Alexander Anderson Collection

The American Antiquarian Society holds thousands of examples of wood engraved illustrations created by Alexander Anderson (1775-1870), whose work appears inside almanacs, Bibles, medical texts, periodicals, and children’s books and also on broadsides and ephemera.

Anderson has been called the first skilled wood engraver in America and his talent and careful attention to detail helped animate and enliven publications during his more than eighty year career. His biographers called him 'The Father of American Wood Engraving,’ a phrase that is also inscribed on Anderson's tombstone.

In 2020, AAS received an important gift of nearly 1,300 titles as well as 384 boxwood blocks carved by Anderson to make his illustrations, all donated by AAS member Jane Pomeroy, the author of the comprehensive bibliography of the artist’s work. Pomeroy selected over 1,000 of Anderson's engravings to illustrate this major bibliography.

Six woodblocks
Boxwood blocks engraved by Anderson


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