Cornucopias: Heralding Nature’s Bounty in Many Forms

From my earliest days of coloring school worksheets, cornucopias are the symbol I associate with the harvest season and the Thanksgiving holiday many Americans will be celebrating this week. Also known as the “horn of plenty,” the typical representation features vegetables and fruits spilling forth in abundance. In searching the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog, […]

Celebrating the Graphic Tradition at the National Book Festival

The following is a guest post by Sara W. Duke, Curator of Popular & Applied Graphic Arts, Prints & Photographs Division. The Library of Congress has long collected cartoon art and illustration, including editorial cartoon and comic strip drawings. In the last fifteen years, we’ve expanded the scope to include original drawings for alternative comics, […]

St. Patrick’s Day in the Army

My celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, despite my Irish roots, was simply to wear a bit of green. During the American Civil War, the Union soldiers from the Irish Brigade of the Army of the Potomac had much bigger plans. Sketch artist Edwin Forbes was there to capture the action on March 17, 1863 as […]

Du Bois’s American Negro Exhibit for the 1900 Paris Exposition

In this exhibit there are, of course, the usual paraphenalia for catching the eye — photographs, models, industrial work, and pictures. But it does not stop here; beneath all this is a carefully thought-out plan, according to which the exhibitors have tried to show: (a) The history of the American Negro. (b) His present condition. […]

Finding a Madonna – A Rare Drawing by Martín Ramírez

The following is a guest post by Katherine Blood, Curator of Fine Prints, Prints and Photographs Division. One of the joys of working with the Library’s vast and varied collections is the potential for making extraordinary discoveries. This is one of those stories. Please help us welcome a new treasure to the Prints & Photographs […]

Feast Your Eyes: Filling the Holiday Platter

Tomorrow many households in the U.S. will be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. Holidays–particularly food-centered ones–conjure up many personal associations. They also tend to inspire evocative pictures. Turkey in many shapes and forms predominate in the array of images that turn up when you search the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog for “Thanksgiving.” But my family […]

Gettysburg: Artists, Photographers & Printmakers Tell the Tale

The following is a guest post by Helena Zinkham, Chief, Prints & Photographs Division. The Battle of Gettysburg was fought on July 1-3, 1863, at a small town in Pennsylvania. The fierce fighting was a major turning point in the American Civil War, with an estimated 50,000 casualties—dead, wounded, and missing Union and Confederate soldiers. […]

Whistler’s Butterfly

Some people contend that great art is distinguished in the attention the artist paid to the most minute details.  Artist James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) may be a good case in point in that he even turned his creative energy to the way in which he signed his work. H. Barbara Weinberg of the Department of American […]

Timberclads: A Civil War Alternative to Ironclads

The following is a guest post by Gay Colyer, Digital Library Specialist, Prints & Photographs Division. While reviewing Civil War photographs of the Union’s Mississippi River Fleet (LOT 4183), I came across a type of ship that I hadn’t seen before. I’ve long admired the efficient design of the single or double turreted ironclads. In […]

First Holland Prizes Awarded for Architectural Drawing

The following is a guest post by Helena Zinkham, Chief, Prints & Photographs Division. The Library of Congress and the Heritage Documentation Programs at the National Park Service have named the first winners of a new prize for the best single-sheet drawing prepared to the standards of the Historic American Buildings Survey, Historic American Engineering […]