Recent Donation of Visual Art

Eva G. Farris Special Collections is pleased to announce the generous donation of fourteen architectural drawings and graphic and photogravure prints from Mr. Larry Huston. These fine pieces help Special Collections document visual art and northern Kentucky’s business history.

Among the donated items are several design drawings of ornamental fencing and gates created by Stewart Iron Works. Stewart Iron Works, from Covington, Kentucky, traces its origins to 1862 and still operates today. Specializing in detailed architectural and structural steel and iron work, some of the company’s major projects include jail cells for Alcatraz, iron fencing for the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904, and gates to Fort Knox. One of the donated architectural drawings depicts elaborate gates designed for the Holmes Estate at Holmesdale in Covington. Torn down in 1936, Holmes High School now sits on the estate’s original location.

Color Lithograph (c. 1890s) from the Donaldson Lithography Company, Newport, Ky.

Color Lithograph (c. 1890s) from the Donaldson Lithography Company, Newport, Ky.

Mr. Huston also donated a color lithograph produced by the Donaldson Lithography Company of Newport, Kentucky. Male circus performers animate the large lithograph, which was printed in the 1890s. Cincinnati was a well-known commercial center for graphic arts including lithography and printing during this period. The piece is a beautiful example of advertising and the nature of entertainment in the late 19th century.

Four photogravure prints from Karl Blossfeldt’s (1865-1932) Urformen der Kunst published in 1928 are included in the gift. Blossfeldt was an important German photographer and teacher who specialized in creating close-up photographs of plants. He used his detailed photographs to study the field of art and nature. The four prints demonstrate Blossfeldt’s attention to the beauty and complexity of botanical life.

Special Collections and University Archives is open to the public Monday-Friday from 1-4p.m. and other times by appointment in Steely Library room 106 on the Highland Heights campus of Northern Kentucky University. We invite interested researchers to contact us prior to their visit by emailing Anne Ryckbost (ryckbosta1@nku.edu) for regional history collections or Vicki Cooper (cooperv2@nku.edu) for NKU history.

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About NKU Special Collections and University Archives

Eva G. Farris Special Collections and Schlachter University Archives, W. Frank Steely Library, Northern Kentucky University
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