British Children's Books from the Ingalls Library Collection

The earliest illustrated children's book, Orbis Pictus, (The World in Pictures) by John Amos Comenius, was published in 1658. Early children's books were used for teaching religious and moral lessons with their sparse illustrations reflecting the somber texts. John Newberry's A Little Pretty Pocket-Book, published in 1744, was the first English children's book that abandoned the didactic writing style and focused instead on pleasure reading. Toys were included to promote the books—pincushions for girls and balls for boys.

Antonio del Pollaiuolo's Battle of the Nudes

by Shelley Langdale


Antonio del Pollaiuolo (Italian,1431–1498) was a renowned Florentine painter, sculptor, draftsman, and goldsmith who was particularly admired for his dynamic and expressive portrayal of the human figure. He carried out a wide range of projects including a series of Hercules paintings (now lost) for the powerful Medici family in Florence, designs for embroidered vestments, monumental tombs for Popes Sixtus IV and Innocent VIII in St.Peter's Basilica in Rome, small bronze sculptures, and reliefs.

Bookplates from the Ingalls Library Collection

"Do you want these bookplates?" inquired Mr. Langdon Warner in a letter dated 12 October 1917. He wrote from the Pennsylvania Museum, where he had just assumed the directorship, to his colleague Frederick Allan Whiting, then director of the Cleveland Museum of Art. Warner continued, "We have no collection here, and F.G. Hall the artist may one day be famous." It is with this gift of nine bookplates that the collection of ex libris at the Cleveland Museum of Art was initiated.

Manuscript Facsimiles from the Ingalls Library Rare Book Collection

The Oxford English Dictionary defines facsimile as: "an exact copy or likeness; an exact counterpart or representation1." The current "Collection in Focus" includes a selection of manuscript facsimiles, including books of hours, from the Ingalls Library Rare Book Collection. The original of each item featured is unique because each was produced before the use of movable type, the invention of the printing press circa 1439 by Johannes Gutenberg (c.1398-1468)2 and the subsequent mass production of printed books.

Samplers from the Museum's Textile Collection

Though one can trace sampler history back to Mamluk Egypt, most sampler collections today represent works from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. Amateur needle workers stitched linen with silk and wool, using the sampler, or exampler, as a record of embroidered curriculum. Early European examples of samplers record stitches (spot samplers) and borders containing letters and patterns (band samplers).

53 Post Stations on Tokkaido

Born Ando Tokutaro in 1797 near Edo, Utagawa Hiroshige is more commonly known as Ando Hiroshige, a combination of his surname and his art name Ichiyusai Hiroshige. Despite inheriting his father's hereditary retainer of shogun and the position of fire warden at a young age, Hiroshige entered the studio of painter Ichiyusai Toyohiro where he attained an artist license and name within several years. It is Toyohiro who bestowed the artist name of Utagawa on Hiroshige, after himself. Later, Hiroshige took the name Ichiyusai in deference to his teacher.

Walker Evans and the Picture Postcard

Photographer Walker Evans is well known for his stark portraits of the American Great Depression, which reflect a part of our cultural memory. In a career that spanned over 60 years until his death in 1975, Evans was a prolific artist and, like many artists, a collector. Drawn to the mundane and ordinary, Evans collected driftwood, tin-can pull-tabs, and wood and metal signs. He also collected printed ephemera—paper items intended to be discarded after use. He was a particularly obsessive collector of picture postcards, amassing a collection of over 9,000 during his lifetime.

Is It Rembrandt?

The museum is in the process of reevaluating the attributions of its paintings associated with Rembrandt. Responsibility for reattribution ultimately falls to the community of Rembrandt experts and, for the museum's own works, to the curator responsible for the collection.  However, we want to cast the widest possible net for opinions on the paintings, and so but we seek your input in this process as well.  Through a mobile app or the museum web site, you can indicate your attribution and, if you wish, comments on your reasoning.


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