Author Archives: Lauren Hewes

About Lauren Hewes

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

The Acquisitions Table: Index or Pointer or Book Mark. Ansonia, Connecticut: Wallace & Sons, 1858.

Index or Pointer or Book Mark. Ansonia, Connecticut: Wallace & Sons, 1858. On October 10, 1858, the manufacturing firm Wallace & Sons (founded 1848) took out a patent to make foldable bookmarks from brass. The company’s primary product was brass fasteners for hoop (or skeleton) skirts which were becoming fashionable in the late 1850s. One ...

Who Was John Moore Jr.?

For Black History Month, the American Antiquarian Society is featuring historic objects from the collection that are associated with or depict Black Worcester residents. The Society’s portrait of John Moore Jr. was painted in Boston in 1826 when the sitter was in his twenties. He was the only son of John Moore Sr. (1751-1836), a ...

Tales from the Tombstones

This month AAS produced four short videos introducing collections related to gravestones and cemeteries in the United States. Old burial grounds are treasure houses of American sculpture and of historical and genealogical information. Documenting gravestones through rubbings and photographs became popular at the end of the nineteenth century, and the Society preserves several collections of ...

It’s All in the Details: Broadsides in Theodore C. Wohlbrück’s Photography

Long-time readers of the AAS blog know we have posted frequently here about Worcester-area photographer, Theodore C. Wohlbrück (1879-1936). We’ve been writing about the Society’s holdings of this artist’s work since 2010. AAS has a large collection. of photographic prints and glass plate negatives taken by Wohlbrück between 1900 and ca. 1910, including regional landscapes, ...

A New AAS Illustrated Inventory: The Wohlbrück Collection

The American Antiquarian Society houses more than a thousand photographs and glass-plate negatives produced by photographer Theodore Clemens Wohlbrück (1879–1936) between 1900 and 1910. Since 2010, we have periodically highlighted different aspects of the collection on this blog, including information about Wohlbrück’s views of towns in Worcester County, his photographs of urban architecture, and a ...

Type, Sally, Type! Inventorying AAS Bookplates

In 2014, AAS receptionist Sally Talbot was looking for a project she could work on during slow periods on the front desk in the foyer of Antiquarian Hall. Creating a name list of the Society’s collection of loose American bookplates (not those tipped into books) was suggested by Curator of Books Elizabeth Pope. As the ...

AAS Catalog Is an Award-Winner!

On May 17, 2018, during the annual meeting of the American Historical Print Collector’s Society (AHPCS) in California, the American Antiquarian Society received the Ewell L. Newman Book Award for our exhibition catalog Radiant with Color & Art: McLoughlin Brothers and the Business of Picture Books, 1858–1920. The Newman Book Award recognizes and encourages outstanding ...

“A Lot of Handsome Badges”: A New Illustrated Inventory

AAS collects American printed materials of all kinds, including multiple types of ephemera, from broadsides to tickets to ribbon badges. We have recently completed an illustrated inventory of the Society’s collection of more than 170 ribbon badges, ranging in date from 1824 to 1900. The inventory includes ribbons worn during political campaigns and civic events ...

New Illustrated Inventory: Photographs of North American Indians, 1850-1900

Today, the American Antiquarian Society is launching a new illustrated inventory featuring photographs of Native Americans from our graphic arts collection. This collection of 225 photographs spans from 1859 to 1910 and makes available photographs of members of thirty-nine tribes. The collection was compiled as a resource decades ago, long before the creation of the ...

A “Sour” Construction Surprise

Progress on the new addition to Antiquarian Hall has been moving steadily over the past few months. Collections have been moved for protection, windows abutting the new addition have been boarded for safety, and these days you may even see staff and readers with ear plugs in the reading room, still hard at work despite ...

Say Cheese! Photographs of Printers at Work, Redux

Back in 2014, I prepared a post for Past is Present that featured four photographs of newspaper print shops, two from the collection and two recently acquired. In the three years since that post, AAS has added several more occupational images featuring print shops of all shapes and sizes. These images add to our knowledge of the ...

Tenth Annual Adopt-a-Book – Now Launched!

Springtime means it is time for the AAS Adopt-a-Book fundraiser! A hearty thank you to all who have participated in this popular event in the past. We have raised over $125,000 for acquisitions over the last nine years. Today, Tuesday, April 4th, we launch our tenth annual online catalog of "orphans" to be adopted.

This year, ...

Reading into Valentines

This semester, AAS is partnering with a class from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, as students there learn about the production and popularity of valentines in America. In an upper level colloquium, Professor Laura Kalba and her students are exploring the connections between nineteenth-century print ephemera and the ephemerality of images in the digital era. "Be ...