Category Archives: photographs


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.   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.


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.”



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:

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:


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:

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

Ostafrikanische Gletscherfahrten

Hans Heinrich Joseph Meyer (1858-1929), Ostafrikanische Gletscherfahrten: Forschungsreisen im Kilimandscharo-Gebiet (Leipzig: Bibliographisches Institut for Duncker & Humblot, 1890). Mounted frontispiece and 12 heliogravure (=photogravure) plates after negatives by Meyer, 8 albumen silver prints after Meyer, 2 double-page lithographic maps, routes added by hand in red, and one large folding color lithographic map by Bruno Hassenstein, along with wood engraved illustrations and tailpieces in the text. Graphic Arts collection GAX 2020- in process.



Three times Hans Meyer attempted to climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. On the third try, he succeeded in being the first European to make the climb. The following year, he published a richly-illustrated first-person account of this ascent and in 1891, published an English translation with the same images (Across East African Glaciers. An account of the first ascent of Kilimanjaro). The Graphic Arts Collection is fortunate to have acquired the rare fist edition of his account with photographs and photogravure plates from the negatives Meyer made during the third expedition. Here’s a quick review of his climbs:

“In 1887, Professor Hans Meyer, a German geographer, made his first attempt upon the summit of Kibo. Accompanied by Baron Von Eberstein, Meyer was eventually defeated by a combination of thick snow, 30m ice walls and his partner’s altitude sickness. The following day, from the safety of The Saddle, Meyer estimated that the ice walls descended to just below the crater rim at an altitude of about 5,500m. The ice was continuous over the entire peak and it was evident that the summit could not be reached without some considerable ice climbing.

After an aborted expedition in 1888, Meyer returned the following year accompanied by the renowned Alpinist, Ludwig Purtscheller and a well organised support group determined to scale the peak. The climbers came prepared with state of the art equipment and established a base camp on the moorland from where porters ferried fresh supplies of food from Marangu. …[after various attempts] they returned to advance camp to try again after three days. This time the route was clearly marked and the previously cut ice steps had held their shape. The rim was reached in 6 hours and at exactly 10.30hrs Meyer became the first recorded person to set foot on the highest point in Africa.


Macbeth lantern slides

A recent photo-reproduction request for the Macbeth slides within The Wheeler collection of lantern slides (formerly held by the Brander Matthews Dramatic Museum, 412 Low Library, Columbia University), led to the discovery that many had turned pink.

Regardless, there are some wonderful photographs and prints of Shakespeare productions in the 19th century. The collection includes 19 boxes of slides, together with 3 boxes of ring-bound 3×5 card sets, plus six other related items (stored in box 19).

Access is provided by a box list [see below] and a list in numeric order giving a brief description of each numbered slide. There is also the ring-bound card sets, grouped by presentation such as ‘Belgian Children’s Theatre’.

Contents of boxes

Listing by Wheeler number

Many Wheeler slide sets are productions of William Shakespeare, Macbeth highlighted here. For details on the Brander Matthews Dramatic Museum, see the records of the Museum (1910-1971) held by the Archives of Columbia University. We call it the ‘Wheeler Slide Collection,’ probably because these slides were made by the New York firm DeWitt C. Wheeler.


From Columbia’s website: “Brander Matthews (1852-1929). Appointed to the Columbia College faculty in 1892, Matthews began collecting theater-related memorabilia in 1911, convinced that the only way to learn about drama was through first-hand acquaintance with artifacts, images, and texts of the theatrical past.

Matthews then donated his own collection of theatrical memorabilia to the University to support the burgeoning study of world-wide theater history. He commissioned stage models representing historical periods, collected the scripts and theatrical designs of his contemporaries, gathered more than 30,000 images of actors and entertainers, and purchased masks and puppets from dealers and performers all over the world.

Thanks to a generous endowment, additions to the collection were made for decades after Matthews died in 1929. The Dramatic Museum was housed in Low Library at Columbia until it was closed in 1971; since then the collection has been split between various archival repositories at Columbia University.”

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:

The Kokoon Arts Club photo file

“The undressed human form has been a major subject in Western art since the classical period, but presented particular challenges to photographers who depicted real rather than idealized bodies.” This begins the description for the Princeton seminar in the history of photograph “The Naked and the Nude in Photography.” The course explores the practices of fine arts, pornographic, medical, and ethnographic representations of the body, but who knew this might also include the members of your local arts society?

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a photography album attributed to Edward J. Schwartz called Kokoon Club Photographer’s Index Album, which contains 1,296 gelatin silver prints of the Club models, members (only men allowed), and the Great Lakes Exposition ([Cleveland: KoKoon Arts Club, ca. 1934-1938]). A label on cover reads “PHOTO PRINT FILE.”

This is of particular interest to our collection because of our strong holdings by the Cleveland artist William Sommer ( The Kokoon Club was founded in 1911 by Sommer and his friends who were sometimes called the “Cleveland Secessionists,” an informal group of artists who embraced the ultra modernist art of the Fauves, the Blue Rider group and the Dadaists. Many of the early members, like Sommer, were employed with the Otis Lithograph Company, a major producer of stone lithographic posters based in Cleveland.

From its inception, the KoKoon Club artists gathered for life drawing sessions, hiring female models for the (male) members. This album is largely composed of figure studies taken at the Kokoon Arts Club headquarters. A smaller group depicts Club members, including a “Vagabond Party,” “Halloween Dance,” a “KoKoon Artists Masquette,” the 1935 “Bal Artistique”, the 1937 “Costume Bal”, and the 1938 “Silver Jubilee Bal.” About 80 images were made at the Great Lakes Exposition of 1936-1937.

While the identity of the creator of the album is not stated, the most likely candidate is Edward J. Schwartz, who had been photographing Bal Masque events at least since 1925 and was listed in the 1931 Kokoon Arts Club Narrative and Roster as the official photographer.

Fawkes family photograph album

Fawkes family photography  album compiled by Ellen Fawkes (Yorkshire, ca. 1860s). 42 leaves, containing 89 albumen silver prints. Graphic Arts Collection 2019- in process

We recently acquired this Victorian photograph album, compiled by Ellen Fawkes (1841-1890) of Farnley Hall, North Yorkshire, containing individual and group portraits of family and friends. Fawkes was the daughter of the Rev. Ayscough Falkes, and the granddaughter of Walter Ramsden Fawkes (1769-1825), MP for Yorkshire, abolitionist, and friend and patron of J.M.W. Turner. She married Sir George John Armytagein in 1871 and this album is presumed to predate her marriage.

The album includes many portraits of the Fawkes family, along with portraits of the Calleys, Calverleys, Haworths, Hothams, Parkers, Smyths, Vernons, Whartons, Wilkinsons, and Wilmots. Several prints can be attributed to the French photographer Camille Silvy, who moved to London in 1859 and opened a studio. These include Edith Cleasby (f. 13); Mrs Calley (f. 18); and the prominent opera singer Adelina Patti (1843-1919) (f. 38). The buildings depicted include Farnley Hall, where J.M.W. Turner frequently stayed; Thorpe Green; Sawley Hall; Lincoln Cathedral; Stainburn chapel; and Magdalen College, Oxford.

The history of Farnley Hall:

Farnley hall was occupied in the 1780s by Francis Fawkes. After his death in 1786, Farnley Hall was inherited by Walter Hawkesworth of Hawksworth Hall, who adopted the surname Fawkes by Royal Licence and commissioned John Carr to build the new range alongside the old. When Walter Fawkes died in 1792 the hall passed to his son, also Walter Hawkesworth, who also adopted the surname Fawkes, and was known as Walter Ramsden Fawkes. He was MP for Yorkshire in 1806 and was High Sheriff of Yorkshire for 1823.

During his tenure a regular visitor was the Victorian artist and philosopher John Ruskin, who was taken with the enormous collection of paintings by J.M.W. Turner, a close friend of the Ramsden Fawkes. Between 1808–1824 Farnley was a second home to Turner. Ramsden Fawkes owned over 250 Turner watercolours and 6 large oil paintings. A selection of Turner’s works from the Farnley Hall collection were sold in 1890 for £25,000. Frederick Hawksworth Fawkes of Farnley Hall was High Sheriff for 1932. During the Second World War the hall served as a maternity hospital. Nicholas Horton-Fawkes owned and carefully restored the house until his death in 2011. Horton-Fawkes served as President of the Turner Society. Guy Fawkes was related to the Fawkes of Farnley.