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As personal papers and archival collections are increasingly sought after by librarians and collectors, we have accordingly been conducting a fair bit of original cataloguing of various special collections materials in order to keep up with the demand. I’ve thus become better at identifying and describing the papers and ephemera of obscure authors and artists, and even a few famous punk rockers unknown only to me; but every now and then I am confronted with anonymous or original materials of considerable interest which I cannot identify, despite my best efforts. Here for example is a hand-painted illustration from the 1930s signed “AM”:
BTC’s headquarters in the “new-old” red brick public school building in Gloucester City, New Jersey, lies about a mile from the Delaware River at the foot of the Walt Whitman Bridge. A city marina and a small patch of park can be found there, literally at the end of the road from our building, but it is not a place where one would go for a picnic.
It wasn’t always so. Back in the day Thomas Eakins went there to conduct several photographic studies of shad fishermen. His two great paintings, Shad Fishing at Gloucester on the Delaware River and Mending the Net, were both composed from these studies in 1881. Eakins in fact came to Gloucester quite often, and made numerous drawings and watercolors of the river and the inland farms and fields. We are now inclined to think of Gloucester as “Eakins country.”
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