Libraries Society of North America 31st Annual Conference
Wyndham Baltimore Inner Harbor, Baltimore, Maryland - March 20-26, 2003
2: Looking at Pictures: How to Identify Illustrations in Books
Over 60 people
attended the two workshops called Looking
at Pictures: How to Identify Illustrations in Books.
The first was held on the afternoon of Friday, 21 March 2003, and the
second was Saturday morning, 22 March. Amy
Navratil Ciccone, University of Southern California, organized and introduced
The workshop speaker
was Dr. Donald H. Cresswell, owner of the Philadelphia Print Shop (http://www.philaprintshop.com).
He has an extensive background of working with rare books, including
serving as rare book librarian at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte
and is the author of The American
Revolution in Drawings and Prints: A Checklist of 1765-1790 Graphics in the
Library of Congress
In order to clearly
demonstrate the various print processes which can be found in illustrated books,
Dr. Cresswell brought a large selection of individual prints pf various types. He went into substantial detail about how each type of print
was made, including some of the less familiar such as tintstone and stipple.
Among the issues he
discussed were using catalogues raisonnés, such as the one
for Winslow Homer (by
Barbara Gelman, 1969), to determine
sources that published Homer’s wood engravings.
Although extremely helpful for scholars and librarians, these books can
also be used by thieves to identify targets. There was a fair amount of
discussion about the problems of identifying prints in the library and security
Print terminology can be fraught with problems. Dr. Cresswell defined three types of prints thusly:
· Original, or fine art print: An original print for which the artist had direct contact with the image
· Reproductive print, which can also be an engraving after a painting: A print which has been re-engraved, and may differ in size from the original
Commercial print: Prints
commissioned by the artist in large quantities (sometimes in multiple editions)
An engaging speaker,
Dr. Cresswell gave a clear introduction to some of the problems facing art
librarians in recognizing books and journals which contain original prints, and
what to do about them.
He included a brief bibliography, of which the three most important books were:
Amy Navratil Ciccone
University of Southern California