Credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Promised gift of Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, in celebration of the Museum's 150th Anniversary. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York

Cindy Sherman (American, b. 1954). Untitled Film Still #48, 1979. Gelatin silver print.

New York — Opening March 10, 2020, the exhibition Photography's Last Century: The Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Collection celebrates the remarkable ascendancy of photography in the last hundred years through the magnificent promised gift to The Met of more than 60 extraordinary photographs from Museum Trustee Ann Tenenbaum and her husband, Thomas H. Lee, in honor of the Museum's 150th anniversary in 2020. The exhibition will feature masterpieces by a wide range of the medium's greatest practitioners, including Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Ilse Bing, Joseph Cornell, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Andreas Gursky, Helen Levitt, Dora Maar, László Moholy-Nagy, Jack Pierson, Sigmar Polke, Man Ray, Laurie Simmons, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Cindy Sherman, Andy Warhol, Edward Weston, and Rachel Whiteread.

The exhibition is made possible by Joyce Frank Menschel and the Alfred Stieglitz Society.

Max Hollein, Director of The Met, said, "Ann Tenenbaum brilliantly assembled an outstanding and very personal collection of 20th-century photographs, and this extraordinary gift will bring a hugely important group of works to The Met's holdings and to the public's eye. From works by celebrated masters to lesser-known artists, this collection encourages a deeper understanding of the formative years of photography, and significantly enhances our holdings of key works by women, broadening the stories we can tell in our galleries and allowing us to celebrate a whole range of crucial artists at The Met. We are extremely grateful to Ann and Tom for their generosity in making this promised gift to The Met, especially as we celebrate the Museum's 150th anniversary. It will be an honor to share these remarkable works with our visitors."   

"Early on, Ann recognized the camera as one of the most creative and democratic instruments of contemporary human expression," said Jeff Rosenheim, Joyce Frank Menschel Curator in Charge of the Department of Photographs. "Her collecting journey through the last century of picture-making has been guided by her versatility and open-mindedness, and the result is a collection that is both personal and dynamic."

The Tenenbaum Collection is particularly notable for its focus on artists' beginnings, for a sustained interest in the nude, and for the breadth and depth of works by women artists. Paul Strand's 1916 view from the viaduct confirms his break with the Pictorialist past and establishes the artist's way forward as a cutting-edge modernist; Walker Evans's shadow self-portraits from 1927 mark the first inkling of a young writer's commitment to visual culture; and Cindy Sherman's intimate nine-part portrait series from 1976 predates her renowned series of "film stills" and confirms her striking ambition and stunning mastery of the medium at the age of 22.

Ms. Tenenbaum commented, "Photographs are mirrors and windows not only onto the world but also into deeply personal experience. Tom and I are proud to support the Museum's Department of Photographs and thrilled to be able to share our collection with the public."

The exhibition will feature a diverse range of styles and photographic practices, combining small-scale and large-format works in both black and white and color.  The presentation will integrate early modernist photographs, including superb examples by avant-garde American and European artists, together with work from the postwar period, the 1960s, and the medium's boom in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and extend up to the present moment.

The Icelandic composer Davíð Þór Jónsson has written and produced an improvisational musical component for the exhibition that will be accessible on a Museum rental device and on the website at

Photography's Last Century: The Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee Collection is curated by The Met's Jeff L. Rosenheim, Joyce Frank Menschel Curator in Charge of the Department of Photographs.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press ($45). Beginning with Paul Strand's landmark From the Viaduct in 1916 and continuing through the present day, the catalogue examines defining moments in the history of the medium.

The catalogue is made possible in part by the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Inc.

Courtesy Pure + Applied, Library of Congress

Artist renderings show concepts for three core components that are central to the visitor experience plan. They include a new learning lab, a ground level orientation center with a view of the Main Reading Room's dome and new exhibitions to feature the Library’s treasures.

Washington, DC — A major gift by philanthropist David Rubenstein will help fund a project to reimagine and enhance the visitor experience for the nearly 2 million people who visit the Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building each year. The goal is to better connect visitors with history and provide better access to the unparalleled collections held by the national library.

Rubenstein, the chairman of the Library’s James Madison Council and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group, will make a lead gift of $10 million to support the visitor experience project.

Rubenstein’s gift will build on the significant public investment Congress has made in the Library’s infrastructure. It will support the strategic plan set by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden to make the Library more user centered for Congress, creators and learners of all ages.

“Literacy is critical to learning and achieving one’s full potential. The Library of Congress plays a unique role in advancing literacy and fostering a love of country and community. I am honored to be a part of this important project to enhance the visitor experience and present the Library’s countless treasures in new and creative ways,” Rubenstein said. “I commend Dr. Hayden for her vision and leadership in modernizing the Library’s spectacular Jefferson Building in ways that respect its beauty and grandeur.”

The Library’s plan to reimagine the visitor experience gained approval from the appropriations committees in Congress. In September 2019, the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on the Legislative Branch approved the release of $8 million to fund detailed design work for the plan, in addition to $2 million provided for initial planning.

“We are incredibly grateful and honored by the support of David Rubenstein and from Congress to help us create a new experience for visitors to the Library of Congress through a public-private partnership,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “We believe all Americans are connected to their national library and will be inspired and empowered to explore the wide-ranging collections, from the manuscripts of presidents and changemakers to historical photographs and maps to our nation’s creative heritage in music, film and art.”

For 220 years, the Library has served as a center of knowledge and a place dedicated to preserving and promoting the nation’s cultural heritage. Feedback from visitors has shown the Library can do more, though, to share the treasures of the nation and help visitors understand how the collections can connect with their own creativity and research. The Library aims to bring more of the nation’s collections out of the vaults and into public spaces, as well as online presentations.

Three core components are central to the visitor experience plan, which will be implemented over the next three to six years. These include a new ground-level orientation center in the Thomas Jefferson Building to help visitors navigate the Library and understand its history, a new learning lab to engage and inspire visitors and new exhibitions to feature the Library’s treasures.

Plans call for the orientation center to provide a unified entry point for visitors with an orientation experience focused on the Library’s history, mission and offerings. The orientation center would be built around Thomas Jefferson’s personal library and an oculus that will provide a celebratory view of the Main Reading Room’s dome. The oculus will give visitors a fuller view of Edwin Blashfield’s mural of “Human Understanding” at the center of the building, while research continues uninterrupted in the Main Reading Room.

Visitors would also have an opportunity to see behind the scenes into the original book stacks, as well as a media wall to see other types of multimedia materials preserved at the Library. On the first floor near the Great Hall, a glass door will fill an archway, serving as a window into the Main Reading Room to give more people a chance to look into the grand research space.

The learning lab would provide families, teens and school groups a behind-the-scenes view of the Library and new opportunities to engage with diverse materials and media from the collections through informal, experiential learning. The center will be designed with young people in mind and give learners of all ages interactive experiences, both physical and digital. It would also allow visitors to engage with diverse media in the collections, from cuneiform writing to film editing and oral histories.

New exhibitions on the second floor would be designed to showcase more of the Library’s most awe-inspiring treasures and the breadth of its collections from historical printed materials to visual arts, as well as new acquisitions and the vast photography collection, in compelling new ways. Exhibition objects in this treasures gallery would rotate regularly to showcase more materials for repeat visitors and to ensure the conservation of the materials being displayed.

On the mezzanine level located near the west-facing doors and windows, a new café and seating space is planned to invite visitors to linger and admire the beautiful Great Hall. They could grab a prepared sandwich, snack and drink while enjoying the view. Food and beverage carts and seating would be flexible and easily moved to accommodate events in the Great Hall mezzanine.

David Mandel, director of the Center for Exhibits and Interpretation, is leading a team that is overseeing designs for the visitor experience with Shari Werb, director of the Center for Learning, Literacy and Engagement. The design firm Pure + Applied developed the visitor experience plan with Library leadership.

While Congress has invested generously in the Library over its history since 1800, private philanthropy also has played a role in the development of the Library and other cultural institutions. The private sector has funded exhibitions and programs, as well as the creation of the Library’s Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia, which serves a critical role in preserving the nation’s heritage in film and audio recordings.


Courtesy of RR Auction

Boston — An archive of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen's will be auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction.

Lee Alexander McQueen, the famed designer and creator whose boundless vision propelled fashion-forward from the mid-nineties with a game-changing dropped waistline, historically referenced clothing, and a cinematic sense of showmanship. Spanning from 1994 to 1996 and beyond, the archive includes some of the McQueen’s most impactful and critically acclaimed early collections in a self-contained complete diary of his creations. An impeccable collection of rare early work— including garments hand-sewn by Lee, original patterns, and sketches–carefully conserved by former head of McQueen studio and friend, Ruti Danan.

"I obtained these items during my time as studio director working for Alexander McQueen in London in both Farringdon and Hoxton Square studios,” said Ruti Danan in a press statement.

"Studio teams, models, hair and makeup at this time in fashion, especially for young designers, were often given items for their tireless work in the studios due to pure lack of funding. Days and weeks without rest and relentless work would be rewarded with garments, and I was often asked to wear pieces to meet clients on business trips to demonstrate cut and fit. I rescued a large amount of items of Autumn Winter 1995 from the Farringdon Studios when the landlord threatened to lock us out due to unpaid rent."  

Highlights include:
"Black Dante Military Matador Coat with Original Construction and Braid Motif Patterns" AW 1996. An exquisite and documented wool and cashmere military matador-style asymmetrical tailcoat with extensive gold braid work detailing. The military braiding decorates the high collar with 14 karat goldwork leaf detail emblems. Extensive braiding accents the chest and the scalloped edges of the tailcoat with three leafed gold swirl motifs. Also featured are straight sleeves with braid detailed cuffs and signature McQueen padded shoulder. A stunning example of single panel construction which makes up the entire top panel and "tail" portion showcasing McQueen design mastery. This very rare early example of McQueen tailoring is a slight variant of the runway version and was photographed by Nick Knight and styled by Katy England for the Spring 2015 issue of Another magazine in tribute to Lee Alexander McQueen prior to the opening of "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Only three of this jacket were ever made with one being sold at Liberty Department store in London, and the last owned by Isabella Blow. Ruti recalls arriving to the McQueen studio one morning to find this jacket created from scratch overnight by McQueen. The jacket is accompanied by construction patterns, and templates for the gold work braiding.

"Highland Rape" MacQueen Tartan Open Front Jacket With Circle Peplum and Original Pattern AW 1995.Well-documented wool MacQueen tartan open-front jacket with mandarin collar featuring rounded front panels shaped to follow the ribcage, narrow shoulders, and sleeves finished just above the elbow. The circular cut peplum hems are weighted with interior coin weights. The interior is a vintage gold tone men's suit-lining fabric and edged with green ribbon to finish. This jacket has been featured in "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2012 and its companion exhibition by the same name at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2015.

"Highland Rape" MacQueen Tartan and Green Wool Jacket With Kick-Back Hip Panels and Original Pattern AW 1995. A jacket in bottle green suiting wool with empire-line cut sleeves and mandarin collar. The front panels narrow to a point at the bottom with the bust line secured closed by a silver chain closure, and the rear features a kick-back hem. The interior is lined in gold suiting fabric and coin weights in the hems. This jacket appeared in the catwalk show and three portions of its original pattern included. McQueen himself sketched, cut the patterns, and hand-sewed this garment.  

“Highland Rape” Black and Gold Dripping William Morris Print Dress AW 1995. Well-documented black and gold sleeveless sheath created from suit lining fabric printed by McQueen friend and print designer Simon Ungless at Central St Martins. The print is based on the woodcuts of William Morris deconstructed to emulate a dripping or melting effect. The fabric choice during this time period would have been based on the lowest cost options, which drove McQueen and his studio team to innovation, creating truly unique fabric effects and design. McQueen himself would have cut the patterns and assembled this garment.

"Banshee" Grey Military Cropped Jacket With High Collar AW 1994. Well-documented jacket with extra-high collar, composed of gray and black coating wool with empire-line sleeve, sliced and open armpits, and delicate pinched seam shoulders. Its gold military braiding on the collar culminates at the back with a three leaf-motif and peaked accent on each sleeve surrounding a black wool cuff. This one-of-a-kind jacket created by Alexander McQueen himself, including sketches, pattern cutting, and hand-stitching. This was the first item given to Ruti from Alexander McQueen and was featured in "Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2012 and it's companion exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2015.

"Highland Rape" Asymmetrical Deconstructed Torso Dress AW 1995. A one-of-a-kind showpiece dress with diagonal cut neck that extends to expose one breast and features centre rear zipper. This unique silk rayon piece was created using layers of car spray paint and resin. The bodice is crafted with clear plastic wrap overlaid with thread and was sprayed and dipped to achieve a deconstructed effect by McQueen colleague and fabric designer Simon Ungless. Alexander McQueen would have personally worked on this piece cutting and assembling the garment by hand.

"The Hunger" Chinese Silk Slashed Panelled Top Suit: Jacket and Trousers SS 1996 With Pattern. A suit of Chinese silk brocade comprised of jacket and trousers. The jacket body is panelled like a corset and has double slashes across ribs with pale nude silk-mesh inserts, a round collar, as well as open slashed sleeves pulled back to a hook fastening on rear centre waistline. The jacket closes with open end metal zip, and is lined in red silk taffeta of which an extra piece of the same red silk taffeta from the studio is included. The matching trousers feature rear internal accordion pleated panels at the calf. The fabric for these pieces were sourced by Ruti Danan from Brick Lane in London during the show preparation and come with the original patterns.

"Dante" Blue Military Matador Jacket Toile AW 1996. A original navy blue jacket toile comprised of wool for the "Dante" military jacket and fully lined with blue silk taffeta lining from the previous season "The Hunger" collection. Its construction mirrors the single panel tail and jacket body pattern construction of the final jacket.
Ruti Danan, was a colleague of Alexander McQueen and member of his original studio team, has maintained these items, patterns, shoes, and assorted unique personal affects since her time working with McQueen in the mid 90s.

Working as part of the Alexander McQueen Studio team during two years from 1994 to 1996, Danan was a key participant in the world of McQueen during some of the most pivotal moments of British Fashion and Culture in the early 90s. Ruti’s archive reflects a relentless dedication to preserving his legacy through expertise and personal account; a rare selection of items and memorabilia given to her during her time and work for the legendary designer.

Danan lovingly preserved these coveted items, storing each one like precious jewels being locked away as heirlooms. Like many studio team members at this time in fashion, most were rarely paid for their non-stop dedication, but instead given items for their priceless time and work. While Ruti briefly wore some articles, she was also quietly dedicated to meticulously preserving every stitch and hem to ensure their longevity especially since many were made by McQueen’s own hands. Her diligence was recognised when several of her unique archive pieces were chosen for both New York and London’s blockbuster exhibitions “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” and further in various high-profile fashion publication features.

With this unique offering, Ruti now looks to a global stage to allocate these items a new home and share her storied pieces so that future generations can celebrate the boundary- breaking legacy and genius of her comrade, mentor, and friend: Lee Alexander McQueen.

“It’s a world-class private collection of rare and one-of-a-kind early Alexander McQueen items,”  said  Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.“This is a once-in- a-lifetime chance to own a such a unique portion of fashion history.”

An exclusive three-day pop-up installation organized by RR Auction will take place at The New York Historical Society, February 15 - February 17, this will be the final chance to view these incredible garments before heading to public auction.

The Alexander McQueen Archive of Ruti Danan from RR Auction will begin on February 18 and conclude on February 22 with a live auction that will take place at the Omni-Parker House in Boston, MA beginning at 1 PM, Eastern.

For more information, go to

Courtesy of Les Enluminures

The Petites Heures of Charles VIII, King of France (r. 1483-1498), one of five extant manuscript Books of Hours known to have been made for the personal use of the king. In Latin, illuminated manuscript on parchment. Paris, c. 1490-1493.

New York — Les Enluminures will be exhibiting a large variety of art works at this year's edition of TEFAF Maastricht, including illuminated manuscripts, manuscript leaves and cuttings, and medieval and Renaissance jewelry.

A special exhibition on the stand features sixteen remarkable jewels once worn by the elites of Europe. Accompanied by a catalogue "Living nobly": Jewelry of the Renaissance Courts, the exhibition includes hat badges, neck-laces and chains, pendants, rings, and amulets.

There is for example a Saxon Ribbon Chain that evokes the paintings by Lucas Cranach, a precious mother-of-pearl medal-lion of King Henry IV, and a gimmel ring, restituted to the Rothschild family following WWII. Many of these jewels are well known, previously published and exhibited. Glittering with precious metals and gems, all the jewels in this collection continue to reflect how the nobility of the Renaissance courts "lived nobly" while also resonating in new ways today.

In keeping with the theme of the most elite objects from Renaissance courts, a sumptuous royal Book of Hours, the Petites Heures of Charles VIII, is exhibited for the first time. One of only a few known manuscripts made for the king Charles VIII, it was illuminated in Paris by the Master of the Chronique scandaleuse, regarded as the most innovative artist active in late fifteenth-century Paris. It marks the dawn of a renewed trend for minute masterpieces of parchment made for members of the royal family and court.

Founded by Dr. Sandra Hindman nearly thirty years ago and with locations in Paris, Chicago, and New York, Les Enluminures has forged long-standing relationships with major museums and prestigious private collections throughout the world. It exhibits at TEFAF Maastricht, Masterpiece, Frieze Masters, and the Winter Show. The gallery is well-known for the level of its scholarship but also for the diversity, high quality, and provenance of the works it offers for sale.

Sandra Hindman states: "We are delighted to be returning to TEFAF Maastricht, which remains the premier art and antiques show, setting a standard unequaled the world over."

Courtesy of Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG

Friedrich Riederer’s Spiegel der waren Rhetoric (1493), illustrated by Albrecht Dürer.

Basel, Switzerland — Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books will return to TEFAF Maastricht in 2020 with an outstanding selection of manuscripts, miniatures, and early printed books. This year’s exhibition has a special focus on Albrecht Dürer, the Renaissance artist par excellence. Dürer was a pioneer and an innovator with considerable entrepreneurial spirit. His vast body of work includes paintings, drawings, engravings, and woodcut prints – which were also sold as books. In fact, his books generated a new source of income for him, allowing him to make more money with his books than with paintings.

Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books’ exhibition in Maastricht will trace Dürer’s entire career – starting with an early woodcut that was likely made by the then 22-year old artist, then presenting his ‘three large books’, and finally the theoretical treatises on perspective and human proportion that he wrote toward the end of his life.

In the TEFAF Maastricht 2020 line-up, the earliest example of Dürer’s work is the xylographic title of Friedrich Riederer’s Spiegel der waren Rhetoric, a 1493 book that is considered a landmark in the domain of rhetoric. The title page is thought to have been designed by the young Albrecht Dürer, and probably created during his journey to Colmar. The heading’s calligraphic script is flanked by two angels holding coats of arms. Beneath is another fine woodcut with an elegant lady holding the armorial device of the author, Friedrich Riederer.

Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books will also bring to Maastricht Dürer’s famous ‘three large books’, which are hardly ever seen together in commerce. Albrecht Dürer’s Apocalypse is considered to be the first book in history that was both created and published by an artist. The copy at hand is the first with the title woodcut depicting the apparition of the Virgin with Child to St. John. It includes the complete series of 16 monumental woodcuts. The publication of the Apocalypse was a revelation of Dürer’s artistic genius: never before had a single artist executed a project of such scope with total mastery over every aspect, utterly transforming the appearance of the illustrated printed book and of woodcut art. His large, complex images in realistic settings, full of life and movement, feature a descriptive power evident in the present series. Revolutionary for its time in both technique and breadth of concept, Dürer’s woodcut style graphically manifests the potency of St. John’s visions, capturing minute detail, rich texture, profound physical vigour, and his mastery of light and darkness.

Dürer’s Passio domini nostri Jesu, the Large Passion, is based on the text by Benedictus Chelidonius, a Benedictine monk from the monastery of St. Egidius/St. Giles in Nuremberg. The majestic cycle was created in two stages: seven undated woodcuts appeared in the years 1496-1499, approximately contemporaneous to the Apocalypse. Like those of the Apocalypse, they were also sold individually. Dürer completed this series by 1510 with four more scenes, eventually publishing them in book form in 1511, along with the title page and the Latin text by Chelidonius. The complete 1511 series printed in a single campaign is of great rarity. With this woodcut series, Dürer shaped the image of Christ’s Passion for centuries.

The Life of the Virgin is the most extensive woodcut sequence in Dürer’s trilogy, his ‘three large books’. The majority of the plates of the Life of the Virgin date from the years 1502-1505. However, it was not until 1510-11 that the final two plates and the title page were added. The copy at hand comprises a complete set of these early impressions, before the text was added, and are the rarest and most sought after. The later complete book was finally published in 1511, with a dedication to Caritas Pirckheimer, the learned abbess of the convent of St. Clara in Nuremberg and sister of Dürer’s great friend Willibald. The book was thus likely primarily intended for erudite women in the religious houses. With its slightly smaller format, graceful Renaissance architecture and vivid narrative, the Life of the Virgin is the most elegant of Dürer’s ‘three large books’.

Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books will also present a collection of Albrecht Dürer’s cutting-edge artists’ manuals. This extraordinarily rare Sammelband (a collection of texts) consists of the three ground-breaking books Dürer wrote toward the end of his life. These include: his treatise introducing Northern Europe to the techniques of perspective and mathematical proportion in drawing, painting, architecture, and letter forms that Dürer learned in Italy; a treatise on fortification, with an additional, famous, large woodcut of a fortress under siege; and his masterpiece on the proportions of the human body. These three works are seen as the foundation of accepted aesthetic dogma until the 19th century – and highlight Dürer’s enormous influence on the artists of succeeding generations.

Courtesy of Bonhams

Original engrossed copy of the first impeachment resolution vote of President Andrew Johnson in the House of Representatives, signed by all 57 "Yea" votes. Estimate: $120,000-180,000

New York – On March 6, Bonhams will offer an extremely rare official engrossed copy of the first impeachment resolution vote in the House of Representatives for Andrew Johnson. It is signed by all 57 “Yea” votes, as well as signed and stamped with the official House seal by Clerk Edward McPherson, assembled by Clerk Isaac Strohm on December 7, 1867. It has an estimate of $120,000-180,000.
This extraordinary document was compiled by the clerk Isaac Strohm, with the certified copy of the extracts from the House resolution for impeachment, signed and stamped by House clerk Edward McPherson. Following are 57 autographed leaves of the "Yea" votes for the December 1867 impeachment, including Benjamin Butler, who would serve as an impeachment manager, as well as a slip signed by President Pro Tempore of the Senate Benjamin F. Wade, who would have succeeded Johnson as President had the Senate trial resulted in removal.
Darren Sutherland, Senior Specialist of Books and Manuscripts, comments: “This is a very timely reminder of an important moment in American history, with clear echoes of the present day. This official House manuscript is a vital and extremely rare document speaking directly to our past and the careful design of our governmental across more than 200 years.”
Following a January 1867 resolution accusing him of corruption and an authorized inquiry, on December 7th the House held the first full impeachment vote in American history, voting “yeas 57/ nays 108.” The first successful impeachment in the House would wait until February 24th, 1868, following Johnson’s second attempt to remove Edwin Stanton as Secretary of War, a blatant attack on the Senate's recently passed Tenure of Office Act.
After Lincoln's assassination and the end of hostilities, Johnson was tasked with overseeing Reconstruction, including incorporating the rebels in the South back into the Union. Johnson's political fortunes had been based largely on his firm support of the Union - as the only Southern senator who did not resign his seat during secession. But his stance on Reconstruction, offering a quick restoration of seceded states, without offering much protection to former slaves, did not garner wide support, particularly with Northern Republicans. The country was split as never before, and Johnson found himself at odds with his own House and Senate.

Though Johnson’s Reconstruction plan echoed Lincoln’s, he was unable to communicate and negotiate with the legislative branch (as Lincoln might have) in order to reconcile the two views, leading inexorably to the impeachment showdown beginning in 1867.

Courtesy of Fine Books

The latest edition of A Gentle Madness.

College Station, TX -- The Texas A&M University Libraries are pleased to announce an upcoming exhibition: The Eternal Passion: Nicholas A. Basbanes and the Making of A Gentle Madness. The exhibit will open March 19 at Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, and will run until Aug. 14. Nicholas A. Basbanes is an award-winning investigative journalist, columnist and author of 10 books, including Cross of Snow: A Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (Knopf, 2020) which will be released in June. Basbanes’ extensive archives and professional library were acquired by Texas A&M University in 2015.

Basbanes’ first book, A Gentle Madness, is a genre-defining work about the culture of book collecting. Since 1995, it has captured readers’ imaginations with chronicles of the well-known bibliophiles and bibliomanes of history. “The characters who populate this book are almost larger-than-life,” Libraries Curator Kevin O’Sullivan said. “Their adventures in book collecting are at times astounding, heartbreaking, or just stranger than fiction.”

The exhibit will showcase manuscripts, correspondence, artifacts and books to tell the story of the authorship and publication of A Gentle Madness. “As a whole, A Gentle Madness is an enchanting book about books,” O’Sullivan said. “But the tale of how it was researched and written - the labor of love that produced this work we now know so well - is just as compelling.”

In honor of the book’s 25th anniversary, the Libraries will host a symposium in conjunction with the exhibit opening, which will explore the legacy of A Gentle Madness. The symposium will begin at 3 p.m. in the Mayo Thomas Room at Cushing Library, and the exhibit will be open afterwards. Basbanes will be present to offer his reflections upon the work, and there will be a panel of three experts representing the book’s primary constituents: the bookseller, book collector and librarian. The speakers will include Rebecca Romney (Co-Founder, Type Punch Matrix Rare Books), Kurt Zimmerman (President, Book Hunters Club of Houston) and O’Sullivan. The symposium and exhibition are free and open to the public.

For more information about this exhibition or the Nicholas A. Basbanes Collection, please contact Kevin O’Sullivan at


Denver, PA – Dan Morphy, president of Morphy Auctions, has appointed James Kochan to the position of specialist for the company’s Americana, Early Arms and Militaria division. Tapping into his vast knowledge of American antiques, Kochan will be heavily involved in the curation and cataloging of American manuscripts, rare books, maps and ephemera.
“We are honored and delighted that Jim has joined our team,” said Dan Morphy. “He is one of the most respected and knowledgeable authorities in his field. In addition to his duties involving early American books, manuscripts and ephemera, he will be working together with our Arms and Armor specialist David Geiger. I can’t think of a more formidable pairing of experts to represent Morphy’s, both within the hobby and at the highest levels of the business world.”
Prior to founding James L. Kochan Fine Art & Antiques in 1998, Kochan was director of museum collections at Mount Vernon. During his tenure there, he organized the blockbuster traveling exhibition “George Washington Revealed: Treasures from Mount Vernon.” He spent nearly two decades as a museum director and curator, principally with the U.S. Army Museum System and the National Park Service, which included seven years as supervisory curator at Morristown National Historical Park.
Kochan received his bachelor’s degree in history from Miami University in 1980 and conducted graduate work in early American history and historical archaeology at the College of William and Mary. He has received numerous honors and awards for his curatorial and historical work, including the Anne S. K. Brown Military Fellowship at Brown University, the Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History, and a Museum Fellowship from the British Council. He is also the Founding President of the Mars & Neptune Trust, and a Fellow and Life Member of the Company of Military Historians.
James Kochan is the author or co-author of eight reference books on military material culture and history, including Soldiers of the American Revolution, Insignia of Independence: Military Buttons, Accoutrement Plates and Gorgets of the American Revolution, and The United States Army, 1783-1815 (2 vols.), as well as more than 100 published articles or research reports on various facets of early American life. He is considered a leading expert on American and British military and marine artwork and material culture from 1700-1850 and has been a consultant to numerous museums and historic sites.
Kochan has served as the expert consultant on several film and media projects, as well. He was the principal historical consultant and technical advisor for costume, props and set dressing on Peter Weir’s film adaptation of the Patrick O’Brien novels Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World and A&E Network’s The American Revolution; and participated as an expert appraiser on PBS Television’s Antiques Roadshow.
“I am excited about joining Dan’s talented team and have already hit the ground running, working in partnership with David Geiger on a specialized sale of early American martial arms, manuscripts, artwork and militaria for a May auction at Morphy’s,” Kochan said. In a previous collaboration with Geiger, Kochan cataloged the prestigious Walter O’Connor collection, sold by Morphy’s in 2018.
“In my 22 years as a dealer, the most enjoyable experiences have come from providing museum-quality pieces to private and institutional clients and creating strategies to help them build and refine their collections, including the well-considered culling or deaccessioning of pieces. I look forward to providing the same services as part of Morphy Auctions’ team,” Kochan said.  
To contact James Kochan, call 877-968-8880, ext. 722; or email Visit Morphy Auctions online at

Courtesy of University Archives

Jack Kerouac’s Smith-Corona typewriter, used to type his last published work, Vanity of Duluoz, written in 1967 and published in 1968, with the original sales receipt. Estimate: $18,000-20,000

Westport, CT – Manual typewriters owned and used by Ernest Hemingway and Jack Kerouac, plus items relating to Tchaikovsky, Houdini and aviation, are just a few expected top lots in University Archives’ next big online auction scheduled for Wednesday, February 26th, starting promptly at 10:30 am Eastern time. In total, 288 lots are scheduled to come up for bid.

The catalog has already been posted online and bidding is available via, and Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted. Folks can visit the website and browse the full color catalog now, at

The auction is packed with unique relics, photos, autographs, books and ephemera in a wide range of collecting categories. In the literary category alone, there are six lots pertaining to Hemingway and 19 lots pertaining to Kerouac (to include the typewriters), plus items related to F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, Margaret Mitchell, Langston Hughes, Jack London and others.

Other categories include business, finance and invention (Andrew Carnegie, Jay Cooke, Jay Gould, J. Paul Getty, George Pullman, Henry Ford and others); music (Tchaikovsky, George Gershwin, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and others); entertainment (Marilyn Monroe, Harry Houdini, classic Hollywood and more); and presidential items from Washington to Obama.

“An extremely rare letter signed by President Zachary Taylor, written during his brief five months in office, and a Peter Force engraving of the Declaration of Independence, lead our Americana category,” said John Reznikoff, president and owner of University Archives. “Our position as the industry leader in Signers and Revolutionary War categories was just solidified by our blockbuster Declaration Signers’ auction held in January, which realized nearly $900,000.”   

Bibliophiles will relish the six lots related to American novelist Ernest Hemingway. One, from the collection of 102-year-old A.E. Hotchner – Hemingway’s biographer, close friend and confidante – is Hemingway’s 1950s Royal typewriter (est. $50,000-$100,000), used to write the memoir A Moveable Feast. Included is a letter of authenticity signed in 2019 by Mr. Hotchner.

Jazz Age aficionados will also appreciate a gorgeous Gordon Bryant portrait of Hemingway’s friend and fellow expat writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, boldly signed by the author of The Great Gatsby as “Faithfully Yours / F. Scott Fitzgerald” (est. $8,000-$9,000). The photo was part of a study of Fitzgerald by Bryant that was later published in the magazine Shadowland, in 1921.

Part 1 of items from the Jack Kerouac estate includes 19 lots of unique and poignant personal items belonging to the author of On the Road. Lots include Kerouac’s Smith-Corona typewriter (est. $18,000-$20,000), which he used to type his last published work, Vanity of Duluoz, written in 1967 and published in 1968. Included is the original sales receipt, original ribbon and more.

Other Kerouac items will feature correspondence with close friend and poet Allen Ginsberg, with a photo of Beatniks annotated by Jack; a signed pencil drawing of Kerouac’s nephew, “Lil Paul”; family photos together with snapshots of Kerouac’s beloved cats; and articles of clothing. The balance of the estate will be sold over the course of several sales in winter and spring of 2020.

Of the 15-plus lots dedicated to inventors and investors, the lot of three 1830s patent documents for Colt’s revolutionary “revolving cylinder” guns, signed and annotated by the elusive gunsmith himself, should garner special interest (est. $40,000-$50,000). Colt’s Paterson Revolver No. 5 was a large pistol and a game-changer for Texas Rangers, who no longer had to reload after one shot.

The scarce Peter Force engraving of the Declaration of Independence, printed in 1848 with remarkable exact renditions of the Signers’ hands, is one of the best representations of the original manuscript Declaration, and perhaps one of as few as 500 issued (est. $15,000-$18,000). Measuring 26 inches by 29 inches, the document is a copperplate engraving on thin rice paper.

A rare, four-page letter signed by the Russian composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky contains significant content relating to his opera Mazepa (est. $12,000-$15,000). In the letter, addressed to conductor Eduard Nápravník, Tchaikovsky discusses logistics for the opera named after Pushkin’s poem about the 1709 Battle of Poltava. Mazepa premiered at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in 1884.

A same-day eyewitness account of the Wounded Knee massacre, penned in a letter by Winfield Scott Edgerly to his wife Grace, dated Dec. 29, 1890, in which he says “the 7th (Cavalry) needn’t be ashamed of today’s record,” should reach $10,000-$12,000. Also, a Standard Oil certificate for 600 shares of capital stock, signed three times by John D. Rockefeller and once by Henry Morrison Flagler, dated Dec. 26, 1876, is expected to sell for $2,000-$2,400.

A single-page letter written and boldly signed by astronaut Neil Armstrong on official NASA letterhead, in which he mentions his participation in the X-15 program, in fine condition, has an estimate of $7,000-$8,000; while an archive of 34 letters, notes and postcards, mostly written by aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh and his wife Anne between 1951-1980, to their Connecticut neighbor John Oldrin, sharing their thoughts on life and loss, is estimated to hit $4,000-$5,000.

A scarce postcard letter handwritten in Gujarati and signed by Indian leader Mohandes Gandhi, dated June 1, 1926, addressed to Jamana Ben and signed “Bapu’s blessings”, in which Gandhi says “the life span of human beings is preordained”, is expected to realize $7,000-$8,000. Also, a sought-after glossy photo of Pope John Paul II, signed by the pontiff as “Joannes Paulus II” and depicting him in a benevolent pose, 8 inches by 11 ½ inches, should finish at $2,000-$2,400.

A 24-page letter written and signed three times by John H. Brooks, the steward of Adm. Farragut (of “damn the torpedoes” fame), dated Aug. 5, 1864 and written aboard the U.S.S. Hartford, in which Brooks talks about the “Battle of Mobile Bay”, has an estimate of $6,000-$7,000. Also, a typed letter signed by the recently promoted four-star General George S. Patton, Jr. (1885-1945), discussing Third Army movement in Germany in 1945, should change hands for $3,500-$4,500.

An order to suspend execution written by Abraham Lincoln as President on Nov. 10, 1864, a superb card (3 ¼ inches by 2 inches) with over 24 words written in Lincoln’s hand, and signed and dated by Lincoln, carries an estimate of $5,000-$6,000. Also, an oversize document signed by Napoleon Bonaparte (as “Nap” bottom center), dated May 16, 1813, in which he appoints a Norman politician as Baron of the Empire, with a Great Seal, should command $4,000-$5,000.

A two-page letter written and boldly signed by Harry Houdini (as “Houdini”), dated Feb. 22, 1924, addressed to Mrs. Remigius Weiss of Pittsburgh, a peer of Houdini’s, in which he solicits books on witchcraft and kindred spirits, is estimated at $3,500-$4,500. Also, a check signed and fully endorsed by Marilyn Monroe, sent from the Hollywood, California address of her love nest with Joe DiMaggio, has an estimate of $2,600-$2,800.

University Archives has become world-renowned as a go-to source for rare items of this kind. It is actively seeking quality material for future auctions, presenting a rare opportunity for sellers. Anyone who has a single item or a collection that may be a fit for a future University Archives auction may call Mr. Reznikoff at 203-454-0111, or email him at

Credit: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

Documents of the Walking Purchase and the Councils of Easton, 75 manuscripts, including two manuscript maps, 1685–1762.

San Marino, CA — The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens announced today that it has acquired a recently discovered archive documenting an 18th-century investigation into a land deal—the so-called Walking Purchase—that defrauded the Lenni Lenape (known to Europeans as Delawares) out of more than a million acres in Pennsylvania. The collection of 75 manuscripts includes affidavits, depositions, sworn testimonies, maps, and letters that document the inquiry, which involved not only the agents of Pennsylvania's proprietors, Delawares, and Quakers, but also Benjamin Franklin (who represented the colony of Pennsylvania in London), the British military command, and the British Crown. The collection was purchased at The Huntington's 23rd annual Library Collectors' Council meeting last month.

The Council also purchased three original illustrated Japanese handscrolls—one measuring 12 feet, and each of the other two extending more than 21 feet in length—that record U.S. Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s maritime expeditions to Japan in 1853 and 1854. The unknown artists carefully recorded the measurements and movements of Perry’s ships, American machinery and technology, and detailed renderings of American sailors, their uniforms, and American tools and weapons, providing a Japanese perspective on the foreign incursions. Perry’s military and diplomatic actions in Japan ushered in a new era of U.S. dominance in Asia and accelerated Japan’s transformation into an industrialized nation, starting in the late 19th century.

In addition, The Huntington acquired Sketches of Camp Boone, a rare published album with 20 original photographs depicting the military camp life of the Kentucky State Guard in 1860, shortly before the start of the U.S. Civil War. The photographs were made by two virtual unknowns—the Louisville firm of C. Alfred Garrett and George H. Nickerson—who worked quickly and used a portable darkroom to develop a series of carefully composed views depicting soldiers, armaments, equipment, and activities of the 3,000 members of the Guard.

The Council also acquired the archive of novelist Jeanette Garr Washburn Kelsey (1850–1930), daughter of Cadwallader Kelsey (1818–1882), a businessman and politician who founded General Mills Inc. At the heart of the archive is a 435-page illustrated manuscript memoir that tells the story of a 14-year relationship between Jeanette G. W. Kelsey and her confidante, the British author Julia Clara Pitt Byrne (1818–1894), who was a prolific journalist and author of popular travel accounts and gossipy memoirs, as well as more serious works that documented abuses in English workhouses. The archive also includes extensive correspondence with an array of female cultural movers and shakers on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as the Kelsey family of writers, architects, artists, inventors, lawyers, and activists.

The Library Collectors’ Council is a group of 44 households that assist in the development of the collections by supporting the purchase of important works that the Library would not otherwise be able to afford.

“The Huntington’s current Centennial exhibition, What Now: Collecting for the Library in the 21st Century, includes many items purchased with the Council’s support over the past two decades, drawing sharp attention to the lasting impact of these important donors,” said Sandra Ludig Brooke, Avery Director of the Library at The Huntington. “And this year is no exception. Our most recent acquisitions will provide humanities researchers with tremendous material enabling new insights regarding the history and literature of the past three centuries.”

Highlights of the newly purchased materials include:

“Taken by Fraud”: Documents of the Walking Purchase and the Councils of Easton

“The Walking Purchase archive is a fitting addition to The Huntington as the Library is one of the nation’s leading repositories for colonial American history,” said Olga Tsapina, Norris Foundation Curator of American History at The Huntington.

The collection consists of documents retained by the office of William Denny (1718–60), a British military officer who served as the governor of Pennsylvania during the French and Indian War. Its core focuses on the 1757 inquiry into the Walking Purchase, a spectacular land swindle orchestrated in 1737 by the proprietor of Pennsylvania, Thomas Penn, and his government. The Lenni Lenape (Delaware) people were defrauded of a tract of land roughly the size of Rhode Island, and when they tried to complain, the proprietary government conspired with Delawares’ old enemies, the Iroquois, to force them off their ancestral land.

Taking advantage of the war, Delawares returned in the summer of 1755, this time backed by the French and armed. In November 1756, meeting with Delaware chief Teeduyscung, Denny asked whether the people of Pennsylvania had “done you any kind of injury.” Teeduyscung disclosed that his people’s lands had been “taken by fraud” and pointed an accusing finger at the proprietor.

Desperate to stop the violence and secure Delaware military assistance, Denny promised Teeduyscung a fair investigation. This inquiry, which continued for more than a year, became the main item on the agenda of a council that convened in August 1757 in Easton. This collection preserves the documents of the inquiry and the council—original, unedited records of sworn testimony, affidavits, accounts, and even a forged treaty produced by Penn’s lawyers—as well as letters, maps, and other documents that date back to the time of the Walking Purchase.

The archive also includes military and political correspondence that sheds new light on the inner workings of British diplomacy and provincial politics—especially the struggle between the proprietary government and the general assembly headed by Benjamin Franklin.

Black Ship Scrolls: Japanese Views of Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s Expeditions

Expertly painted scrolls by unknown Japanese artists provide a firsthand account of Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s two historic maritime expeditions to Japan in 1853 and 1854. “Collectively, they offer a rare chronological overview, from the Japanese perspective, of one of the most important 19th-century geopolitical events on the Pacific Rim,” said Li Wei Yang, curator of Pacific Rim Collections at The Huntington.

The first scroll features Perry’s attempt to land on Japanese shores in 1853 and highlights the American navy’s maritime path through Uraga Channel on its way to Edo (now Tokyo). The scroll depicts American steamships and includes four internal Japanese government documents concerning Japan’s defense against foreign ships.

Perry returned to Japan on Feb. 13, 1854—with more sailors, ships, and weapons—and threatened war if the Japanese did not accede to American demands. The negotiations lasted for weeks and concluded with the Treaty of Kanagawa on March 31, 1854. The second set of scrolls is vividly illustrated to recount Perry’s second and decisive attempt at trading with Japan. It contains detailed drawings and descriptions of American machinery and technology.

Executed shortly after Perry and his squadron departed, the second set of scrolls contains portraits of Perry and his chief of staff, Henry A. Adams, along with detailed renderings of American tools and weapons, including knives, hammers, saws, pistols, rifles, and swords.

“The Huntington’s Pacific Rim collections present a wide array of materials on American exploration and conquest in the Pacific, but rarely do they include materials from the perspective of the Asia Pacific region,” said Yang. “These scrolls complement the Library’s existing collections on Commodore Perry and provide Huntington scholars a more balanced view of U.S.-Japan relations in the mid-19th century.”

Rare Early Book Depicting Military Camp Life on the Eve of the American Civil War

"Sketches of Camp Boone extends The Huntington’s dominance as a preeminent repository of 19th-century photographically illustrated work and pictorial representations of the Civil War,” said Jennifer Watts, former curator of photography and visual culture at The Huntington.

On Aug. 23, 1860, 3,000 members of the newly formed Kentucky State Guard assembled at Camp Boone in Louisville for four days of drilling, parading, and induction into military life. Photographers Garrett and Nickerson captured the event in portraiture and landscapes, a technical feat at the time.

State leaders had established the Kentucky State Guard on March 5, 1860, in alarmed response to the attempted slave rebellion led by John Brown in 1859. Five months later at Camp Boone, the governor and his wife greeted Kentucky’s new citizen soldiers and their commander, Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner.

Sectional loyalties in Kentucky, a critical border state, were famously divided, pitting “brother against brother.” When the war came, the majority of the Kentucky State Guard joined the Confederate fight, making these few photographic glimpses into Southern military life rarer still. Southern photographers mostly could not—and did not—make pictures of soldiers in the field.

“As scholars have long noted, making and mounting salt paper prints—the earliest and rarest form of paper photography—in book form results in a unique production with demonstrable variations in print tone and quality, cropping, mounting, and other marks,” said Watts.

Only four other copies of Sketches are known to exist, one of which is in private hands.

“These photographs offer the potential to expand the field of photographic history, since little to nothing is known of the photographers, their careers, or why and for whom they created this labor-intensive work,” said Watts.

“A Tie as Firm as Strong”: The Archive of Jeanette G. W. Kelsey (1863–1925)

“The 14-year relationship between two exceptional women lies at the center of this remarkable collection,” said Karla Nielsen, curator of literary collections at The Huntington.

On March 29, 1894, London newspapers announced the death of socialite and prolific journalist Julia Clara Pitt Byrne (b. 1818), widow of the proprietor of the Morning Post. When the news reached her longtime confidante, Philadelphia’s Jeanette Garr Washburn Kelsey (1850–1930), it dealt a crushing blow.

Six months after Byrne’s death, Kelsey set out to create “some record of the friendship that existed between two women who loved each other,” a friendship that was “a blessing to both,” “a tie as firm as strong that nothing ever came between the two who were faithful.” The result is a two-volume illustrated manuscript—a powerful and moving story of the friendship between these semi-forgotten women writers—that includes all of Byrne’s letters painstakingly copied by her grieving friend.

“This single document would merit acquisition because of its unprecedented insight into relationships between women in the last half of the 19th century, a topic of great interest to scholars,” said Nielsen. “But Kelsey’s correspondence also contains letters of such authors as Annie Adams Fields and Sarah Orne Jewett, actresses Ida Vernon and Anne Hartley Gilbert, and the family of poet Hilaire Belloc.”

The latter includes letters of Belloc’s mother, Bessie Rayner Parkes, a writer and women’s rights activist; his sister, novelist Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes; and others.

The archive includes voluminous correspondence of Jeanette G. W. Kelsey, her husband, children, and in-laws—providing an intimate record of the literary, intellectual, cultural, and political scene of the 19th and early 20th century. The family correspondents include Jeanette’s husband, Albert Warren Kelsey (1840–1921), a political economist and journalist, and a friend of Winslow Homer; and her father-in-law, Albert Hannibal Kelsey (1811–1901), the Boston contractor and superintendent responsible for the construction of numerous buildings in Boston, including the extension of the State House. In addition, there are letters from the Kelsey children, as well as correspondence dealing with the administration of her father, Wisconsin Gov. Cadwallader Washburn (1818–82), regarding his estate and business enterprises.

“This extraordinary family archive will be a rich primary source for scholars of 19th- and early 20th-century American and British literature and history,” said Olga Tsapina, Norris Foundation Curator of American History.