Skip to main content

COVID-19 Update

Yale libraries will be closed Nov. 25 – Jan. 5. Online services and access to library materials will continue. See COVID-19 Library updates.

Fowler & Wells Portrait Posters for Physiognomy Lectures

 Collection
Call Number: YCAL MSS 1000

Scope and Contents

A set of nineteen posters with 112 bust portraits depicting identified men and women, primarily authors, artists, scientists, monarchs, and religious and political leaders from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with a group of idealized heads illustrating characteristics identified by phrenologists, such as inhabitiveness and philoprogenitivenes. The portraits, or plates, were rendered in sepia ink and wash on paper, and were mounted on linen or canvas in groups of six; each set has wooden rods at each end to aid in hanging for display, and rolling for compact storage and travel. Each portrait or head is captioned with name of the sitter or the prominent character type portrayed. The posters were likely intended as exhibits supporting phrenology lectures.

Dates

  • circa 1860

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Fowler & Wells Portrait Posters for Physiognomy Lectures is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Ian Brabner, Bookseller, on the Edwin J. Beinecke Book Fund, 2011.

Extent

19 boxes (111 drawings on 19 posters)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.phrenology

Overview

A set of nineteen posters with 112 bust portraits depicting identified men and women, primarily authors, artists, scientists, monarchs, and religious and political leaders from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with a group of idealized heads illustrating characteristics identified by phrenologists.

Biographical / Historical

Fowler & Wells, American practical phrenologists in the mid-nineteenth century, and creators and publishers of illustrative charts, diagrams, and posters for use by lecturers on physiognomy and phrenology. Based in New York, the firm also had offices in Boston, Philadelphia, and London.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Fowler & Wells Portrait Posters for Physiognomy Lectures
Status
Under Revision
Author
by Beinecke Staff
Date
2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.