Dayton C. Miller Musical Iconography Collection
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About the Dayton C. Miller Musical Iconography Collection
This is a presentation on a selection of about 120 prints from the Dayton C. Miller Collection in the Music Division of the Library of Congress. Each of the 120 selected prints is accompanied by an essay that includes biographies of artists or authors of illustrated books associated with a particular print. The entire collection, sometimes called an "iconography collection," consists of about 850 prints, each of which contains images of musical instruments, primarily wind instruments, since this collection complements Dr. Miller's collection of flutes, which Dr. Miller donated to Music Division in 1941. It is a unique, cross-disciplinary collection in the Library which has very wide appeal – to academics and students of musical iconography and/or the history of musical instruments; art historians, print specialists and historians of book illustration; librarians and curators in specialized collections; musicians who specialize in a particular period of music; the general public who might not be aware of this area of study; and, scholars who may wish to visit the collection to see the prints firsthand.
The print collection has not yet been fully documented, a process that may take several more years, but it was thought to be of interest to present a small selection to the public as an introduction to this interesting, and important, collection of works on paper. Each essay describing a print is linked to a catalogue record which includes the following information: artist, artist's life dates, artist's nationality, original artist and his life dates if it is a reproductive print, title, date, century in which it was created, media, measurements, inscriptions, subject, instruments represented in the print, condition, and provenance. The most significant aspect of this presentation will be the ability to search this online selection of prints in the following ways: artist, artist's nationality, century, subject, and instrument, as well as by keyword. For example, one may search for all of the prints by Dutch artists in the collection, or perhaps for all of the 18th-century prints in the collection, or for all of the images of recorders in the collection.
Since this Web presentation offers only a selection of prints from the Miller collection, please be advised that there are sometimes references in an essay to another print in the collection which is not included in this online presentation. They are identified by Dr. Miller's catalogue number and a letter indicating his subject category, for example, 34/N, La Danse Flamande, an etching by Guttenberg, should one wish to visit the Miller collection to see it.