Nothing about this edition of Edwin A. Abbott’s Flatlands is flat.



The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired “a fantastical satire set in a two dimensional world peopled by plane geometrical figures, & an early classic of science-fiction: Flatland, a romance of many dimensions by Edwin A. Abbott, with a new introduction by Ray Bradbury, produced in an accordion-fold format, with diagrams, unusual typographic arrangements, and handcolored cutout illustrations devised by Andrew Hoyem, & printed in an edition limited to 275 copies…”–prospectus.


“This book has been produced in a novel form to suit its extraordinary theme. The acordion-fold format, borrowed from oriental bookmaking, is here used to show the perspective of the plane-geometrical character who tells the story, A Square.

Thus, the volume will open out flat to display text and illustrations on a long, continuous sheet. The paper panels (rather than pages) are 7 by 14 inches, stretching to 33 feet per side. A pair of panels forms a square which can be held in th lap to read in the conventional manner of the occidental book. For the second half of the novel, the book must be turned over to read the backside. The volume can also be laid out on a table to expose several panels at once.

For display purposes, the accordion can stand upright, spread to zig-zag over small or large areas, or can be expanded to its full length for wall exhibition. …The covers are made of clear anodized aluminum with the title and the author’s symbolic square silkscreened in epoxy=resin ink for permanency.”

Original prospectus and advertising materials included.

Versado y de Larga Duración

“Y porque estamos vivos, Ismael,
aunque carguemos con la muerte
de los otros,
es que sigue sonando,
aquí en el alma,
esa campana de esperanza,
para ti,
para mí,
y todo el bonche…” Dinorah Marzán, Versado y de larga duración (1987)

“And because we are alive, Ismael,
even though we carry with the death
of others,
the bell of hope,
keeps sounding,
here, in our soul,
for you,
for me,
and for all of us…” Dinorah Marzán, Versado y de larga duración (1987)

translation from César Colón-Montijo, Specters of Maelo: An Ethnographic Biography of Ismael ‘Maelo’ Rivera, 2018 theses: https://academiccommons.columbia.edu/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&search_field=all_fields&q=C%C3%A9sar+Col%C3%B3n-Montijo

The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired the facsimile reissue of the artists’ book written by Dinorah Marzán in 1987 mourning the Afro-Puerto Rican singer Ismael “Maelo” Rivera, edited by César Colón-Montijo, who has recently joined the Department of Spanish and Portuguese as a Presidential Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Princeton University.

Versado y de larga duración is a book and collection of loose items inside a cardboard album sleeve.  On the cover is the reproduction of a portrait of Maelo, with an image of Dinorah and Maelo on the back cover. The Versado pages include a photocopied collage of verses, pictures of Maelo, images of virgins and saints, Calm Street, the Sacred Heart, and more. Rather than a box, the volume is housed in a painted paperbag.

Listen to: Rafael Cortijo, Baile con Cortijo y su combo con Ismael Rivera [sound recording] = Dance with Cortijo and his Combo with Ismael Rivera. Recorded in New York, January 10, 1958 ; and in Puerto Rico, February 14, 1958 (North Bergen, N.J. : Seeco, 1993). Mendel Music Library CD 35374

Men Only

An earlier blog post incorrectly described University policy for acquiring material. PUL supports and follows the University’s policy on supplier diversity.

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.


George Washington as a Freemason

One of the many artists to reinterpret Gilbert Stuart’s 1796 portrait of George Washington [above] was Peter Frederick Rothermel (1817-1895) who painted a variant oil on canvas in the 1800s. Engraver Alexander Hay Ritchie (1822-1895) turned Rothermel’s portrait into a rich mezzotint [top right], published in 1852 by R.A. Bachia and Company in New York City and elsewhere. Rather than a gesturing right hand, Washington rests his hand on a generic book.

Book and print seller John Dainty had a shop at 15 S. 6th Street in Philadelphia where he sold decorative oval engravings and portraits of well-known Americans. Dainty published a variation on Ritchie’s mezzotint entitled Washington as a Mason, dressing him in a masonic collar, jewel, and apron. His right hand now holds a book titled Ancient Masonic Constitutions, and his left hand holds a gavel upon a pedestal. The print is not dated but ca. 1860.

A.H. Ritchie after Peter F. Rothermel after Gilbert Stuart, Washington as a Mason, ca.1860. Mezzotint with engraving. George Washington Collection box 3, Graphic Arts

Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Paul Revere were also Masons. Washington entered the Fraternity of Freemasons in 1752 at the age of twenty:

“On Saturday evening, November the fourth, 1752, in the little village of Fredericksburg, in England’s ancient and loyal Colony and Dominion of Virginia, at a regular stated meeting of “the Lodge at Fredericksburg,” held in its Lodge-room, in the second story of the Market-House, Major George Washington was made an Entered Apprentice Mason.” — Proceedings of the right worshipful Grand lodge of the most Ancient and honorable fraternity of free and accepted masons of Pennsylvania: and masonic jurisdiction thereunto belonging, at its celebration of the sesqui-centennial anniversary of the initiation of Brother George Washington into the fraternity of freemasons (Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, 1902).

See more about Washington’s activities with the Masons: https://www.mountvernon.org/library/digitalhistory/digital-encyclopedia/article/freemasonry/

A Red Letter Day

Isaac Robert Cruikshank (1789-1856), The Air Balloon or the Ascension of Drury, April 1821. Hand colored etching. Graphic Arts Collection

When actor Edmund Kean (1787-1833) broke a contract with the Drury Lane Theatre and sailed to America in October 1820, actor/manager Robert Elliston (1774-1831) had to come up with an equally charismatic performer or the theater would go bankrupt.

He signed a contract with an unknown nineteen-year-old soprano named Mary Ann Wilson (1802-1867) who made her debut at the Drury Lane on January 18, 1821, as Mandane in Thomas Augustine Arne’s Artaxerxes. She was an immediate sensation and remained there until July 5, singing for about 65 nights. The Morning Post declared that “the unparalleled and highly merited success of the incomparable fair warbler of Drury, has already obtained for her the distinguishing appellation of ‘The Wilson’.”

In advertising her upcoming performance Elliston used red lettering for the first time at a major theater. The Times‘s reviewer wrote “Miss Wilson, who has made her debut at Drury Lane, has not shamed the prologue which announced her. We were sadly afraid, we confess, that Mr. Elliston’s red letters would amount to little or nothing, but we have been agreeably disappointed. The lady is a powerful singer. . .”

No less than King George IV (peeking out on the right) came to see her perform on February 6, 1821 along with his royal brothers, the Dukes of York and Clarence. By April, the theater’s success was so great that Isaac Robert Cruikshank drew this print showing the Drury Lane being lifted out of dependency and the weight of debt by the aria “The Soldier Tir’d of War’s Alarms,” which was Wilson’s climactic song in the third act.

In the print, Elliston is seen waving his hat from the basket and Kean, labeled “the deserter,” performs Richard III far away in America, exclaiming, ‘Twas but a Dream [‘I did but dream’, Richard III, v. iii].


Thomas Augustine Arne (1710-1778), The Soldier Tired of War’s Alarms, Sung in Artaxerxes, Composed by Dr. Arne (New York: J.A. & W. Geib at their Piano Forte Warehouse and Wholesale & Retail Music Store, between 1818-1821).

A General Display of the Arts and Sciences

162 figures have been counted in this monumental engraving composed by Charles LeClerc I and dedicated to Louis XIV. The print has been revised and reused many times, this impression for the 1788 New Royal Encyclopædia. It found its way to Princeton in the Harold Fowler McCormick Collection of Aeronautica assembled by Harold Fowler McCormick, Class of 1896, and given to the library by Alexander Stillman.  See more: Maurice H. Smith, “Travel by Air before 1900,” Princeton University Library Chronicle 27 (1966), pp. 143-147 [ full text],

Charles Grignion (1721-1810) after Sébastien LeClerc (1637-1714), A General Display of the Arts and Sciences, no date. Engraved frontispiece to volume one of William Henry Hall (died 1807), The New Royal Encyclopædia; or, Complete Modern Dictionary of Arts and Sciences, on an improved plan. Containing a new, universal, accurate, and copious display of the whole theory and practice of the liberal and mechanical arts, and all the respective sciences, ... In three volumes…. assisted by other learned and ingenious gentlemen (London: printed for C. Cooke, [1788]).

This was a revision of Le Clerc’s earlier engraving:

Sébastien Leclerc I (1637–1714), L’Académie des Sciences et des Beaux-Arts, 1698. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1962 (62.598.300). http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/387878

After the original pen and ink study:

Sébastien Leclerc I (1637-1714), The Academy of Sciences and Fine Arts, pen and black and grey ink, with grey wash, over red chalk, on two joined pieces of paper, with many smaller pieces inlaid and overlaid, ca. 1698. British Museum

Oficina Perambulante

Although you will not find any listed in OCLC, the Argentine books edited, constructed, and published by Carlos Ríos through his imprint Oficina Perambulante are numerous. Their format is consistent: each volume 10 x 7 cm, 16 pages, and a cardboard cover from found materials. Don’t look for them in the bookstores around Buenos Aires or elsewhere, Ríos prefers to sell (or give) them directly from his backpack. Where he is, there are his books.

Here is a small section of a conversation between Luciana Caamaño and Carlos Ríos (loosely translated to English):
LC: How did the Oficina Perambulante come about?
CR: A long time ago I was playing with some formats, after Ediciones el Broche, my first editorial experience. I really like editorial work. The Oficina Perambulante emerged as a need to edit and also make books. . . . every person who writes should have to go through the experience of making books, their own books.

I am very concerned about the price of books, people can’t afford to buy them because they need that money for other things. I make inexpensive booklets that can be bought by anyone. In addition these books have an exceptional character. I lost count of the number of copies I made.

It is a press I carry with me, I can load the items to make the books and make them anywhere; As I walk through the streets, I gather cardboard for the covers of the books, the glossy American cardboard. It is a space of maximum freedom, writing a story in the morning and by night the book is ready to be released. . . The books are with me, carried in my backpack, and if I am not there, there are no books. I tried leaving some in bookstores but it doesn’t work, it works with me, sold where I am.

The Graphic Arts Collection has acquired a small number of Oficina Perambulante volumes:
Amé Dieciocho Veces Pero Recuerdo Sólo Tres by Silvina Ocampo, no date
Bing by Samuel Beckett [1966], no date
Biografía by Carlos Ríos, 2016
Calandria by Sergio Chejfec, 2018
Cuando Nada Pasa Hay un Milagro que no Estamos Viendo by Daniel Sada [1987], no date
El Dedo del Maniquí by Carlos Ríos, 2016
El Día que Fuimos Perros by Elena Garro [1964], no date
El Dogo del Amor by Carlos Ríos, 2016
El Mes de las Moscas by Sergio Chejfec, no date
“En qué to han transformado, Daniel?” by Carlos Ríos, 2016
Sobre la Dificultad de Leer translated by E. Kavi, by Giorgio Agamben, 2016
Un Relato Infantil by Carlos Ríos, 2016
Una Noche, Senté a Donald J. Trump en Mis Rodillas, [Carlos Rios?], 2017
Una Obra, Un Museo by Carlos Ríos, 2016

See also some of the books from the Eloísa Cartonera, https://www.princeton.edu/~graphicarts/2008/04/eloisa_cartonera.html and the Ediciones el Mandrugo: https://graphicarts.princeton.edu/2019/02/06/elena-jordana-and-ediciones-el-mendrugo/

Many more are listed online: http://catalog.princeton.edu

Printed Corks

With summer vacation over, many friends of the Graphic Arts Collection are returning with additions to our printed cork collection. Along with printed cloth, printed boxes, printed cigarette cards, printed labels, and other printed ephemera, we also collect printing-in-the-round with these international corks.



  Friends, less talk and more Champagne. . .

From The New York Times: “Who Made That Champagne Cork?”

According to legend, a French monk named Dom Pérignon realized that a cork could seal in the fizz and flavor of Champagne after he saw Spanish travelers using tree bark to plug their water gourds. But George Taber, author of “To Cork or Not to Cork,” and other historians dispute this story. Taber cites evidence of Champagne corks on the Duke of Bedford’s household inventory list from 1665 — several years before Dom Pérignon took charge of the vineyards at the abbey of Hautvillers. Still, Pérignon and his name remain indelibly associated with Champagne. . . .

Netherlandish Perspective Views


The Graphic Arts Collection is the fortunate new owner of eight 18th-century optical views from The Netherlands, meant to be viewed with a zograscope. These are early hand colored etchings on heavy wove paper without any title printed either above or below the view. Thanks to our donor Bruce Willsie, Class of 1986. Several have a hand-written note taped to the back and others can be identified online. Any additional information would be appreciated.

Can you figure out the reason for the second story hut?

These are not “hold to light” prints, there are no holes or treatment to light up the windows or stars when placed in front of a light. It is possible they were meant to be but never finished, just as the titles have not been printed.

Vue du coté du Port pres la Tour Abbaije à Middelbourg


Gezicht van de Oude Waalse-Kerk (Face of the Old Walloon Church), Amsterdam, ca. 1783.