2015 Imprint Volume 40-1 Spring


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244. Paul D. Schweizer, “James Smillie’s Studio Practice: Two ‘Reduction’ Drawings for His Voyage of Life Prints,” Vol. 40, No. 1 (Spring 2015), 2-15, 9 illus.

Paul D. Schweizer has spent a lot of time looking at and writing about Thomas Cole’s Voyage of Life, the iconic series of four paintings, Childhood, Youth, Manhood, and Old Age. As Director Emeritus of the Museum of Art, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, owner of these masterpieces, he is eminently familiar with the oil paintings and the popular engravings made after them (see his two-part article “ ‘So Exquisite a Transcript:’ James Smillie’s Engravings after Thomas Cole’s Voyage of Life” in the Autumn 1986 and Spring 1987 issues of Imprint). In this article, Dr. Schweizer investigates the mechanical aides—the camera obscura, the camera lucida, and the daguerreotype— possibly used by James Smillie to reduce Cole’s enormous compositions to the size of 15 x 20 inch engravings. A careful analysis of the recto and verso of two surviving drawings use to transfer the reduced images to the engraving plates adds to the understanding and appreciation of the exacting process of reproductive engraving.

245. Christopher W. Lane, “History of Cincinnati Lithography, 1850 to 1859: With a List of Lithographs Made in Cincinnati during Those Years by Klaurpech & Menzel and Otto Onken,” Vol. 40, No. 1 (Spring 2015), 16-40, 15 illus.

This is the third article in Christopher W. Lane’s series on the history of lithography in Cincinnati through the Civil War. Covering the years 1850 to 1859, Lane discusses the work of Klaurpech & Menzel and Otto Onken, who were already well established in the city, and charts the development of many new businesses that emerged in this decade of growth, including Archibald MacBrair, Gibson & Co., Ehrgott & Forbriger, and the firm that became the powerhouse of Cincinnati lithography, Middleton, Strobridge & Co. During this period maps, particularly railway maps, became an important aspect of lithographic job printing. Views such as the bird’s-eye view of Sumner, Kansas, promoted the settlement of new towns, while finely finished colored views such as Spring Grove Cemetery, Near Cincinnati, and Wilberforce University, Xenia, Ohio, the Colored Peoples College, celebrated the landmarks of more settled areas.

246. Christopher W. Lane, “History of Cincinnati Lithography: The Civil War Years,” Vol. 40, No. 2 (Autumn 2015), 2-20, 17 illus.

This is the concluding article of Christopher W. Lane’s four-part series on lithographic printing in Cincinnati. Focusing on the Civil War years, Lane examines the work of Donaldson & Elmes, Gibson & Co., Middleton, Strobridge & Co., and Ehrgott, Forbriger & Co., all firms that continued to flourish till the end of the century and beyond. Particular notice is given to the soldier-artists Alfred E. Mathews, and John Nepomuck Roesler. Mathews, who signed his work A. E. Mathews, served with the 31st Ohio Volunteers and had over forty of his war sketches printed by a number of Cincinnati lithographers. Roesler, who styled himself J. Nep Roesler, served with the 47th Ohio Volunteers and produced an Album of the Campaign of 1861 in Western Virginia, printed and published by Ehrgott, Forbriger & Co. This same firm produced, in Lane’s words, “a notable series of portraits of Union politicians and military officers, each with the rendering of the subject’s face based on a photographic image.” There is considerable discussion of the standard backgrounds devised for each category of sitter, and of the arrangement of the portfolios in which the portraits were typically published.

247. Thomas P. Bruhn, “The Erotic Print in Nineteenth-Century America, 1810 to 1890,” Vol. 40, No. 2 (Autumn 2015), 22-44, 22 illus.

Thomas P. Bruhn offers a survey of erotica developed for the male audience in nineteenth-century America. He characterizes the various presentations of sexual imagery, noting “the imagery can range from the socially acceptable idealized nude to nudity or attitudes that allude to sexual activity. Erotica finds its way into the public sphere and not just the private when it has aesthetic pretensions or, more importantly, meets a threshold of general social acceptance as for example in some forms of advertising.”