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Guide to the Alexander Anderson Print Collection
 PR 216

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Jenny Gotwals

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 17, 2022
Description is in English.

Container List

Series I. Works by Anderson

Scope and Contents note

Series I spans the period from 1791 when Anderson was a medical student to 1864, only a few years before his death. The series is arranged into two subseries: Engravings; and Drawings and Paintings.

Engravings included here are generally illustrations, certificates, and other documents. Two large prints Anderson engraved after European artists Johannes Ridinger and David Teniers both date from 1818. A copy of one of these, Teniers' "Water Fowl," is printed on silk. Most of Anderson's other engravings were small, either vignettes or illustrations for books. These have mostly survived as small paper scraps cut from the original publication, and illustrate biblical scenes, animals from encyclopedia entries, and other subjects.

Anderson's medical illustrations are well-represented. A wood engraving of a male skeleton, measuring over 36 inches high, is a unique print. Anderson reported copying the skeleton design from an edition of anatomical drawings by Bernard Albinus (1653-1721). An engraved male anatomical figure, measuring 42 by 13 inches, is one of three copies known to exist.

One folder contains Anderson-related material that once belonged to Benson Lossing, one of Anderson's admirers and biographers. This folder includes thirty-five engravings, a carte-de-visite portrait of Anderson's second wife, Anderson's business card, and letters from Anderson and his wife to Lossing. This material was purchased together by the Society and has thus been kept together.

Engraved documents include Anderson's admission tickets to medical classes at Columbia College. As a student, he received a commission to engrave these small cards with the names of the classes and professors printed on them. Also included here are two small engravings commemorating an undated Columbia College commencement ceremony.

A wedding certificate for the wedding of Miss Frances Huntington to Josiah Phillips Quincy, on December 23, 1858, is also present.

A program from a Festival of St. Nicholas celebration held at the New-York Historical Society in 1864 tells the story of the first such celebration in 1810 in which Dr. Anderson was feted. The program is illustrated with Anderson's engraving of John Pintard, librarian of the Society, and a self-portrait.

Drawings and Paintings found in this series include eleven original pen and ink and watercolor drawings by Anderson. Medical subjects include images of vertebrae, muscle cutaways, and a neck abscess. Two watercolors show the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, where Anderson journeyed in 1798 after the death of his wife, to visit his uncle Alexander, who was the director of the Botanic Garden on the island. One drawing is a design for an emblem for the "Journeymen Stone-Cutter's Society."

Subseries I.A. Engravings: Illustrations

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 "Belmead," print mounted on wood block
Box: 2 Folder : 21 "Return[ing] from the Boar Hunt," after Johannes Ridinger
Box: 2 Folder : 22 "Water Fowl," after David Teniers.
Box: 1 Folder : 2-3 Book Illustrations--Biblical scenes
Box: 1 Folder : 4-5 Book Illustrations--General
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Medical illustrations

General note

See also oversize Folders 26 and 27

Box: 1 Folder : 7 Vignette engravings

General note

See also: Box 2 folder 23

Box: 1 Folder : 8 Miscellaneous engravings, mostly animals
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Miscellaneous engravings, once owned by Bernard Lossing

Subseries I.B. Engravings: Documents

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 24 Festival of St. Nicholas Program
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Trade cards
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Tickets of Admission/Columbia College
Box: 2 Folder : 25 Wedding certificate

Subseries I.C. Drawings and Paintings

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Design for Stone Cutter's Society, pen and ink
Box: 1 Folder : 13-14 Medical drawings
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Watercolor

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