Category Archives: photographs


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.


Fiskeby paper mill, founded in 1637

In recognition of twenty-five years of service, this 1923 photograph album was prepared and presented to Nils Arvid Svenson, Director of Fiskeby Paper Mill, located outside Norrköping, Sweden. Eighty-six gelatin silver prints are mounted on forty-seven pages with Svenson’s monogram on the front cover.

Forty-four prints show the Fiskeby Paper Mill interspersed with forty-two oval portrait photographs of the executives and employees of the factory. There are interior views of the machine halls for the production of the large paper sheets and rolls, including details of machines and equipment. The final section of the album shows other buildings based in the forests and lakes where the trees were cut, collected, and transported both in the summer and winter.

Founded in 1637, the Fiskeby Board AB is today one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of packaging board and is Europe’s oldest manufacturers of paper and board. In 1872, Fiskeby totally renovated its plant, inaugurating a new modern paper mill based on the innovative cellulose technique and this is why the album, dated 1923, celebrates their 50th anniversary.

“A green company with a long history. That is one way to describe Fiskeby,” notes the company website. “Already in the 1630s Queen Kristina handed us a privilege letter to start paper production. Today we are the only mill in Scandinavia that offers a packaging board made by 100% recovered fibre. Fiskeby is one of Europe’s oldest manufacturers of paper. Over the years we have made everything from wall and silk paper to today’s packaging board manufactured from recovered fibre.

Our story starts in 1637 when Nils Månsson and Anders Mattsson receive a letter of privilege from Queen Kristina with permission to start paper production in Fiskeby. The letter becomes the starting point for a paper mill that will use discarded textiles as raw material for many years to come. Handmade manufacturing continues in Fiskeby until 1852. Technological development is moving rapidly in the world at this time and as a result, a revolutionary machine mill is established in Fiskeby in 1872. Almost a century later, in 1953, Fiskeby installs a new board machine and launches Multiboard.

The board machine is rebuilt in 1987. In 2010 the mill is complemented with a new solid fuel boiler and in 2015 Fiskeby inaugurates its own biogas plant. Even today, all our manufacturing takes place at the same location where everything began almost 400 years ago, at Motala River’s outlet to lake Glan in Norrköping. With the exception of a short interruption in the mid 1800’s, the production has been ongoing since Queen Kristina’s privilege letter in 1637.–

Maxim Gorky and Zena Peschkoff, his adopted son

In clearing out an office recently, a platinum print was found signed by the American photographer Alice Boughton (1865-1943). It is a portrait of Maxim Gorky and Zena Peschkoff, his adopted son taken around 1910. This appears to be a slightly different moment than the print owned by the Metropolitan Museum:

The April 1914 issue of Wilson’s Photographic Magazine [Graphic Arts Collection HSV 2007 0005M] offers a biographical profile of Boughton written by Beatrice C. Wilcox that mentions the sitting:

While she is interested in illustrative work and in out-of-doors studies, Miss Boughton’s principal work is in portrait photography. Many celebrated men and women have sat to her for their portraits, and not the least interesting part of her work is in coming in contact with these various personalities. An experience never to be forgotten was the kindliness of Prof. William James, who had time for everybody, and the sympathetic touch and vivid personality of Ellen Terry.

Celebrities are not always kindly and sympathetic, or even interested in their own pictures, but the photographer must in some way try to get in touch with each one. For instance, Maxim Gorky, who spoke no language but Russian, sat gloomily absorbed in his own thoughts and expected the photographer to do everything. Miss Boughton finally penetrated his gloom and got a look of responsiveness through her interest in his young adopted son, who spoke French and acted as interpreter.

She has taken actors in small dressing rooms, on the roof, and fire escapes, and has overcome many obstacles and perplexities of lens and camera, but, in her opinion, handling the people is the hardest work of all. A photographer must have the social instinct, a sympathetic personality, tact and the infinite patience to make his sitters feel at ease and to bring out the best qualities of each one.

Maxim Gorky (1868-1936) lived in Europe and then America from 1906 to 1913. In the United States he started his classic novel The Mother about a Russian Christian woman and her imprisoned son, who both joined revolutionaries under the illusion that revolution follows Christ’s messages. Here is the New York Times announcing Gorky’s visit:

GORKY’S ADOPTED SON TELLS OF WRITER’S PLANS. On His Way Here to Get Aid for the Revolutionists. TO SPEAK IN MANY CITIES Pleshkoff Says His Foster Father Will Show Russian Life as It Really Is. Nikolay Zavolzsky Pieshkoff, adopted son and protege of Maxim Gorky, the famous Russian writer, who is due here in a few days, talked with a TIMES reporter yesterday. For more than a year, the young man, who fled from Russia to escape persecution by the agents of the Government, has been living quietly on the east side and earning his living in the mailing room of Wilshire’s Magazine. [full article:]

Welt-Ausstellung in Wien 1873

While you might think this was one of the national pavilions at the 1873 International Exhibition in Vienna, is was in fact one of the many restaurants, beer halls and coffee houses opened throughout the fairgrounds. Run by two New York restaurant owners and staffed with a wide variety of non-white waiters, the bar served martinis and other cocktails, described as typical American drinks.

The photograph was made by Josef Löwy (1834–1902), an Austrian painter, publisher, industrialist, and Royal court photographer. Löwy operated a popular photography studio in Vienna, known especially for celebrity portraits. He was also a member of the Wiener Photographen Association, which had their own building at the fair. Oscar Kramer led the Association and was the publisher of this album, recently acquired by the Graphic Arts Collection.

Several of Löwy’s photographs won medals during the Exhibition, leading to his appointment as official photographer to the Austrian Court. It is noteworthy that after his death Mathilde Löwy (1854-1908), his wife and also a talented photographer, took over the operation of the studio until her death. His nephew, Gustav Löwy, followed as owner, renaming the studio “Art Institute J. Lowy”.

Welt-Ausstellung in Wien, 1873 ([Vienna: Oskar Kramer, 1873]). Graphic Arts Collection 2019- in process. Album of 24 albumen silver prints of the Vienna International Exhibition of 1873.

The 1873 Vienna Welt-Ausstellung was open from May 1, 1873 through November and it was the first international exposition held in Austria. Here are a few more plates:

Hunting Brown Bear in Alaska 1910




In honor of Ben Primer, and thanks to the Friends of the Princeton University Library, the Graphic Arts Collection has acquired a photography album owned by George Frederick Norton (1876-1917) documenting a hunting expedition in the American West and Alaska, ca. 1910. The album contains 117 mounted gelatin silver prints (slightly photoshopped here) and a few letters. Born in Kentucky, Norton attended the Lawrenceville School and served as a partner at the brokerage Ex Norton & Co. Our dealer continues:

However, his life’s passion was travel, adventure and big game. Norton made numerous trips to the west and Alaska on private hunting expeditions, including the one depicted in the present album, and collected and donated specimens (with a particular emphasis on bear skulls) to the American Museum of Natural History the Smithsonian and other institutions. Indeed in 1910, the Department of Agriculture granted him a permit to capture and ship Alaskan brown bears in excess of the bag limit.

In 1901, he journeyed around the world and in 1908 he helped finance the final Peary expedition to the North Pole, accompanying him aboard the ship Eric as far north as Etah, Greenland. During World War I, Norton would serve in the American Field Service, and would be killed in action in France.

Given the terrain and the fauna (moose, mountain lion, pronghorn antelope, elk), the expedition(s) seen in the album were likely to Montana, Idaho or Wyoming. However, given Norton’s many expeditions farther north, some of the images may also be from Alaska.

Goodbye Robert Frank

Pull my daisy [videorecording] / a G-String Enterprise, Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie present ; written and narrated by Jack Kerouac (Göttingen : Steidl, c2012). 2 videodiscs (28 min. each) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in. + 2 booklets. Directed and produced by Alfred Leslie and Robert Frank ; story and idea by Jack Kerouac ; edited by Robert Frank, Alfred Leslie, and Leon Prochnik ; music by David Amram. Participant(s)/Performer(s): Mooney Peebles (Richard Bellamy), Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Peter Orlovsky, Larry Rivers, Beltiane (Delphine Seyrig), David Amram, Alice Neel, Sally Gross.

Based on a scene from Jack Kerouac’s play, “Beat Generation,” with his improvised voice-over narration. The story centers around a brakeman and his wife, their friends, and a bishop who is invited over for dinner. Videodisc release of the 1959 short film. Includes two booklets that contain some of the content from the book about the film published originally by Grove Press in 1961, and reissued in 2008 by Steidl. The first booklet ([27] p. : ill. ; 18 cm.) contains lyrics to the song, an essay by Jerry Tallmer, and the text of Kerouac’s narration. The second booklet ([52] p. : ill. ; 18 cm.) contains photographs taken by John Cohen during the production of the film.

The Largest Photography Gallery in the U.S.

The Chicago Siegel-Cooper Company was established in 1887 and nine years later owner Henry Siegel opened an enormous department store in New York at 18th Street and 6th Avenue. It was, at that time, the largest store in the world. On opening day, a near riot occurred as 150,000 shoppers tried to squeeze into the store built to house only 35,000. Note the elevated railroad stop exclusive to the store.Twenty-three electric elevators carried shoppers to four floors (five and six were confined to staff), along with a basement restaurant and botanical garden on the roof. The first floor book department included a stationary unit with a small press for engraved wedding invitations and visiting cards. From 1905 to 1915, the concession was managed by Cassius Coleman and his son, painter Glenn O. Coleman (1881-1932). See number 29 on the floor plan:Along 18th street between 7th and 8th avenue was their enormous stable housing 200 horses for home delivery of purchases and a hospital for sick horses run by a team of veterinarians.

Besides the botanical garden, the roof featured an immense photography gallery, “the largest and most complete in the United States. It is fitted up with all the latest improvements appertaining to the photographic art, and an able staff of assistants under the control of a master of the art of artistic portraiture. Here the visitor can obtain the finest and most artistic portraits, varying in size from the smallest miniature to life size.”
According to the store’s literature, the gallery completed “4,000 photographs on a bright day and 20,000 in a week, [in] the most modern and up-to-date gallery in America. Enlarging is done in crayons, water colors, pastel, and oils. The visitor can obtain a crayon portrait for $1 to $25, or he can pay $250 to $300 for the finest kind of reproduction in pastel or oils.”

The space included a great reception room where sitters congregated along with various cozy dressing and retiring rooms for changing clothes and preparing to be photographed.

Read more: A Bird’s-Eye View of Greater New York and Its Most Magnificent Store: being a concise and comprehensive visitor’s guide to Greater New York, its myriad sights and scenes, and its grandest emporium of commerce, the big store of Siegel-Copper Co. (New York: Siegel, Cooper & Co., 1898).