Author Archives: Lauren Hewes

About Lauren Hewes

Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts, American Antiquarian Society

New Acquisitions: Early Bookplates

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The American Antiquarian Society has an extensive collection of pre-1800 American bookplates, with representative examples engraved by famous patriots like Paul Revere, or commissioned by founding fathers such as George Washington (left). AAS founder, Isaiah Thomas, had two different bookplates made by Revere and AAS, of course, has several examples of each ( below).  These ...

Photography: Printers at Work

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Recently, AAS purchased two photographs depicting American newspaper printers, one on eBay and the other at a local auction in central Massachusetts.  These images capture working men posed in photographic studios, holding props and tools of the trade.  When viewed with two additional photographs already in the collection, these portraits capture the likenesses of people ...

The Acquisitions Table: Home Again

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D.C. Fabronious after Trevor McClurg, Home Again, New York: W. Endicott, 1866. This large lithograph was printed a year after the Civil War had ended. Made after a painting by Pittsburgh-area artist Trevor McClurg who had trained with Emmanuel Leutze in Dusseldorf, Germany, the print shows an injured Union veteran returning to his home. The ...

The Acquisitions Table: Benjamin Franklin

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Benjamin Franklin.  New York: J. Dalton, for the New York Albion, ca. 1860. Large format engravings were distributed in several ways in pre-Civil War America.  They could be ordered from a publisher by subscription, purchased directly through book and print dealers, or awarded as premiums for membership in an organization, such as the American Art Union. Many ...

Preservation Week Redux: Saving a Collection

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Those of you who follow the Society's blog are aware that the last week in April was Preservation Week, a period set aside by the American Libraries Association to focus on the care and conservation of collections material. We take preservation seriously at AAS. The word is part of our core mission, in fact. We have ...

Come Adopt-a-Book tomorrow night!

Patriot of 1776

Tomorrow night the Society is holding its seventh annual Adopt-a-Book event at Antiquarian Hall from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Come join us for libations and snacks (generously donated this year by Ed Hyder, Panera, and Crown Bakery). Each of the Society's curators has selected material for adoption including paper dolls, ledger books, newspapers, lithographs, and bound ...

The Acquisitions Table: The Bookbinders Shop

The Bookbinders Shop. Philadelphia: P.S. Duval for the American Sunday School Union, ca. 1850. This image of the interior of the British bookbinding establishment of Westleys & Clark was issued by the Philadelphia lithographer P.S. Duval sometime between 1842 and 1850. A second, related print showing a ship and its furniture was printed by Duval using the same bordered ...

Adopt-a-Book 2014

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This year the American Antiquarian Society will be holding its 7th annual Adopt-a-Book event on Tuesday, May 6th, from 6:00 to 8:00pm.  This event has been an entertaining and successful fundraiser for the library’s continued acquisitions of historic material. The money raised helps curators buy more books, pamphlets, prints, newspapers, and manuscripts.  On May 6th, participants ...

Global Encounters in Worcester

The AAS staff and the Holy Cross students, faculty, and staff involved in the exhibition.

We know how to keep busy in the dead of winter here at the American Antiquarian Society.  In late 2012 Patricia Johnston, the Professor Rev. J. Gerard Mears, S.J. chair in fine arts at the College of the Holy Cross, approached AAS with the idea of having one of her Holy Cross classes research and ...

The Acquisitions Table: American Fortune Telling Cards

American Fortune Telling Cards, with Directions. New York and Philadelphia: Turner & Fisher, after 1835. 36 cards with box. AAS has several sets of fortune telling cards in its Toys and Games collection. This set features typical four-suit cards suggesting travel, wealth, poverty, love, etc., but is distinctive because many of the images feature American eagles, ...

Instagram Redux

The Society's Graphic Arts collection is a wonderful place for browsing, looking for visual evidence of whatever topic you may be working on.  I have helped researchers hunt in the collection on such broad topics as death, food production, and dress, and as specific as orphaned children, methods of doing laundry, and book shop interiors. As ...

The Acquisitions Table: Norwich Fire Insurance Co.

Norwich Fire Insurance Co. New York: Hatch & Co., 1863-1865. This color lithograph for a Connecticut insurance company features a city view surrounded by international flags and the names of local directors with interests in the firm. The sheet was printed by Hatch & Co. in New York, who advertised that they could produce: "Portraits landscapes, ...