Swans by Maurice R. Bebb. Aquatint,
||A Graphic Sanctuary
For Animals, Birds, and a Few Fish
Curated by William J. Dane
May 8 - June 2000
An exhibition celebrating a wide variety of creatures
sharing planet Earth is currently on view in the
galleries of The Newark Public Library. The visual
project is entitled A Graphic Sanctuary for Animals,
Birds and a few Fish, with about 200 works of
graphic art especially selected from The Fine Print
Collection of The Library. Scores of artists from around
the world have created these creatures on paper in an
extraordinary variety of interpretations and techniques.
The primary purpose of this gathering is to further
appreciate the incredible gift of multiplicity of life
with which Mother Nature has graced our planet. This
carefully selected zoo is designed to appeal to young
visitors as well as to adults of all vintage in complete
sympathy with the spirit of preservation which is
currently of importance to many, many people both in the
United States and around the globe.
Agnes Miller Parker. Wood engraving, 1940.
The prints and related materials are all drawn from The
Librarys extensive print holdings and are chiefly by
artists who worked over the past two centuries. Probably the most
famous are chromolithographs of birds by John James Audubon who
meticulously drew birds of North America with incredible accuracy
and beauty resulting in world famous renditions. Six of these
very large prints are in the display. They are part of an edition
printed in New York in 1860 and were donated to the Library in
1933 by Mrs. William Clark of Newark. The early 19th century
French artist, Gericault, was noted for his depiction and love of
horses and they are included in the show along with flying birds
by the Dutch mathematician and artist, Maurits Escher, and a few
works by the very popular American painter and printmaker, LeRoy
Neiman. His prints include a large serigraph showing two fighting
polar bears, a rodeo scene with horses, a family of panthers in
repose and a splendid etched black and white depiction of a
Bronco by LeRoy Neiman. Serigraph, 1977.
by Nora Herz. Woodblock print.
The curator of this zoological trek, William J. Dane,
who is also the Keeper of Prints at The Library,
commented that variety of many animals, birds and a
few fish was the goal in selecting the great prints for
public enjoyment. The following animals by various
artists of the past two centuries may be viewed: donkeys,
goats, buffalo, pigs, lions, panthers, monkeys, mice and
sheep, cattle and hares from barnyard settings in
addition to the always treasured and perennial favorites
such as cats, dogs and horses in quantity. Feathered
friends include poultry, parrots, crows, egrets, pigeons
gulls, woodpeckers and the nocturnal owl.
Pasture by Antonio Frasconi. Color wood
In a striking historic print, General Ulysses Grant is shown
driving a prize winning race horse, Dexter, rapidly
down the Bloomingdale Road in New York in 1868. In a small but
memorable print by Nathaniel Currier, the Biblical Adam is shown
naming earths creatures as they parade before him in a
lithograph which was later hand tinted in blue and green
watercolors. This work was published several years before Currier
joined forces and business talents with James Ives to print
thousands of highly popular images which adorned American parlors
throughout the 2nd half of the 19th century.
The covers of nineteenth century sheet music with creatures
include racing horses pulling antique fire engines, colorful
birds lined up for a song entitled, Jenny Linds Song,
and a rampant eagle on a patriotic song published just before the
Civil War in 1859, plus an elongated sea serpent with a human
head as a lure for the public to buy a polka published in New
Orleans. Movable and pop-up books depict Peter Rabbit, animals
showing off their finery as published by The National Geographic
Society, animals in disguise as a survival technique and the most
stunning pop-up creatures in The Movable Mother Goose
created by Robert Sabuda of New York in a relatively new
publication published in 1999 for the delight and enjoyment of
movable book enthusiasts.
|Illustrated books are also in this show such as the
late Edward Goreys drawings for T.S. Eliots
poems about cats which were used as the basic story for
the longest running Broadway show entitled simply CATS.
The pochoir color screen process is represented by
stunning and accurate depictions of insects and
butterflies as drawn by E. Seguy from Paris. These much
admired designs were later used in Art Deco fabrics and a
wide assortment of surface designs for enthusiasts on
both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. A few illustrated books
with Japanese prints (ehon) and dating back over 150
years are also on display and they give viewers drawings
of oxen, doves, giant fish, geese and exotic birds in
by Eugene Seguy. Pochoir print.
Flamingo by John James Audubon.
Among the one hundred or more artists represented
are prints by New Jersey artists including Carolyn
Keskulla, Nora Herz, Lois Morrison, Riva Helfond and
Audubon himself who spent some time in Camden and Great
Egg Harbor in 1829.
The exhibition is open during regular Library hours
and is free to all without any fee or admission charges.
For additional details, please call 973-733-7745.