husband and vivid descriptions of life at Knole in her surviving diary.

Charles Sackville (6th Earl of Dorset) patronised many significant literary figures of his day such as Alexander Pope, John Dryden and Matthew Prior. The latter was to prove fertile historical fodder for Knole’s most famous literary link: Orlando (1928) was written by Virginia Woolf about her lover, Vita Sackville-West, and Vita’s love for her childhood home. Her inability to inherit Knole due to the law of primogeniture saw the house passing to her cousin, Eddy Sackville-West, whose novel ‘The Ruin’ is similarly set at a fictional house based on Knole called Vair.”

P.13 Eddy (Sackville-West), Raymond (Mortimer), Clive (Bell)’; Eddy (Sackville­ West) c.1924

 

Both Mortimer and Hyslop maintained a close association with a circle of artists and literary figures known as the “Bloomsbury Group,” and Hyslop’s album includes photographs of Lytton Strachey, Dadie Rylands, Adrian Stokes, Basil Long, Eddy Sackville-West, Tom Lowinsky, Clive Bell, Gerald Haxton, Valerie Taylor, Anna May Wong, John Banting, William Somerset Maugham, William Hayter, General Paget, Roger Senhouse and of course, many of Mortimer.

During World War II Major Hyslop saw service in North Africa, where he headed up the Antiquities Department of British forces in 1944–45. For more information on this, see The Monuments Men Foundation https://www.monumentsmenfoundation.org/hyslop-capt-paul

For more about the Mortimer collection read Maria DiBattista, “Mortimer and Company: Virginia Woolf, Nancy Mitford, and Other Moderns in the Raymond Mortimer Collection,” The Princeton University Library Chronicle 67, no. 1 (Autumn 2005): 60-67.

Joy and Geddes and Doctor’s Children c.1908

 

‘1917’ (Paul Hyslop with his parents)

 

 

Paul Hyslop and Raymond Mortimer 1970

 

Note, this album will require extensive conservation before it can be digitized.

 

Albert M. Cohn’s album of Cruikshank sketches

George Cruikshank (1792-1878 ), Album of Original Drawings, Sketches and Manuscript. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2021 – in process. Provenance: Albert M. Cohn. Acquired in honor of Henry Martin, Class of 1948

 


First deposited at the Princeton University Library in 1913, the Richard W. Meirs, Class of 1888, Collection of George Cruikshank, comprises one of the finest Cruikshank collections in the United States. About 1000 volumes, many separate prints, as well as drawings, finished oil paintings, oil sketches, “panorama” prints on rollers, etched plates, broadsides, bound manuscripts, autograph letters, and Cruikshank correspondence can be found in Princeton stacks.

Meirs used the Cruikshank bibliography prepared by Albert M. Cohn in his collecting and the library did the same in organizing the collection in our vaults. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, we have continued to expand on the Meirs gift, most recently with a unique scrapbook owned by Cohn containing Cruikshank sketches, letters, and other miscellany. This acquisition is made in honor of the artist and friend of this collection in particular, Henry Martin, Class of 1948.

 

This substantial album contains original sketches and manuscripts from the Cohn’s collection and confirms that Cruikshank drew or wrote on anything, here using letters, lists, envelopes and assorted ephemera. Of particular interest is an invoice from Draper Charles Coleing, Commercial House, an invitation from the Council of the Photographic Society and on a printed letter from the British Institution for Promoting The Fine Arts in the United Kingdom.

There is a letter to English artist Andrew William Delamotte, 1775-1863, in which Cruikshank notes his prolific output: “I cannot give any idea of the number of drawings and etchings I have made – somewhere about a cart load – of rubbish with a few tolerable specimens here & there.” Among the sketches are many curious notes, such as the comment on a sketch of a fisherman coming home: “I wonder why the fish don’t bite, if they were as hungry as I am they would bite fast enough.”

 


Additional information of Cruikshank at Princeton (compiled by Steve Ferguson):

A list of Library holdings as of 1920 appears in the Princeton University Classed List, (Special Collections) vol. 6 (Princeton, 1920) pp. 3565-3583 [(ExB) 0639.7373.5], published after the major deposit of Cruikshank material by Mr. Meirs. A large portion of the collection is found at http://catalog.princeton.edu

The Cohn Cruikshank bibliography (covering illustrated books and separate prints) has been checked (recording call numbers) for the Library’s holdings. For particulars refer to: Albert M. Cohn. George Cruikshank, a catalogue raisonné of the work executed during the years 1806-1877. (London, 1924) [(GARF) NC1479.C9 C72q, copy 2)

An important article about how and why Americans collected Cruikshankiana was published in 1916 by Arthur Bartlett Maurice, Class of 1894. See A. B. Maurice, “Cruikshank in America”, in The Bookman November 1916.  Maurice was editor of The Bookman from 1899 to 1916. This article has many particulars about the Meirs collection.


See also: Howard S. Leach “Cruikshank’s Illustrations of Shakespeare in the Meirs Collection, Princeton University Library” in the Princeton Alumni Weekly (13 December 1916, p 259-262). An editorial note on the same page as this article states “Alumni visiting Princeton may spend a very entertaining and profitable afternoon in looking over this collection, which is in the exhibition room of the Library.”

Also see: F.J. Mather “Rowandson and Cruikshank” in the Princeton Alumni Weekly (4 March 1932); Frank Jewett Mather, “A Statistical Survey of the Meirs Cruikshank Collection” in the Princeton University Library Chronicle IV, 2-3 (February-April, 1943) pp. 50-52; E.D.H. Johnson. George Cruikshank: the Collection at Princeton (Princeton, 1973) [(Cruik) 747] which is the offprint of: E.D.H. Johnson, “The George Cruikshank Collection at Princeton” in Princeton University Library Chronicle XXXV, 1 (Autumn and Winter, 1973-74) pp. 1-33.

 

Buy the Book Painted or Unpainted


If you are on the West Coast, Hauser & Wirth gallery is now open with an exhibition of books by Richard Jackson. https://www.hauserwirth.com/hauser-wirth-exhibitions/31718-richard-jacksonworks-with-books?modal=media-player&mediaType=film&mediaId=31739. The gallery text notes: “Beginning in the early 1970s, lifelong Californian Richard Jackson’s Wall Paintings, Stacks, and Room-themed installations gave rise to a series of landmark innovations in painting, sculpture, performance, installation, and the relations between them. Jackson’s interest in the larger possibilities of artmaking and how it can be done extends to books, as well.”

In 2020, a monograph on Jackson’s life and work was published by Hauser & Wirth, written by John C. Welchman and Dagny Janss Corcoran, which can be purchased from various art book stores. Or you could purchase a painted copy like the one presented in this film “Painted Monograph.” Princeton University Library owns an unpainted copy.

Produced by Dagny Corcoran. Directed by Derek Kinzel. Edited by Zack Campbell.

“On the occasion of ‘Richard Jackson: Works With Books,’ Dagny Corcoran produced a film of Richard Jackson creating a new artwork for the presentation. In ‘Painted Monograph,’ Jackson painted all 480 pages of ‘Richard Jackson,’ the monograph authored by John C. Welchman and with a chronology by Corcoran, released by Hauser & Wirth Publishers in 2020. During the creation of this work, which is itself related an idea Jackson initially conceived in 1977—‘Paint every page of each book, / while still wet stack the books filling a room, / wall to wall, floor to ceiling’—Jackson discusses with Corcoran his philosophies on art, life, and book-making as they relate to the books and printed matter on display.”

 

 

John C. Welchman, Richard Jackson ([Zürich]: Hauser & Wirth Publishers, [2020]). Marquand Library use only N6537.J313 W45 2020. Unpainted copy.

 

Strödda handteckningar

Ludwig Fehr after drawings by Pehr Nordqvist (1771–1805), Strödda handteckningar … Efter originalernacopierade och utgifne i stentryck … [Scattered drawings…after the originals, copied and published in lithography] (Gothenburg: Ludwig Fehr, 1822). 48 lithographs. Graphic Arts Collection GA2021- in process

This rare book of Swedish caricatures lithographed by Ludwig Fehr revived the popular art of Pehr Nordqvist, who died at the young age of 34. Fehr might have chosen these simple line drawings as a way to introduce his newly established lithographic press in Gothenburg. He and his son had already established lithographic printing in Copenhagen and Stockholm, and would soon do the same in Oslo. This volume is one of the only surviving documents from their Gothenburg venture.

According to Norsk Biografisk Leksikon

“In 1816, Fehr was called to Copenhagen to work in a lithographic workshop that had been started by Carl Lose and Heinrich Wenzler a few years earlier. But already the following year he left Copenhagen and went to Stockholm. Together with his son Gottlieb Louis Fehr (1800–55) and printer Johan C. Müller, he applied for permission to live and work in Sweden. The application was granted, and in the spring of 1818, the printing house Fehr & Müller was established. However, the company had difficulties with its operations and in 1819 Fehr withdrew from the business. In the following years, he had Copenhagen as his main base, interrupted by some stays in Germany and Sweden.

…L. Fehr & Søn quickly established its business in Christiania. As early as November 1822, they announced their first print, Professor Hansteen’s Portrait in Steentryck. Portraits of contemporary famous men also continued to be part of their product range. This also gave Fehr the opportunity to use his skills as a portraitist. The company could also offer lithographed landscape photos and flower photos. Some of these were produced as pre-prints for use by Fehr’s drawing and painting students.”

Anyone with Swedish willing to translate the joke?




Anatomy for Painters

Gilles Demarteau (1722-1776) after Charles Monnet (1732-1809), Etudes d’anatomie a l’usage des peintres [= Anatomical studies for Painters] ([Paris]: Rue de la Pelterie, à la cloche, 177_?). 42 leaves of crayon manner etchings and engravings, printed in sanguine ink. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2021- in process

 

 

During the 18th century, soft chalk or crayon drawings came into vogue, not as studies for paintings but as final works in themselves. Gilles Demarteau was one of several master printers credited with inventing a process to translate these drawings into etchings, in order to sell multiple copies and promote the artist’s work. The process is called crayon manner etching and to further replicate the drawings, the copper plates were printed using colored inks, especially sanguine or red. Americans will sometimes use the French words, ‘en sanguine’, to describe these prints but it simply means printed with rose colored ink.

 

After a rich and venerated career as a painter and illustrator, Charles Monnet spent his last years as a drawing master in Saint-Cyr. For his students, he made a series of delicate anatomical studies, completed in red crayon and reproduced inexpensively by Demarteau in the new crayon manner, so that each student could own a study copy.

Leaf 2: “Cette suite est divisée en sept cahiers pour faciliter aux jeunes gens les moyens de l’acquerir; et se vend à Paris ches Demarteau, graveur et pensionnaire du roi, rue de la Pelterie à la Cloche”= “This suite is divided into seven fascicles to make it easier for young people to acquire it; and is sold in Paris by Mr Demarteau, engraver and scholar of the king, rue de la Pelterie, at the sign of the bell.”

 
It is curious that so many plates were printed crooked on the paper but perhaps what is a result of the inexpensiveness of the project or the youthful indifference of its audience. Regardless, the book is a welcome addition to the Graphic Arts Collection.

See more: Duval & Cuyer. Anatomie plastique, p. 214-216; Choulant, History and bibliography of anatomic illustration, p. 352; for variant imprint, cf. Wellcome Catalogue of Printed Books. IV, p. 155.

A Daguerreotype Portrait of Lucretia Mott

After Samuel Broadbent, Lucretia Mott, circa 1849. Quarter plate daguerreotype. Purchased thanks to funds from the Manuscript Collection and the Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2021- in process

An abolitionist, Quaker, and fierce advocate for women’s rights, Lucretia (Lucy) Coffin Mott (1793-1880) believed that women and men should be treated equally and spent her adult life fighting for these causes. In 1833 she was among the women who established the Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society and served as a delegate to the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London. Although she was a powerful speaker, Mott was surprised to find she was not allowed to participate. Together with Elizabeth Cady Stanton and others, they organized the First Woman’s Rights Convention in 1848. Her address Discourse on Woman was delivered at the assembly buildings in Philadelphia on December 17, 1849 and published by T.B. Peterson in 1850 (Miriam Y. Holden Collection HQ1423 .M9). These are only a few of her many accomplishments, which continued until her death in 1880.

Notice the glare on the left side of this portrait. This might indicate that the daguerreotype now at Princeton is a copy daguerreotype, the shine a result of the reflective copperplate being rephotographed. If this is true, it tells us a great deal about the celebrity and admiration for Mott at the time, as well as the collecting habits that warranted additional portraits. See a few of her many portraits below.

We teach the daguerreotype as a ‘one-of-a-kind’ but there may have been an active business for daguerreotype reproductions. While the earlier daguerreotype with this image has not been located yet, we will list the portrait as ‘after Samuel Broadbent.’ The case has not been opened at Princeton (it just arrived) but the dealer notes “The hallmark, a hexamerous figure 40 was usually seen in the mid-to-late 1840s; also use of wax on the reverse copper side of the plate, as seen here, was generally ended by the advent of the 1850s. The edges of the original double elliptical mat that was used to frame the portrait can be seen on the naked plate.”

Samuel Broadbent (1810-1880), Lucretia Mott, ca. 1855. Quarter plate daguerreotype. Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Even without this mark, Samuel Broadbent Jr. (1810-1880/01) is a good guess given his other portraits and similar painted backdrops. A different daguerreotype portrait of Mott was made by Broadbent around 1855 [above] and a CDV published by Broadbent and Phillips (Henry C. Phillips) around 1865. Sarah Weatherwax has given us a record of his studios:

Working primarily as a portrait photographer for almost four decades, Broadbent entered into a number of different partnerships, including with female daguerreotypist Sally [Sarah] Garrett Hewes, Henry C. Phillips, William Curtis Taylor, and fellow painter Frederick A. Wenderoth. He worked in a variety of photographic mediums and produced images utilizing a number of different processes. His daguerreotypes frequently employed a painted landscape background or centered the sitter within a window frame adorned with large leafy vines along one side. In addition to daguerreotypes, the Broadbent studio also produced ambrotypes and tintypes and successfully made the transition to paper photography. After Samuel Broadbent’s death in 1880, two of his sons continued his photography business until 1905. A Broadbent photography studio remained in Philadelphia until 1920.”–Sarah J. Weatherwax, Curator of Prints and Photographs, The Library Company of Philadelphia, 2013.

William Henry Furness (1802-1896), Lucretia Mott, 1858. Oil on canvas. Swarthmore College Friends Historical Library

Reproduction of a daguerreotype portrait of Lucretia and James Mott sitting together, original photograph by William Langenheim, 1842. Location of original unknown.

Marcus Aurelius Root, Lucretia Coffin Mott, 1851. Half-plate daguerreotype. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

 

La Plus Forte Femme Porteur. Excentrics, Phenomenals, et Equilibrists.

 

A new archive of 96 advertising postcards has come to the Graphic Arts Collection, primarily featuring women performing acts of strength and balance. These European cards are meant for promotion and communication but few have actually been mailed. They date from the early twentieth century, most humorous, only a few with politically incorrect images.

Several are family acts or husband and wife combos. The performers are seen lifting a variety of animals, objects, and people. Most cards printed in France, Italy, or Spain as collotype or off-set, although there are a few photographic cards.

 

Here is just a tiny selection:

“Dick Carter” Detective Humoriste. [French]. Paris: Amax. Composite portrait photo of Carter in character and out, with various hand-cuffs (apparently an escape-art routine).

3 Arizona’s Latest Novelties. 2 Ladies 1 Gent Juggling. Russian Dancing While Juggling Unique Tricks. [French].

3 Arizona’s Latest Novelties. Juggling, with four while turning single & double, twists… 2 Ladies, I Gentleman. Russian, Dancing, Whole, Juggling.

3 Sandarows. Luft-Act. [German?] Illus by J.S. Brandoly of trio on a stage as well as various aerial routines depicted;

Aidas et Alex, Acrobates Olympiques. [Italy]. Large card featuring poster of the two—with Adas holding Alex aloft. With message on verso (1913) to a theatre in St. Etienne to see if there are any openings in the program there for the pair (then working in Naples).

Alfredo Chimenti. Camposanto de Ierez! Si ella en ti resuscitara… [Firenze: Susini.] Crude illus of Chimenti in uniform, clutching his heart, crying…

Alfredo Chimenti. Io canto le più belle Canzoni Napolitane. [Firenze: Susini.] Crude illus of Alfredo in a checkered sweet, over-sized hands… here promising that he will sing the most beautiful Neapolitan songs.

Anseroul et Cie, Double et Triple Saut Perilleaux/ The Great Anseroul’s, TheWorld’s Greatest Acrobats Introducing Double-and Treble Somersaults. 2 Ladies/ 4 Gentlemen. [Germany]. Illustrated postcard, send from the Troupe to someone in France.

August Arlys, Jockey-Gymnaste. [France?] Postcard featuring large half-tone of Monseiur Arlys dressed as a jockey, and standing under a giant horseshoe.

Baby Wilfrid, La Plus Forte Femme Porteur. Excentrics, Phenomenals, Equilibrists. [French]. Illus.
Bella Lygie et Carlys. Original. [French]

 

C.E. Brock’s illustrations for Austen’s Persuasion

C.E. Brock (1870-1938), “Politely Drew Back and Stopped to Give Them Way” watercolor, signed & dated. Provenance: Chris Beetles. Exhibited at The British Art of Illustrations 1870-2010.

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired two watercolors by C.E. (Charles Edmund) Brock (1870-1938), illustrations to Jane Austen’s Persuasion, her last novel, originally published in 1816. A complete history/bibliography of Charles and brother Henry Brock’s illustrations for the Austen novels has been written by Cinthia Garcia Soria, “Austen Illustrators Henry and Charles Brock,” and can be read here: http://www.mollands.net/etexts/other/brocks.html

This is a brief exert:

…However, by 1898 a new printing technique that allowed inclusion of illustrations in colour had emerged—lithography, and Dent asked both Charles and Henry to create a new set of illustrations for the six Jane Austen novels.

The brothers agreed to share the task in equal parts: five volumes each, six illustrations per volume, one as frontispiece. Charles was in charge of Sense and Sensibility (volumes 1 and 2), Emma (volumes 7 and 8) and Persuasion (volume 10), while Henry was responsible for Pride and Prejudice (volumes 3 and 4), Mansfield Park (volumes 5 and 6) and Northanger Abbey (volume 9).

Thus the new 10-volume set of Jane Austen’s novels by J.M. Dent with illustrations by C.E. and H.M. Brock appeared in 1898 with great success. These “pen and ink drawings tinted in watercolour” gave a more exact and detailed period representation than ever before. It is classified by Gilson as E 90 and as he clearly notes, each volume included a frontispiece and five inserted plates, all in colour. They are bound in a now green-greyish gilt cloth and the covers presents a girl in Regency attire.

…The American reproduction of the 1898 illustrations took eight years to appear. In 1906, they were issued in New York by Frank S. Holby, also in ten volumes—since the publisher used the same text setting by Dent—but with an introduction by William Lyon instead of R. Brimley Johnson. This edition is also known as “The Old Manor House Edition” and Gilson catalogues it as E 106.

 

C.E. Brock (1870-1938), “Lady Dalrymple & Miss Carteret Escorted by Mr Elliot & Colonel Wallis” watercolor, signed & dated. Inscribed with publication details below mount. Provenance: Chris Beetles. Exhibited at The British Art of Illustrations 1870-2010.


 

 

Bibliography

Carroll, Laura and John Wiltshire (2006). “Jane Austen Illustrated” in Johnson, Claudia and Laura Tuite (eds.), A Companion to Jane Austen (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture, 56). Wiley-Blackwell, Singapore.

Gilson, David (1997). A Bibliography of Jane Austen. New Introduction and Corrections by the author. Delaware : Oak Knoll Press.

Gilson, David (2005). “Later publishing history, with illustrations” at Todd, Janet (ed.). Jane Austen in Context. New York : Cambridge University Press.

Kelly, C.M (1975). The Brocks: A Family of Cambridge Artists and Illustrators. London & Edinburgh: Charles Skilton Ltd.

Parker, Keiko (1989). “Illustrating Jane Austen” in Persuasions, no. 11. December, 1989. USA. JASNA. Available on-line at: http://www.jasna.org/persuasions/printed/number11/parker.htm

Rogerson, Ian. Entry for the “Brock family” in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Southam, Brian (2006). “Texts and Editions” in Johnson, Claudia and Laura Tuite (eds.), A Companion to Jane Austen (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture, 56). Wiley-Blackwell, Singapore.

 

 

Hedi Bak’s Song of Songs


Hedi Bak (born Germany, active United States and Africa, 1927-2010), The Song of Songs which is Solomon’s (Chicago: [Printed and Published by Studio 22 Inc.], 1969. 30 woodcuts. Issued in portfolio. “Thirty original woodcuts by Hedi Bak. 100 copies … numbered and signed 1 to 100 …”. One of 10 artist proof copies on Kumoi paper, a soft Japanese paper which takes fine impressions. (The edition of 100 copies was printed on Rives BFK.) The quotation is from the Holy Scriptures, as used with the permission of the Jewish Publication Society of America. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2021- in process

With little else to document of life and work of Hedi Bak, here are a few paragraphs from the Bak Art Legacy Project, a virtual museum to present the works of Bronislaw and Hedi Bak.

“Hedi Bak was a prolific printmaker, painter and educator. While working as a conservator at the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, Germany, she was tasked with printing the first edition of prints from the newly rediscovered illustration blocks of the Luther Bible. Bruno and Hedi’s lives intersected World War II, immigrant life of artists in America – the south and the midwest and in Hedi’s case even Africa.”

“The origins of the project began in 1984, shortly after Hedi Bak suffered a massive stroke and lost her ability to walk. It was only a few years since Bronislaw died unexpectedly from a heart attack, and she was in danger of losing her home and studios right off the campus of Georgia Southern in Statesboro Georgia. With hundreds of works of art in danger, a committee was formed led by many faculty members, friends and neighbors. Clemens Bak, the son of the artists was elected secretary and represented the family. An agreement was struck with the College, to move the work into temporary storage on campus. The Library at Georgia Southern offered to keep Bronislaw’s papers and also ended up with a considerable collection of prints and several paintings. The rest was moved to Atlanta, where Hedi and her sons and their families settled.”

“In the 1960’s [Bak] managed Studio 22 and produced a volume of prints; both her own and in collaboration with Bronislaw. Later, when Bronislaw’s health gave out, the couple moved to Europe where she was employed, doing preservation work at the Gutenburg Museum in Mainz, Germany. In 1972 they returned to America and established studios in Statesboro, Georgia. Hedi continued to teach until 1980. In 1982 the year after her husband died, Hedi suffered a serious stroke while undergoing surgery. Told that she would never walk again, she struggled to regain her life. The next year her youngest son, Pieter died in a car crash.”

“In 1990, Hedi married another very talented artist, Charles Counts, a renowned potter, painter and poet from Tennessee. Charles had been teaching and living in Nigeria for many years. He took his wife back to Maiduguri in Northern Nigeria where he encouraged her to take up writing as well as her art, resulting in two delightful books, many stories and prints from her time in Africa. She spent many of her happiest years of her life with Charles, until he died unexpectedly in 2000.”

 

 


This is a biographical video about Bak’s husband Bronislaw.

A biography of her childhood: Hedi Bak, Mazel ([Place of publication not identified] : Rosedog Press, 2005).

Found in The Seed 4, Issue 4 (08-15-1969):