Garden scene with dancers (to be used as the set for a miniature theater) is a peep show (or tunnel book), designed by engraver and print-seller Martin Engelbrecht of Augsburg, Germany (1684-1756). The set includes six 6″ x 8″ hand-colored etched prints on light gray laid paper, with sections carefully cut out to create a perspective view when the prints are arranged in a viewing box.This early and rare example of a peep-show is a significant addition to the Cooper-Hewitt Library collection of over 1700 movable and pop-up books. It is important because Engelbrecht was the first to popularize these highly crafted peep-shows books in the 18th century, and whose appeal continues on into the 21st century.
Very few are held in American libraries and there no others in our collection. Garden scene with dancers was featured in the Libraries’ exhibition Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop, and Turn in 2010-11. The images of the six prints show aristocratic men and women holding flowers or gardening tools dancing together in a scene set in a formal garden reminiscent of Versailles. To adopt Garden scene with dancers, visit our website or call 202.633.2241.