Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2008 Issue

Connecting Word and Image

Lr.4

A wall that invites additions and contemplation


By Bruce McKinney

This article is in two parts. The written portion is three pages. The second part is a video. Links to the video are provided here and at the end of the article.

AE Youtube Video

Fifty years of book collecting has brought me to this. I collect books as avidly as ever but these days collect subjects rather than books and do so with a precision and efficiency that was, until ten years ago, unimaginable. I still buy books but today see them as one thread in a tapestry of images, paintings, pamphlets, ephemera, documents and manuscripts that, taken together bring knowledge, insight and abiding satisfaction. Since 1990 I have increasingly added paintings, photographs, maps and broadsides to what was previously a collection of books and have found, in the changing mix, a collecting metier. This month I write about a single wall of material that, framed, hung together and always changing, give my collection of the Hudson River and the Hudson River Valley a vitality that books do not by themselves achieve.

Note that the numbers following descriptions refer to the attached diagram of my living room east wall.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Abraham Lincoln, <i>Emancipation Proclamation by the President of the United States,</i> pamphlet, 1862. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the distinguished Ruby-Jackson family, Portland, Maine, 1853-1961. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Family papers of the Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens & the persons who served him, 1866-1907. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Autograph book with inscriptions by orators Moses Roper & Peter Williams, 1821-54. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Archive of letters, postcards, and greeting cards sent by Romare Bearden, 1949-87. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br>E. Simms Campbell, <i>A Night-Club Map of Harlem,</i> in inaugural issue of Manhattan, 1933. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Papers of the comedian Nipsey Russell, including a letter from MLK, 1929-2000. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Early German-American anti-slavery broadside, <i>Sclaven-Handel,</i> Philadelphia, 1794. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Edmonia Lewis, prominent sculptor, carte-de-visite by Henry Rocher, c. 1866-71. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b><br><i>The Black Panther: Black Community News Service,</i> 44 issues, San Francisco, 1967-1971. $3,000 to $4,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> Ernest Withers, <i>I Am A Man, Sanitation Workers Strike,</i> silver print, 1968. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries:</b> <i>March For Freedom Now!,</i> poster for the 1960 Republican Convention. $4,000 to $6,000.

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