Visual Arts

Original Blocks for Wood-Engravings
Thomas Bewick, Original Blocks for Wood-Engravings, 19th century.

The Visual Arts are richly represented in the Newberry’s collection. Here we offer a very partial selection concentrating on images of American Indians and on works that show older and more recent techniques and styles of printmaking and book illustration.

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Thomas Bewick was un­doubtedly the greatest wood engraver of the early-modern era. The Newberry holds 119 of his blocks, the largest collection in America. [Essay 65]

Thomas Bewick
Peacock Wood Block; Peacock Print
Newcastle upon Tyne, c. 1800; Bewick Cherryburn Edition, 1970
Wing Fund, 1943
Case Wing oversize ZY 845 .B572

<em>Petalesharro or Terrekitauahu: A Loup Pawnee Chief who Prevented his Nation Burning a Female Captive in 1819</em>
Charles Bird King, Petalesharro ..., 1822.

Charles Bird King specialized in painting famous people who visited Washington, D.C., including Skidi Pawnee chief Petalesharo. [Essay 19]

Charles Bird King
Petalesharro or Terrekitauahu: A Loup Pawnee Chief who Prevented his Nation Burning a Female Captive in 1918

Washington, D.C., c. 1822
Gift of Edward E. Ayer, 1911
VAULT oversize Ayer Art King

 

<p><em>Guerrier Moenitarri, Fort Clark River 1833/1834</em> in <em>Prince Maximilian of Wied&rsquo;s Travels in the Interior of North America</em></p><br />
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Karl Bodmer, Guerrier Moenitarri, ..., ca. 1833-1843.

Karl Bodmer was a young Swiss painter who joined an expedition along the Upper Missouri River. He created ethnographically faithful watercolors, as of the Hidatsa warrior portrayed here, Ahschüpsa Masihichsi. [Essay 23]

Karl Bodmer
Guerrier Moenitarri, Fort Clark River 1833–34
in Prince Maximilian of Wied's Travels in the Interior of North America
1833/1834
Gift of Edward E. Ayer, 1911
VAULT oversize Ayer Art Bodmer

<em>Black Horse Ledger</em>
Black Horse Ledger, ca. 1877-1879.

This ledger book holds some of the finest examples of Plains Indian artistry. It contains 124 drawings, probably the work of nine Cheyenne warrior-artists—fighting men who were also artistically gifted. [Essay 25]

Scenes from the Black Horse Ledger
North Cheyenne Territory, c. 1874/1879
Gift of Edward E. Ayer, 1911
VAULT oversize Ayer MS 3227

<em>Pahl-Lee. Moqui.</em>
Elbridge Ayer Burbank, Pahl-Lee. Moqui. 1898.

Elbridge Ayer Burbank was the nephew of one of the Newberry’s greatest benefactors, Edward E. Ayer. Burbank created more than 1,200 lively and accurate portraits of people from 125 native nations. [Essay 27]

Elbridge Ayer Burbank
Pahl-Lee. Moqui

1898
Gift of Edward E. Ayer, 1911
VAULT oversize Ayer Art Burbank, no. 60

Rockwell Kent's Illustrations for Melville&rsquo;s <em>Moby Dick</em>
Rockwell Kent, Illustrations for Melville’s Moby Dick, ca. 1930.

Chicago’s R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company printed an edition of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick lavishly illustrated by Rockwell Kent. The Newberry holds the most complete surviving set of proofs for these illustrations. [Essay 69]

Rockwell Kent
Proof sheets for the Lakeside Press’s Moby Dick
Chicago: R.R. Donnelley & Sons, 1930
Gift of Dan Burne Jones, 1977
Case Wing oversize ZX 983 .K37

An Original Wood Block, used in the Golden Cockerel Press edition of <em>The Four Gospels</em>
Eric Gill, An Original Wood Block, ..., ca. 1931.

Eric Gill is best known as a designer of widely used typefaces. He also created woodblocks like this one, for the fine press printer, the Golden Cockerel Press. [Essay 73]

Eric Gill
Initial Block for Four Gospels
Ditchling, Surrey: Golden Cockerel Press, 1931
Wing Fund, 1962
Case Wing ZY 945 .G4117