Category Archives: photographs

photographs

Lake of Darkness


Karen Fitzgerald, Lake of Darkness: Twelve Photogravure Etchings with Five Poems by Czeslaw Milosz ([New York]: Karen Fitzgerald, 1996). Copy 10 of 12. Gift of the Kohler Foundation. Graphic Arts Collection 2020- in process

Abstract:, “Lake of Darkness was created as a response to Czeslaw Milosz’s poetry and what it means to be in the earth, to be embedded within the landscape. The structure of Milosz’s poetry has a deep resonance for me. He evokes the individual, specific, and granular experience of being of the earth. His work also connects historical aspects of this sense with the physical experience of consciousness. When he labels the earth a ‘lake of darkness’ for creatures who are not winged—the ones that can lift themselves out and above—he offers a landscape that has meaning for all of us. Milosz’s poetry offers a transformational language that I have brought into visual form. The natural world beckons to all of us if we slow down, listen, look, recall. The details emerge slowly and delicately, like the smell of linen drying on a clothesline. This project is a way of bringing that hyperawareness forward as a kind of re-knowing. The world is, after all, a Lake of Light. The darkness serves to make the light more defined, even more exceptional.”–Artist’s statement (https://fitzgeraldart.com/lakeofdarkness/)

“12 photogravure etchings printed by the artist on Somerset textured white, 300 grams, in an edition of 12 impressions plus 3 artist’s proofs. Plates by Lothar Osterberg, New York. Type was set in Centaur printed letterpress son Somerset textured white, 300 grams, by Leslie Miller at The Grenfell Press, New York. Tray case was made by Claudia Cohen, bookbinder, Easthampton, Massachusetts.”–Colophon.

 

Five poems by Czeslaw Milosz: The bird kingdom ; On prayer ; It was winter ; On angels ; An appeal.

It was winter (a selection)
Winter came as it does in this valley.
After eight dry months rain fell
And the mountains, straw-colored, turned green for a while.
In the canyons where gray laurels
Graft their stony roots to granite,
Streams must have filled the dried-up creek beds.
Ocean winds churned the eucalyptus trees,
And under clouds torn by a crystal of towers
Prickly lights were glowing on the docks.

This is not a place where you sit under a café awning
On a marble piazza, watching the crowd,
Or play the flute at a window over a narrow street
While children’s sandals clatter in the vaulted entryway.

It Has Always Been About Voting

Robert J. Brand, It Has Always Been About Voting: A portfolio of photographs taken in Mississippi during the James Meredith March Against Fear (1966). Signed limited edition. Philadelphia: Hartfield Editions, 2012. Copy 9 of 40. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process.

When the photographer Robert J. Brand was 20-years-old, he participated in the James Meredith March Against Fear (June, 1966). The event was initiated by Meredith, the first black student admitted to the University of Mississippi in 1962, who set out to walk the 220 miles from the northernmost part of Mississippi to Jackson, the state capitol, in order to encourage voter registration. Despite the promise of State Highway Police protection, a white sniper shot and wounded Meredith on the second day of his peaceful walk.

Various Civil Rights organizations, including those of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Stokely Carmichael, rallied to carry on the march for him. Eventually 10,000 people would participate in the march to Jackson, with 4,000 registering to vote in the counties along the way, and a total of 15,000 entering the city on June 26, twenty days after Meredith first set out.

 

“Brand participate in almost the entire 3-week venture, taking photographs along the way. Those present here show a march vastly more diverse than Meredith’s original call to black men exclusively to join him on his march, with men, women, and children of all races present in the crowds. Photographs depict scenes of both celebration and prayer while also displaying the darker side of the event, with numerous shots of groups of white male onlookers, one provocatively dressed in a Confederate flag-themed shirt while his friend gives the marchers the finger.”

Elsa Dorfman

Jorge Luis Borges at the Midget Restaurant, 1970s. (c) Elsa Dorfman

The early portrait photography of Elsa Dorfman (1937-2020) is beautifully represented in the Graphic Arts Collection, thanks to a generous gift from the artist’s husband Harvey Silverglate, Princeton Class of 1964. An extended profile of the photographer can be read here: https://www.harvardmagazine.com/2017/09/elsa-dorfmans-portrait-photography

Her work was featured in the 2010 Princeton University Library exhibition The Author’s Portrait, one of the few living artists included because, well, we couldn’t not include her terrific work. Each of the prints in our collection includes a hand-written caption made by Dorfman with a steel-nib pen dipped in black India ink. She once wrote to us correcting a reproduction of her work that did not include the text, noting it was an integral part of the final work. These photographs come from the early 1970s, when Dorfman was selling gelatin silver prints for $2.50 each from a grocery cart in Harvard Square.

The portraits included in our collection are Audre Lord[e] at Riverside Park; Charles Olson at Kelleher’s; Jorge Luis Borges at the Midget Restaurant; Nikki Giovanni at home; Robert Creeley and Spot at Good Harbor Beach; Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky; Anais Nin at home; Robert Lowell at Arthur Freeman’s apt. Cambridge, Mass.; W. H. Auden at home; and W. S. Merwin at home. Also in the collection is the pivotal Elsa’s Housebook: a Woman’s Photojournal (Boston: D. R. Godine, c1974). Graphic Arts Collection 2006-2545N, which can be read online through temporary access by Hathi Trust.

Elsa Dorfman passed away on May 30, 2020. An obituary by Mark Feeney appeared in the Boston Globe almost immediately that begins

“Elsa Dorfman, whose large-format Polaroid color portraits made her famous in the world of photography, and whose ebullient personality made her famous in the world of Cambridge, died Saturday at her Cambridge home. … Three parts earth mother to two parts riot grrrl (or perhaps the other way around), Ms. Dorfman cut a memorable figure. Her beaming moon face, set off by glasses and center-parted hair, was almost as distinctive as her don’t-try-this-at-home fashion sense. Jumpers and running shoes? Of course. Polka dots and stripes? On occasion.”

Her work was introduced to an international audience by Errol Morris’s documentary about her, “The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography.” Here is the trailer:

 

 

When Dorfman moved back to Cambridge in 1959, after an early stay in New York City, she started organizing readings by writers and poets, calling her company the “Paterson Society” after William Carlos Williams and Allen Ginsberg’s home. This led to introductions and friendships, which in turn led to the many portraits of authors, poets, and literary figures. This early video shows the set up for our photograph of Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky;

 

Her large format Polaroid camera, one of only six in existence, weighed close to 240 pounds, producing photographic print nearly 2 feet square. This clip shows the camera in action:

 

 

Ms. Dorfman, photographed at her Cambridge home on Feb. 4, 2020. Jonathan Wiggs/Globe staff

Need a Project, no. 12? Ice Cream and Anarchists

From the George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress).

Political activist Emma Goldman (1869-1940) came to the United States in 1885 and was swept up in the anarchist movement that led to the attempted killing of Henry Clay Frick and the assassination of President William McKinley. In between, to pay the rent, she twice operated an ice cream parlor. The first was successful but given up to make the attempt on Frick’s life. The second was a failure and forgotten.

Together with her partner at the time, Alexander Berkman (1870-1936), she opened her first ice cream parlor in 1892 in Worcester, Massachusetts. The enterprise is well documented and there are several links below. Goldman did the cooking and serving, while Berkman helped out periodically.

S.N. Behrman went to Goldman’s ice cream parlor as a child living in Worcester and wrote about the experience in “Double Chocolate with Emma and Sasha,” The New Yorker, January 16, 1954: 24-29.

“One day, when I was still very young, Providence Street began to come alive with rumors and horrid allegations about the proprietors of a new ice-cream parlor that had been opened in our neighborhood. We children were forbidden to patronize the anathematized parlor, and it was a long time before I dared to defy the ban. Since the new entrepreneurs were Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman (whom Miss Goldman called Sasha), some people might have disapproved of them on political grounds; the hatred of the Providence Street parents was founded on religious ones.”


Not long after she was released from prison, Goldman opened her second ice cream parlor in the spring of 1895, together with her friends Claus Timmerman and Edward Brady. Located in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, it only lasted three months. In her autobiography Goldman writes,

“It occurred to me that we might try something like our ice-cream parlour in Worcester. It had been successful there; why not in New York? Ed approved of the project and suggested that we proceed at once. I had saved a little money and Fedya offered us more. Friends advised Brownsville: it was a growing centre, and a store could be got not far from the race-tracks, where thousands of people were passing daily. So to Brownsville we went, and fixed up a beautiful place. Thousands did pass by there, but they kept on passing. They were in a hurry to get to the race-track, and on their way home they had already visited some ice-cream store nearer the track. Our daily receipts were not enough to cover our expenses. We could not even keep up the weekly payments on the furniture we had bought for the two rooms we had rented in Brownsville. One afternoon a wagon drove up and proceeded to collect beds, tables, chairs, and everything else we had. …In three months we had lost five hundred dollars, besides the work.” –Emma Goldman, Living My Life, Volume 1

This week’s challenge:
Where exactly was the second ice cream parlor located? Might it be the same building where she helped her friend Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) opened the first birth control clinic in the United States: 46 Amboy Street, Brooklyn, New York? When you find the answer, please email jmellby@princeton.edu.


46 Amboy Street, Brooklyn, New York. Above: ca. 1916.  Below: 2020.

Soon after this, Goldman moved into 208 East 13th Street, where she published a monthly magazine, Mother Earth, that served as a forum of anarchist ideas and a venue for radical artists and writers. Happily, Hathi Trust is providing open access for students while the library is closed. Firestone Library HX821.M85

 

Here are some other accounts of the ice cream parlor:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67893771
https://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2015/04/ice-cream-the-dessert-of-revolution
http://www.snbehrman.com/library/newyorker/54.1.16.NY.htm
https://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-anarchism-with-whipped-cream-and-a-cherry-on-top-20150401-column.html

A preview of the PBS American Experience episode on Emma Goldman:

The full hour can be streamed here: https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/goldman/#part01

Reminder of digital graphic arts collections

Over the years a number of materials in the Graphic Arts Collection have been digitized. Some are connected to the online catalogue and some are not. Some are in the newer site DPUL and some in the older PUDL and some just online somewhere. Here is a list of the ones I can confirm, in case they are helpful to your research:

Antonio Martorell. Las Antillas Letradas https://dpul.princeton.edu/wa/catalog/nz8063470

Brother Jonathan Jubilee Pictorial newspapers http://pudl.princeton.edu/objects/9z903261b

Early Soviet Illustrated Sheet Music https://dpul.princeton.edu/catalog?f%5Breadonly_collections_ssim%5D%5B%5D=Early+Soviet+Illustrated+Sheet+Music&q=+Early+Soviet+Illustrated+Sheet+Music&search_field=all_fields

Franklin McMahon. Signing the Israeli/Egyptian Peace Accord, 17 September 1978 https://dpul.princeton.edu/wa/catalog/5138jj65g

Franz Freiherr von Wertheim’s Manuel de l’outillage des arts et métiers http://pudl.princeton.edu/objects/qr46r156v

Franz Hogenberg Engravings http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/pudl0051

George Humphrey’s The Attorney-General’s Charges Against the Late Queen (50 caricatures) http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dj52w599c

Gillett G. Griffin Japanese Woodblock Prints http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/pudl0026

Giovanni Ottaviani after frescoes designed by Raphael. Loggie di Rafaele nel Vaticano https://dpul.princeton.edu/wa/catalog/5d86p388v

James Gillray Caricatures http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/pudl0015

Jie zi yuan hua zhuan (Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting): http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/9z9031252
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/kh04dr094
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/fq977w17w

John Baptist Jackson Chiaroscuro Woodcuts http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/pudl0031

Lorenzo Homar prints, drawings, and blocks http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/pudl0033

Middle Eastern Film Posters http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/pudl0100

Pathé Baby French silent movies https://library.princeton.edu/pathebaby/films

Photography album documenting the Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica (1865), the Indian Northwest Frontier Hazara Campaign (1867-1870), views of Malta, etc., 1860-1880 https://catalog.princeton.edu/catalog/5954033#view

Pencil of Nature by William Henry Fox Talbot https://catalog.princeton.edu/catalog/3696558#view

Princeton Print Club scrapbooks http://pudl.princeton.edu/objects/td96k526s

Richard Willats early photography album http://pudl.princeton.edu/objects/k930bx11x

Robert Nanteuil Engravings http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/pudl0010

Sinclair Hamilton Collection of American Illustrated Books miniatures (1/4 done) https://dpul.princeton.edu/ga_treasures/catalog/v979v657w And other titles

Société Engelmann père et fils (3 vols. Chromolithography). http://pudl.princeton.edu/objects/3484zk471

Specimens of paper with different water marks, 1377-1840 http://pudl.princeton.edu/objects/k930bz393

Taller de Gráfica Popular http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/pudl0012

Thomas Nast drawings and wood engravings http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/pudl0039

Thomas Rowlandson prints and drawings http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/pudl0130

Treasures of the Graphic Arts Collection  https://dpul.princeton.edu/ga_treasures

Versailles on Paper, Books and Engravings
http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/pudl0083
http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/versailles2
http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/versailles3

How much money can you spend in one month?


In the 1926 French silent movie 600,000 francs par mois a bet is made between a bored millionaire and a railroad worker that the latter can’t spend 600,000 francs every month for one year. The worker quits his job and tries desperately to spend huge sums gambling, drinking, traveling, and so on, only to find he continually earns more than he spends. You’ll have to watch the whole film to find out what happens in the end.

The popular comedy was released again in 1927 with the English language title Mister Mustard’s Millions and in 1933 as 600,000 Francs a Month.

The story comes from a novel by Jean Drault (pseudonym for Alfred Gendrot, 1866-1951), adapted for the stage by André Mouëzy-Eon, Six cent mille francs par mois: pièce en trois actes et quatre tableaux d’après le roman de Jean Drault (Paris: Billaudot, 1931).


If the plot sounds familiar, there was also a comic novel written by Richard Greaves (pseudonym for George Barr McCutcheon, 1866-1928) in 1902 called Brewster’s Millions, later adapted for the stage in 1906. According to film archives, there have been at least 13 film adaptations from this American version, in which a grandson will inherit a fortune from his grandfather if he can spend $1,000,000 over one year.

Pathé films home edition of 600,000 francs par mois in the Graphic Arts Collection of French silent films has been digitized and can be seen here. https://library.princeton.edu/pathebaby/films   Each reel is meant to play approximately one minute so it takes quite a few to play the entire movie.  **Note, if you have any trouble playing the films directly on the website, hit the download arrow at the bottom right and play them on your own preferred video player. Also, a number of films have already been downloaded by various people and can also be found on Youtube.

https://library.princeton.edu/pathebaby/films

 

You may not have seen the 1914 film of Brewster’s Millions by Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959), but surely you remember the 1985 adaptation with Richard Prior (1940-2005) and John Candy (1950-1994). In this version, Prior has one month (30 days) to spend $30,000,000 in order to receive his inheritance.

See the video or read the book Brewster’s Millions here on Google books.

 

A poster by Léo Joannon from 1933.

If you want to go further, Alfred Gendrot AKA Jean Drault collaborated with the Germans during the Nazi occupation of France and wrote several anti-Semitic publications. He was arrested in September 1944 , tried and convicted in November 1946. The sentence was later reduced to five years imprisonment and Drault died not long after his release. See “Anti-Semitism on Trial: Jean Drault in Front of His Judges” by Grégoire Kauffmann (1946).

The first and only criminal trial tried by the U.S. Supreme Court

Unidentified photographer, Portrait of the United States Supreme Court, also known as the Fuller Court, ca. 1907. Graphic Arts Collection

 

A photo of lynching victim Ed Johnson was found recently in the April 7, 1906, edition of The Topeka Daily Herald. (Photo courtesy of Sam Hall, David Moon and Mariann Martin)

 

 

In January 1906, a 19 year old carpenter from Chattanooga, Tennessee named Ed Johnson was wrongly convicted of raping a young girl and quickly sentenced to death. He was black, she was white, and the jury was white. There was clear injustice and after hearing the details, United States Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan issued a stay of execution.

Before the Court could hear the appeal, a mob was allowed to break into the jail and drag Johnson to a nearby bridge to be lynched. When the rope broke, guns were pulled and he was shot to death.

At President Theodore Roosevelt’s orders, U.S. Attorney General William Moody sent investigators to Tennessee and on May 28, Moody did something unprecedented, then and now. He filed a petition charging Sheriff Shipp, six deputies and 19 leaders of the lynch mob with contempt of the Supreme Court. The justices unani­mously approved the petition and agreed to retain original ju­risdiction in the matter.

 

 

What followed was United States v. Shipp, 203 U.S. 563 (1906), argued February 12 until June 29, 1907. This was the first and only time the Supreme Court tried a criminal trial. Chief Justice Fuller personally read his majority opinion on May 24, 1909, finding Shipp, one of his deputies and four leaders of the mob guilty of contempt. Shipp and two others were ordered to serve 90 days in jail, while the others were sentenced to 60 days, all at the U.S. jail in the District of Columbia. Like his co-defendants, Shipp was released early. Returning to Chattanooga by train on Jan. 30,

 

 

An article in the New York Times stated, “The open defiance of the Supreme Court of the Uni­ted States has no parallel in the history of the court. No justice can say what will be done. All, however, agree in saying that the sanctity of the Su­preme Court shall be upheld if the power resides in the court and the government to accomplish such a vindication of the majesty of the law.”

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a studio portrait of the Fuller Court, which oversaw the criminal trial. The photograph was probably early in 1907, since Moody was elected to the court in December 1906. Top row: William Rufus Day (1849-1923), Joseph McKenna (1843-1926), Oliver Wendell Holmes (1841-1935), William Henry Moody (1853-1917). Bottom row: Edward Douglass White Jr. (1845-1921), John Marshall Harlan (1833-1911), Chief Justice Melville Weston Fuller (1833-1910), David Josiah Brewer (1837-1909), and Rufus W. Peckham (1838-1909)

 

 

 

“Ninety-four years after the lynching, in February 2000, Hamilton County Criminal Judge Doug Meyer overturned Johnson’s conviction after hearing arguments that Johnson did not receive a fair trial because of the all-white jury and the judge’s refusal to move the trial from Chattanooga, where there was much publicity about the case.”

 

https://www.facebook.com/pg/EdJohnsonProject/posts/

 

 

Mark Curriden and Leroy Phillps Jr., Contempt of court : the turn-of-the-century lynching that launched 100 years of federalism (New York: Anchor Books, 2001). Recap KF224.J63 C87 2001

 

 

 

Legal experts say that United States v. Shipp and its predecessor case, Tennessee v. Johnson, forever changed the practice of criminal law in the United States. Between them, the cases featured:

    • The first grant of a federal habeas corpus petition by the U.S. Supreme Court in a pending state criminal case.
    • The first stay of execution issued by the full Supreme Court in a state death penalty case that declared the state defendant to be a federal prisoner.
    • The first time in which a black lawyer was lead counsel in a case before the Supreme Court.
    • The first and only time in history that the Supreme Court retained original jurisdiction in a criminal case.
    • The first criticism of state elected officials and courts by the Supreme Court for conducting criminal trials under the influence of the threat of mob rule, thus denying a defendant the right to a fair trial and undermining the rule of law.

Formerly known as

This is a confirmed portrait from the Graphic Arts Collection of the Dutch historian and cartographer John Speed (1594-1678), who biographers often compliment as “having had twelve sons, and six daughters, by one wife.”– James Granger, A Biographical History of England, from Egbert the Great to the Revolution … (J. Rivington and Sons, 1804).

The portrait may or may not relate to an oil painting in London’s National Portrait Gallery, currently labeled:
Unknown man, formerly known as John Speed
by Unknown artist
oil on panel, circa 1550-1575
© National Portrait Gallery

 

 

How many other portraits are now “formerly known as”?

 

 

Online London’s National Portrait Gallery turns up 223: https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait-list.php?search=sp&sText=formerly%20known&firstRun=true

These include 12 portraits of unknown women formerly known as Anne Boleyn, such as: Probably by Robert White, after Hans Holbein the Younger, Unknown woman formerly known as Anne Boleyn, line engraving, published 1681?, NPG D21020

Online the British Museum currently lists 79 portraits formerly known as someone, now unknown (although my count in F. O’Donoghue, Engraved British Portraits Preserved in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, 1908, lists over 200). Not one of the 1,650 portraits of William Shakespeare is listed as ‘formerly known as’.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art holds the doubly confusing: Thomas Wright (1792-1849) after Cornelius Janssen (formerly known as), William Shakespeare (formerly known as) 1827. Stipple engraving in Wivell’s Inquiry into the History of the Shakespeare Portraits (1827).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1917 (17.3.756-2422)

“…based on a painting then attributed to Cornelius Johnson (or Janssen), owned by Charles Jennens and believed to represent Shakespeare at the age of forty. That worked passed from Jennens, to the Duke of Hamilton, Duke of Somerset, then Lady Ramsden at Bulstrode Park, near Reading, before entering the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC. Today, the “Janssen Portrait” it is no longer believed to portray Shakespeare and has been retitled “Portrait of an Unknown Gentleman, possibly Thomas Overbury” (see also 17.3.756-1714).”

Artist: After Anonymous, Anglo-Netherlandish, 17th century
Artist: Once said to be after Cornelius Janssen (British, London, baptised 1593–1661 Utrecht)
Sitter: Once said to portray William Shakespeare (British, Stratford-upon-Avon 1564–1616 Stratford-upon-Avon)

 

In addition, the MET has a portrait of the artist formerly known as Prince, by the artist currently known as Prince:

Richard Prince (born 1949), Untitled, 1999. 4 gelatin silver prints and a button. Described: “Signed in ink on printed card attached to frame verso: “R [illegible]”; printed text on card affixed to frame verso: “Left to right an inscribed Barbara Streisand, the artist formerly known as Prince, Sid Vicious, with an attached untitled “Joke” pin and Sylvester Stallone with a signed card by Stallone. [signature] 1999″

“…In his most recent Publicity series, the artist created Duchampian “assisted readymades” by obsessively collecting 8 x 10-inch glossy promotional photographs of show business personalities-in this example, Barbra Streisand, Prince, Sid Vicious, and Sylvester Stallone. Interspersing “authentic” autographs from celebrities (or usually their assistants) with those forged by the artist himself, Prince [not the artist formerly known as Prince] makes explicit the issues of authorship and appropriation that he has explored throughout his career, by demonstrating that the meanings of images are determined primarily by the unruly desires of the viewer.”.

Our database turns up the much less interesting: Princeton University, formerly known as the College of New Jersey and Richardson Auditorium formerly known as Alexander Hall.

More on our engraving:

Salomon Savery (1594-1678), John Speed, ca. 1631. Engraving. Also used as a frontispiece to Speed’s Prospect of the Most Famous Parts of the World and History of Great British Isles Atlas, Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine as well as the combined editions of the two atlases. Hollstein D.24.62 (No. 133). Graphic Arts Collection Dutch prints

Latin dedication legend by publisher George Humble: “AEt [ernae] M [emoriae] | Viri clarissimi | Joannis Speed, Farndoniae nati in Comitatu Cestriae, Civis Londinensis, Mercatorum Scissorum fratris, | Servi fidelissimi regiarum majestatum Elizae, Jacobi, et Caroli nunc Superstitis: Terrarum nostra = | rum Geographi accurati, et fidi antiquitatis Britannicae Historiographi, Genealogiae Sacrae elegan = | tissimi delineatoris; qui post quam annos 77. superaverat non tam morbo confectus, quam mortalitatis | taedio lassatus, Corpore suo levat [us] est July 28, 1629 “
=The eternal memory of the famous John Speed, born at Farndon in the county of Chester, citizen of London, brother of the MS [?], most loyal servant of the royal majesties Elisabeth, Jacob I and the now reigning Karl I .; the exact geographer of our country and faithful historiographer of British antiquities, the witty designer of a biblical genealogy; who, after 77 years behind him, was not so exhausted from sickness as exhausted from his body from weariness from mortality on July 28, 1629.

The DNB lists John Speed (1552?-1629) as historian and cartographer and continues: “…On 15 June 1598, on Greville’s recommendation, Queen Elizabeth gave Speed ‘a waiter’s room in the custom-house’ … Speed first used his leisure in making maps of the counties of England. … These, accompanied by a description of each map, were collected in 1611 in Speed’s Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine, for which George Humble, the publisher, had received a license three vears before…. A second edition appeared in 1614, and a third in 1627, with the title A Prospect of the most Famous Parts of the World. …Meanwhile Speed had become a member of the Society of Antiquaries, where he met Camden, Cotton, and other scholars. Encouraged by their help, he had commenced his great work The History of Great Britaine under the Conquests of ye Bomans, Saxons, Danes, and Normans . . . . An anonymous portrait of Speed was in 1879 transferred from the British Museum to the National Portrait Gallery, London. An engraving by G. Savery, from a painting belonging to Speed’s grandson Samuel, is prefixed to the later editions of most of Speed’s works.”

James Granger, A Biographical History of England, from Egbert the Great to the Revolution: Consisting of Characters Disposed in Different Classes… (J. Rivington and Sons, 1804), p. 320 below:

Trombinoscopes of Franck

Franck, Cadets at the Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, 1861. Albumen print from collodian negative. Patrick Montgomery’s History of Photography

 

Contrary to the social distancing we practice today, French photographer François Marie Louis Gabriel Gobinet de Villecholle (1816-1906, also known as Franck or Franck de Villecholle) gained a reputation for his jam-packed group portraits. Either cut and pasted then rephotographed as one assemblage (as seen below) or captured live, Franck’s work has been called trombinoscopes, or visual membership directories.

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a book of ten photographic plates visually documenting the French National Assembly of 1874. In total, the volume presents 630 individual portraits of deputies sitting in the National Assembly, session 1871-1876, which was the first elected Assembly of the Third Republic in France following the 1871 Versailles armistice. According to my count, some plates hold up to 77 portraits, although each is different.


Franck learned to make daguerreotypes around 1845 and paper photographs soon after, working until the early 1880s in Barcelona and then Paris. He taught photography at the Ecole Impérale centrale des arts et manufactures in 1863 and worked as a professor at the Ecole Centrale in 1862. Read more in Elizabeth Anne McCauley’s Industrial Madness: commercial photography in Paris, 1848-1871 [only available in paper].

Thanks to Patrick Montgomery’s History of Photography pages, here are two other group portraits captured live. Below is Franck’s Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures, Hôtel Salé, Paris, ca. 1855. Salted paper print. Montgomery notes: “This photograph comes from a set of documents relating to the Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures in Paris. The building now houses the Picasso Museum and the professor standing at the bottom right of the photo, is probably Mr. Auguste Perdonnet who taught steam engine mechanics and everything related to railroads. Mr. Perdonnet was appointed director of the Central School in 1862, and remained in that position until his death in 1867.”

 

Here and at the top is Franck’s Cadets at the Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, 1861. “The Ecole Polytechnique was established during the French Revolution in 1794 by Gaspard Monge, and it became a military school under Napoleon in 1804. It is still under the control of the French Ministry of Defence today. Initially, the school was located in the Latin Quarter of central Paris, and it moved to Palaiseau on the Saclay Plateau about 14 km southwest of Paris in 1976.”

The entire 1965 Album-contemporain: contenant les biographies sommaires de trois cents des principaux personnages de notre époque, with text by Justin Lallier and 304 photographic portraits by Franck can be found online here: https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=gri.ark:/13960/t0ms8fk1t&view=thumb&seq=11

 

And the Musée d’Orsay offers this Franck assembly of literary figures:

 

 

Franck (1816-1906), Photographe de l’Assemblée natonale 1874. Paris: l’Assemblée natonale, 1874. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process.

Poitevin and photographic printing without silver salts


Each of Princeton’s two newly acquired copies of Alphonse Poitevin’s Traité de l’impression photographique sans sels d’argent [=Manual on photographic printing without silver salts] were published in 1862 with an introduction by Ernest Lacan (1829-1879), but have a different set of illustrations. This is not uncommon, since many collectors over the years have removed the plates from some copies and pasted in prints in others.

Between the two volumes, Princeton not only has all the recorded prints in other copies but holds this studio portrait [above] not documented in any other copy of the book. The unidentified gentlemen include Poitevin on the left, Lacan in the middle, and his editor Léon Vidal (1833–1906) on the right. This volume also bears a signed presentation “Á Monsieur Léon Vidal, hommage de profonde gratitude, Poitevin.”

Trained as a chemist, Poitevin worked for the Mines Nationales de l’Est and later, at a silver mine at Kefoun-Theboul in Africa. He became interested in photography, experimenting with methods of photochemical engraving using silver or gold on metal plates. His discoveries in the action of light on bichromated gelatin laid the basis for photolithography, the carbon process, and more. Several of his processes were patented, including collotypes and carbon printing (1855-56), which led to this handbook on non-silver and direct positive processes. See also: https://www.princeton.edu/~graphicarts/2011/07/alphonse_louis_poitevin.html

Alphonse-Louis Poitevin (1819-1882), Traité de l’impression photographique sans sels d’argent: contenant l’histoire, la théorie et la pratique des méthodes et procédés de l’impression au charbon, de l’hélioplastie… [=Manual on photographic printing without silver salts: containing the history, theory and practice of methods and processes of carbon printing, helioplasty …]; avec une introduction par M. Ernest Lacan (Paris: Leiber, 1862). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2020- in process



Photochemical engraving