Paul Revere Collection
While Paul Revere (1735-1818) is most famously known for his legendary midnight ride as well as his three-dimensional wares, his prints and works on paper remain some of the most iconic images of the late eighteenth-century. Revere's engravings, particularly those crafted for the widely-circulated Royal American Magazine published by AAS founder Isaiah Thomas and his significant Boston Massacre scene, are often the first visual material students see of these Revolutionary era figures and events. These prints are essential objects for understanding American political, social, cultural, artistic and even literary development.
The authority on Revere's prints is undoubtedly Paul Revere's Engravings (1954; 1969) by AAS librarian and president Clarence S. Brigham (1877-1963). This book remains the most significant source on the subject. During the years leading up to the publication of his monograph, Brigham scouted out and acquired impressions of Revere's engravings until the Society had at least one of each, except for the portrait of Jonathan Mayhew. Since then, three engravings by Revere have surfaced; AAS has impressions of two (a meeting notice for the Relief Fire Society and the bookplate of John Butler) but lacks the other (a billhead for Mr. John Piemont, owned by the town of Danvers, Massachusetts).
An online illustrated inventory for the collection celebrates the extensive Revere holdings, including items within eight boxes in the Graphic Arts collection. Additionally, all separately published prints, currency, receipts and bookplates, illustrations and plates, political pieces and descriptions of the folders of reproductions of the originals are listed. Provided are titles, sheet and plate sizes, approximate dates, subject-tags, links to bibliographic records and detailed descriptions as well as images for both viewing and downloading. This inventory is for scholars and students of all ages and academic levels.
- Jaclyn Penny, Graphic Arts Assistant