People heading to work drive through the Sepulveda pass on the 405 freeway as the hills burn from wind driven wildfire near the Getty Center Monday. Brentwood CA. Oct 28, 2019. Photo by Gene Blevins/Contributing Photographer.

The “Gettyfire” has effected over 10,000 structures (both residential and commercial) in the Mandatory Evacuation Zone. Eight homes have been destroyed and others damaged. The Getty Museum has been closed to the public today and will be closed tomorrow (Tuesday) while it being used by fire fighters as a lookout.

MANDATORY EVACUATION: The official Evacuation Map indicates Mandatory Evacuation Zones in RED. You can search for an address in the upper right corner of the map.


“The southbound 405 Freeway was completely shut down between the 101 Freeway and Sunset Boulevard. Drivers were advised to completely avoid the freeway if possible. The northbound lanes were open. Part of the reason that the incident commanders are shutting down the southbound freeway…is because of the potential of bringing in the large fixed-wing aircraft that also will drop that retardant. We don’t that to spread over to people’s vehicles as they’re driving, The Getty Center itself was not threatened at this time, Scott said. However, both the Getty Center and the Getty Villa would be closed Monday.”


Note, The LA Times has dropped its pay wall and is providing information on the fire to everyone free of charge.

Hiroshima to Fukushima, the Road to Self-Destruction

[left] A kind visitor offered to show how big this book really is.


Sam Kerson, Hiroshima to Fukushima: the road to self-destruction, lino-cuts by Sam Kerson; concept and design by Sam and Katah; hand-pulled prints, book binding by Katah (Trois-Rivières, Québec: Produced by Dragon Dance Theatre at our print making workshop, 2018). 33 unnumbered leaves; 61 x 46 cm, on sheets 87 x 67 cm. Edition of 30. Graphic Arts Collection 2019- in process.



ARTIST STATEMENT –Looking more closely at the experience of the nuclear era is daunting, to say the least. The accidents don’t end, the fall-out from the bombs doesn’t go away. The waste from the plutonium factories, the nuclear reactors, is saved and isolated in concrete and stainless steel cylindrical casks. These specialized storage units might contain the radioactive waste for a few hundred years, while critics talk of the radiological hazard lasting for hundreds of thousands of years. The bomb continues to haunt us!

Technology often threatens, “improvement”, a “better” bomb, they say, a more “intelligent” bomb. These radioactive mountains of waste are our inheritance from a war drunk, old uncle who made a terrible mistake, which he called, “science”, decades ago. They have not been able to admit it to this day. Quite the contrary our scientist, and his scientific method have gone into full denial, a sort of extreme denial, which denies that which is obvious to anyone who dares to look. They deny the effect of the accident at Three Mile Island. They deny the mortal consequences of the disaster at Chernobyl. They deny the extreme fragility of this technology, even after the three reactors melted down at Fukushima. We must see for ourselves; see with our own eyes what is obvious and self-evident.

In this book we have selected a number of incidents which we believe will let the historian see that, we of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, were aware of the consequences of this technology. Our book might also support the protesters by recalling some of those protests that have been occurring since the invention of the bomb. We hope our book will be helpful to students of this end of the world technology and phenomenon. Our intention is to encourage resistance, even though it is late; the environment is compromised with dangerous radiation, our genes have been impacted, our offspring are mutating, therefore we must stop as soon as possible. Stop the bombing, testing and production. Shut off the nuclear reactors. –Sam Kerson, January, 2019


Membership Cards to Fascist Trade Unions

A collection of tessera di riconoscimento (membership cards) from 1920s and 1930s fascist trade unions was recently acquired, including several with photographic portraits of the owners. Many have colorful designs and logos, representing the various professions including farmers, postal workers or taxi drivers. The Fascists organized these trade unions or syndicates to “replace Socialist or Catholic organizations, to provide mass membership, and to control labor.”

“The trade unions were also brought under the authoritarian control of the state. The law of April 3 1926 on labour relations made strikes illegal and created a ‘magistracy of labour’ to resolve all disputes between labour and employers. Eleven trade unions received legal recognition, and these were all Fascist organizations. The Confederation of Fascist Trade Unions that had been set up in 1922 had become a powerful organization and was led by Edmondo Rossoni. Rossoni was committed to the ambitious plan of implementing an integralist from of syndicalism that would have brought all workers and employers under the control of his federation. But in 1928 Mussolini destroyed this project when he insisted that the federation should be broken up into smaller organizations.

The abandonment of the programme of Fascist syndicalism was to the advantage of the employers, and for the workers was only partially compensated by the social and welfare policies of the regime, consisting in the establishment of collective contracts, of measures to reduce unemployment, and the organization of workers’ free time through the activities of the Opera Nazionale Dopolavoro.

The regime hailed its law on the trade unions as the first step towards the realization of a new corporate order that would lead to what the Charter of Labour (21 April 1927) called the ‘united organization of all forces of production’. A ministry of Corporations was established in 1926 and the National Council of Corporations created in 1930 was designed to be the central constitutional body of the new state, although the corporations themselves did not come into being until 1934.” –Roger Griffin and Matthew Feldman, Fascism: The ‘fascist epoch’ (2004). Firestone JC481 .G694 2018

We hope to set up an excel sheet with all the information on the cards and attach it to the online record in the near future.

Confederazione nazionale dei sindacati fascisti and Confederazione delle Corporazioni Fasciste


Propositiones metaphysicae

Vincenzo Pozzi, O.P. (praes.) [Vincenzo Palazzoli, O.P. (resp.)], Propositiones metaphysicae, quas ad mentem D. Thomae Aquinatis v. ecclesiae doctoris publico exponit certamini Fr. Vincentius Pallazzoli de Bergomo Ord. Praed. philosophiae auditor […] Disputabuntur in Templo S. Dominici Cremonar Anno 1762 mense Majo Die [blank] Hora [blank] Praeside Vincentio Pozzi de Brixia ejusdem ordinis philosophiae institutore. Cremonae, apud Petrum Ricchini [1762].Broadside, 71.7 x 79 cms. (63.5 x 64 cms. within engraved area). Graphic Arts Collection


Adding to the collection of European thesis prints, the Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired this engraving advertising a metaphysics disputation undertaken by a Dominican monk, with another presiding. The engraving at the top is complete, while the text of the thesis has been removed leaving the bottom title information reattached to the top (slightly crooked).

The subject of the print, engraved by the relatively unknown Carlo Jos[eph] Cerutti, may be the heroic 4th century B.C.E. Roman General Marcus Furius Camillus receiving news that the Gauls have entered Rome (see Plutarch’s Lives, multiple editions, Firestone 2550.5971 v.2). How this relates to the three propositions to be argued is uncertain.

Some of the other thesis prints in our collections:




You might also enjoy reading more about thesis prints in Susanna Berger, The Art of Philosophy: Visual Thinking in Europe from the Late Renaissance to the Early Enlightenment (2017). Firestone BH39 .B47 2017



Touarick alphabet and drawings

James Richardson, Touarick Alphabet, with the Corresponding Arabic and English Letters. First edition (London: T.R. Harrison, 1847). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

Dealer’s note: “This rare pamphlet is prefaced with a note from Richardson to John Bidwell at the Foreign Office. “I think I may say without hesitation, that the enclosed Alphabet is the most remarkable, as well as the most interesting contribution to the Science of Philology which has been brought into Europe during the present year.”

It commences with the Toureg alphabet in column form alongside that of English and Arabic. Richardson states that this alphabet, and how it corresponds to the other two languages, was dictated to him by a Toureg. This is accompanied by Richardson’s observations on the pronunciation of the language and some of its irregularities, and completed with lithographed “Specimens of Touarick Character.”

Richardson was born in Lincolnshire. He trained as a missionary and set out for North Africa in 1845. He travelled “openly as a European and a Christian, and headed southwest to Ghadames, where he remained for three months. He then went on to Ghat, where he concentrated on establishing friendly relations with the inhabitants.

He styled himself ‘Consul for the English’, met Sheikh Hatita who had helped Lyon, Clapperton and Laing, and was given presents to take back to Queen Victoria. He also collected much valuable information about Timbuktu, but was warned against undertaking the journey himself. Richardson returned to Tripoli with a caravan of slaves, having spent nearly nine months in the interior, then took a ship for London, arriving in 1846. (Howgego).

Ultra Luxury Supreme edition missed

If you don’t already have a confirmed order for the “Ultra Luxury Supreme edition” of Rihanna you are out of luck. The edition of 10 copies priced at $75,000 each is sold out. (Donations welcome.)

Rihanna and Phaidon hosted a pre-publication ticketed book party at the Guggenheim Museum on Friday, October 11, 2019, and all those who attended the event were given a copy of the regular 509 page, 19 pound “visual biography” to carry home.

In addition to the large-format trade edition of Rihanna, Phaidon and the singer have collaborated with The Haas Brothers on three limited editions:

“This Sh*t is Heavy,” the Fenty x Phaidon edition (released October 10, 2019), includes a copy of the book that features a cover with two black and white photographs, a cloth binding, and a custom-designed tabletop bookstand inspired by Rihanna’s hands. $175.00

The Luxury Supreme edition (to be released November 20, 2019) is signed and numbered by Rihanna and The Haas Brothers. The book for this edition is bound in a custom-made black fabric with an inset, matte black, laser-cut steel grille, completed with the “Drippy + The Brain” stand, a gold toned, cast-resin tabletop bookstand covered with a bespoke black vermiculated fabric. The book and stand together weigh 126 pounds. These editions are exclusively available at TheRihannaBook.com. $5500.00

The three artists also collaborated on an Ultra Luxury Supreme edition (sold out), entitled “Stoner,” a custom-sculpted marble pedestal to showcase the Luxury Supreme book. Each pedestal, in the edition of ten, is exclusively designed to cradle the book and is hand carved in Nazaré, Portugal from a unique piece of solid Pele de Tigre marble, with a soft eggshell finish. “Stoner” measures 42 inches high x 40 inches wide | 1,067 x 1,016 mm. Book and stand with packaging weighs approximately 2,000 lbs (907 kg). $75,000.00


NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 11: Attendees look through the book during the launch of Rihanna’s first Visual Autobiography, Rihanna, at Guggenheim Museum on October 11, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Rihanna)

As noted on her website, Rihanna (born 1988, Barbados) is a nine-time Grammy Award–winning recording artist, songwriter, actress, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. She has sold 60 million albums and 215 million digital tracks worldwide, making her the top-selling digital artist of all time. Rihanna launched her beauty line Fenty Beauty in 2017, her lingerie line Savage X Fenty in 2018, and most recently her luxury fashion line FENTY in 2019.


Rihanns’s first biography is available at the Mendel music library: Rihanna: Barbados world-gurl in global popular culture edited by Hilary McD. Beckles and Heather D. Russell (Kingston, Jamaica : University of the West Indies Press, 2015). ML3930 .R44 R45 2015

Havana and Venice

The Graphic Arts Collection is fortunate to have acquired two volumes from Leslie Gerry Editions. The contemporary artist works with 21st century technology informed by modern fine press traditions.

With a stylus on a Wacom tablet, I paint on the computer in Illustrator. Working only with flat areas of colour and no tone, I “cut out” the shapes with the stylus, arranging them on different layers, creating a collage. In fact, I first started working this way years ago by cutting out sheets of coloured paper with scissors, similar to the way Matisse created his paper collages. Starting by sketching a composition in blocks of colour as I would have done painting in oils and using the reference photos as guidance only, I gradually build up the painting with darker areas first and then lighter shades. The paintings end up as digital files; vector images which can be reduced or enlarged to any size and are then printed with a flat bed UV ink jet printer on a hand or mould-made paper.

Leslie Gerry, Havana, paintings by Leslie Gerry; extracts from Cuba by Irene A. Wright, 1912 (Dowdeswell, Gloucestershire: Leslie Gerry Editions, December 2016). Copy 39 of 70. Graphic Arts Collection GAX E-000092

Leslie Gerry, Venice reflections, paintings by Leslie Gerry; extracts from Venice by Jan Morris (Dowdeswell, Gloucestershire, UK : Published by Leslie Gerry Editions, The Eight Gabled House, 2019). Copy 15 of 120. Graphic Arts Collection E-000093


Graphic MoMA

[left] Book shelves as wallpaper.

A first look at the rehung MoMA revealed a surprising number of works on paper, lettrism, fluxus, artists’ books, visual poetry, and other graphic arts. Beginning with the major exhibitions such as Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, there are more than the usual number of letters, words, sentences, and paragraphs of text, in and among the oil on canvas.

“The Museum of Modern Art will open its expanded campus on October 21, 2019, with a reimagined presentation of modern and contemporary art.

The expansion, developed by MoMA with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in collaboration with Gensler, adds more than 40,000 square feet of gallery spaces and enables the Museum to exhibit significantly more art in new and interdisciplinary ways.

The Studio in the heart of the Museum will feature live programming and performances that react to, question, and challenge histories of modern art and the current cultural moment. …Street-level galleries, free and open to all on the expanded ground floor, will better connect the Museum to New York City and bring art closer to people on the streets of midtown Manhattan.” http://press.moma.org/news/museum-renovation-and-expansion-project/

Here are a few examples:

Mirtha Dermisache, Augusto de Campos, et al. Visual poetry.


Dieter Roth (1930-1998), Literature Sausage, 1969. Artists’ proof.

Various artists, Fluxkit, 1965-66. Designed and assembled by George Maciunas.

Mira Schendel (1919-1988), untitled from Objetos graficos, 1967.




Finishing touches in the Frank O’Hara room

Wall corner note


Waldemar Cordeiro, et al., Manifesto Ruptura, 1952.


Lygia Pape (1927-2004), Livro da criação  (Book of Creation), 1958-1960.


The Black Factory Archive, 2004-

To theovadēston oros tou Sēna

To theovadēston oros tou Sēna ([Place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], 1699). Hand colored woodcut, 30.2 x 34.5 cm sheet 34.6 x 45.2 cm. Gift of Theodore Theodorou to the Program in Hellenic Studies for the Princeton University Library, in honor of the 40th anniversary of Hellenic Studies at Princeton. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired two prints thanks to the Program in Hellenic Studies with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund for the gift. Thanks go to Kalliopi Balatsouka for the translation and description of these works on paper.

Inscription in Greek runs from left to right at the upper part of the print: “To theovadēston oros tou Sēna.” Below the main scene, in 6 columns, there is a numbered list (from 1 to 56) of the events taking place in the print. In the last column, inscription in capital letters states: “Cahtzē Kirgēakis / Vourliotis Sēnaitēs / eneti – 1699: minē Iouliou.” In the far right, next to the last column, there is another tiny column with the inscription: “Hiero/mo/nach/ou Dio/nē/si(ou) hē … .” At the right corner below the main scene, a four-line inscription in Slavonic (?) is enclosed by a roughly square frame: “Hierodiakon Nikodēm … .”

This paper icon depicts a bird’s-eye view of Mount Sinai, including 56 scenes. The main composition of the print represents the Saint Catherine Monastery, the dormition of Saint Catherine, and Moses receiving God’s Law on Mount Sinai, divided into two symmetrical parts. To the upper left, predominates a scene of the Old Testament where Moses, according to the Book of Exodus, ascended Mount Sinai to receive the Tables of Law. To the upper right, a scene of New Testament, shows winged angels transporting the relic of the Great Martyr Saint Catherine from Alexandria, Egypt, to the highest mountain, now called Mount Saint Catherine, next to Mount Sinai, while a dove who carries a ring in his beak flys away from the Mountain.

Also acquired, thanks to a gift of the Program in Hellenic Studies with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund is the print below:


[Patriarch Gennadius II Scholarius and Sultan Mehmed II]. Text in Modern Greek, French, and Armenian ([Place of publication not identified] : [publisher not identified], between 1901-1929. Lithograph. Gift of the Program in Hellenic Studies with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process.

The subjects of this Greek/Ottoman lithograph are Gennadius II, Patriarch of Constantinople, approximately 1405-approximately 1472 and Mehmed II, Sultan of the Turks, 1432-1481. The scene takes place after the appointment of Gennadius as Patriarch of Constantinople and certain privileges granted to the ecumenical patriarch by Mehmed II, the Conqueror, about the Greek Orthodox Church in Constantinople in 1453.

Title is written in Turkish above the main scene of the lithograph as well as in Greek and French below, in two columns, with a laurel wreath in between bearing an inscription in Armenian. The Greek title to the left reads as follows: “Ho Soultanos Mōameth B’ ho porthētēs episemōs aponemei tō / Oikoumenikō Patriarchē Gennadiō tō Scholariō ta pro- / nomia tēs ekklēsias en etei 1453 (Antigraphon ex archaias eikonos)” and the French title: “Sultan Mohamed II vainqueur, de Constantinople offre / officiellement au patriarche œcuménique Yénnadios / scholarios les concessions ecclessiastiques. Année 1453.” “Euriskontai en tō typographeiō Lagopoulou Zoump[…] Chan ar. 6 (?).”

Cuir-ciselé from Berville

P. Berville. Wooden box containing leather working tools, 12 glass bottles with different colors and chemical substances, sealed and with illustrated original paper labels. 4 other glass bottles containing further colors with wooden screw top and with original illustrated paper labels. Brushes, paper and leather samples, four original watercolor designs for cuir-ciselé or diseño de cuero = Leather craft or leather design. Paris, ca. 1900. Dimensions: 420 x 350 x 105 mm.

Maison Berville was established around 1833 and managed by Jules Berville 1834-1869 at 29 rue de la Chaussée d’Antin; Léon Berville 1870-1895, 25 rue de la Chaussée d’Antin, and P Berville, 25 rue de la Chaussée d’Antin, 1896-1937.

Best known for their painting supplies, the highly esteemed Berville also sold scientific instruments and other technical devices (including camera lucida). This set includes all sorts of materials for working and coloring leather used in book bindings, clothing, and other decorative arts. Samples of paper and design seem to be added by the previous owner. Most of the pigment bottles are still half full of liquid.

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired this box, as part of its collection of portable painting boxes, map printing boxes, writing boxes, and other color sample kits.

Lugt, Les Marques des Collections 3338: “Le choix de la palette par un marchand de fournitures pour artistes peut se comprendre et il nous paraît plausible que le même Berville ait vendu de temps à autre des oeuvres graphiques. Ce Berville ne fut alors pas un collectionneur au sens propre du terme, mais un marchand occasionnel qui aurait adopté pour cette activité la marque décrite ici”.


Modelage & décoration du cuir preparation pour bourrer le cuir


Pigments and other products were manufactured by the Paris-based firm Bourgeois aîné (1867-1965).