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Fowler & Wells Portrait Posters for Physiognomy Lectures

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.

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.

circa 1860
19 boxes (111 drawings on 19 posters)
Related Names
Fowler & Wells
Language of Materials