William Morris Society in the United States
Newsletter February 1996
CHAPTERS: A LITERARY BOOKSTORE
Invite you to a Talk
"Through English Eyes: C. R. Ashbee and
The American Arts and Crafts Movement"
JAMES ELLIOTT BENJAMIN
Friday, 22 March 1996, 7 p.m.
Chapters: A Literary Bookstore
1512 K Street NW, Washington, DC
CENTENARY YEAR EVENTS--AND MORE
Sometimes it seems as if more things are happening at once than the human mind is capable of comprehending. That's certainly the feeling we had when compiling this "Newsletter." Every day brings tidings of yet another event or item occasioned by the centenary of Morris's death. This never-ending stream of information kept arriving, via the post, via the telephone (and voice mail), via fax, via electronic mail, via word of mouth. In the end there had to be a deadline and there had to be priorities. So herein you will find much of what we know about, not necessarily complete (and not necessarily in logical order), beginning with announcements for the Society's activities, followed by notices of additional centenary events and then the usual miscellany of news of members, books, journals, exhibitions, conferences, products, and other things of interest. The important items--for those who want to skim the following pages--are the Society's new fellowship program (started in January), the completion of Norman Kelvin's edition of the "Collected Letters of William Morris" (just published), a talk by James Benjamin in Washington (March), several exhibitions (the Morgan Library from May to September, the Huntington Library in the fall, our own "William Morris and the Revival of Printing" in December), the New York symposium "William Morris in Our Time" (early December), and the MLA annual convention (late December, again in Washington).
NEW WILLIAM MORRIS SOCIETY FELLOWSHIP PROGRAM
At virtually every annual business meeting held in the last decade we have discussed the idea of a study grant, to be offered by the William Morris Society in the U.S. on roughly the same terms as the Peter Flood award. What was once mere talk has become reality. To mark the centenary year the governing board, at its December 1995 meeting, formally instituted a new fellowship program. The aim of the fellowships is simple: to support projects on the life and work of William Morris. Up to $1,000.00 per year will be granted to individuals (there can be multiple, partial awards) for research and other expenses, including travel to conferences. Projects may deal with any subject--biographical, literary, historical, social, artistic, political, typographical--relating to Morris, and may be scholarly or creative in nature. Fellowships are limited to citizens of the United States or permanent residents; applications are especially encouraged from younger members of the Society and from those at the beginning of their careers. Recipients need not have an academic or institutional appointment, and the Ph.D. is not required. Applicants are asked to submit a resumé and a brief (one-page) proposal to the Society. Two letters of recommendation should be sent separately. The deadline is 1 December for awards tenable the following year (e.g. 1 December 1996 for 1997). For 1996, an inaugural fellowship will be offered: for this the deadline is 1 June 1996, the grant to be used prior to 1 January 1997.
TALK ON C. R. ASHBEE IN WASHINGTON
Chapters, "a literary bookstore" in Washington, DC will be the host for the Society's first event of the year, a talk by member James Elliott Benjamin on Morris's disciple, the architect, designer and social reformer Charles Robert Ashbee. "Through English Eyes: C. R. Ashbee and the American Arts and Crafts Movement" deals with Ashbee's eight lecture tours in the United States--tours which brought the ideas of Morris and Ruskin to these shores and comprised a key link in the Anglo-American Arts and Crafts movement. Benjamin, a design historian who has held positions at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in New York and the Gamble House in Pasadena, currently serves as vice-president of the Metropolitan Chapter of the Victorian Society of America. The box above gives the details of when and where. No reservations are necessary, and the talk is open to the general public (come early and see one of the best stocks of good books in the MidAtlantic region). Chapters is located in a safe section of downtown Washington just a few blocks from two Metro stations; street parking is possible and there are garages nearby. For directions call the store at (202) 347-5495.
SOCIETY CENTENARY EVENTS: DECEMBER 1996 IN NEW YORK
We are making great strides with our major project, an exhibition and allied symposium, both scheduled for December in New York. The ad-hoc centenary committee met on 21 December. Here is a progress report:
The exhibition, "William Morris and the Revival of Printing," will officially open at the Grolier Club on 10 December 1996 and run through mid-February 1997. The show is now more narrowly focused on Morris and his place in the Victorian book world. Mark Samuels Lasner, will serve as curator with the assistance of experts William S. Peterson and Susan Otis Thompson. A catalogue will accompany the exhibition.
"William Morris in Our Time," the symposium, will take place on 6&endash;7 December. The venue for 6 December will be the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, with the talks the following day at the Grolier Club. So far six distinguished speakers have accepted our invitations (you will have to wait until all thirteen slots are filled to find out who they are). The sponsors for this event are: William Morris Society in the U.S.; the Grolier Club; the Humanities Division, City College, CUNY; and the Ph.D. Program in English and the Humanities Institute, Graduate Center, CUNY. Participants and attendees at the symposium will be able to see the exhibition "William Morris and the Revival of Printing" ahead of the general public.
A "William Morris Home Page" on the World Wide Web is in development. The technical work is being be done at City College, under the direction of Professor Annette Weintraub at the Robinson Center for Graphic Arts, with funds supplied by the Society. When in place this multimedia on-line outlet will provide details of centenary events worldwide, general information on Morris and the William Morris Society, and links to other places of interest on the Internet.
Our centenary plans have received considerable assistance from Sanderson (the successor to Morris and Co.), which has generously offered to supply materials for the exhibition cases and catalogue cover, and from the International Typeface Corporation, which kindly sent us the latest version of ITC Golden (the typeface you are reading), which we use here and elsewhere with their permission.
We are in contact with several other groups and institutions which may sponsor connected activities, including social events, lectures, films, and perhaps even a production of "The Tables Turned." Further information will be distributed in due course.
THE 1996 MLA CONVENTION: WASHINGTON
This year's Modern Language Association annual convention will take place in Washington, DC. As usual the dates fall between Christmas and New Year's and, as usual, the Society is planning several activities to which all members--not just those attending the MLA--are welcome. There are two sessions of papers. The first topic, "100 Years On: Morris's Literary Reputation," deals with how his literary work (in all its branches, verse, prose romance, fiction, translation, journalism, letters) was viewed during his lifetime and later, especially in the century after his death. "William Morris the Critic," the subject for the second panel, invites analyses and interpretations of Morris's criticism of literature, society, architecture, and the visual arts in all their forms. Proposals are desired -particularly for "Morris the Critic"--from architects, art and design historians, students of society and politics as well as from literature scholars. In both cases the procedure in the same: send a short abstract by 15 March to Mark Samuels Lasner (address and other particulars at end of this "Newsletter").
As for an "outside" event, we envision something special in honor of the centenary year, perhaps a social gathering-cum-business meeting in an appropriate environment or a behind-the-scenes visit to one of the city's many museums. Details will be found (perhaps) in the August "Newsletter," certainly in the separate pre-MLA flyer sent out in November. (This mailing is normally sent only to members resident in the U.S.; if you live elsewhere and want to be put on the list, let us know.)
MORRISIANS IN CHICAGO; THE 1995 MLA MEETINGS
By all accounts, the Society's activities at the Modern Language Association convention in Chicago, 27&endash;30 December 1995, were eminently successful (except, possibly, for the relatively small turn-out at the cash bar and business meeting). Our session, "William Morris in and His Friends: Biography and Autobiography," drew quite a crowd. Chaired by Norman Kelvin (City College, City Univ. of New York) the speakers were Amy L. Bingamann (Art Institute of Chicago), "Illuminated Manuscripts as Articles of Exchange: William Morris, Lady Burne-Jones, and the Pre Raphaelite Economy of Desire"; Linda Julian (Furman Univ.), "William Morris's Icelandic Journals: An Optical Illusion of the Self"; and Isabelle Williams (Université de Paris Sorbonne), "Georgiana Burne-Jones and William Morris: A Subtle Influence." At the annual business meeting Mark Samuels Lasner reported on centenary year plans and the fellowship program was discussed and approved, also the expenditure o of funds for the Web site. It was good to see a number of new and geographically distant members at both of these events.
The highlight of our time in Chicago was the evening at the Cliff Dwellers' Club, where we were the guests of Scott Elliott, President of the Kelmscott Gallery, We found ourselves (the twenty or so members who came) warmly welcomed by a larger group of friendly Dwellers, who filled up their Arts and Crafts room on the top of Orchestra Hall. (This was, possibly, one of the last gatherings there, since the Club is being forced to vacate the space. The room was designed in 1907 by Daniel Burnham and Howard Van Doren Shaw and its future is uncertain.) Drinks and mingling were followed by a talk by our host, music and a splendid dinner. Scott Elliott's subject, "William Morris and Frank Lloyd Wright: Their Relevance to the Twenty-First Century," was an appropriate one. He provided so much information that more than one of the Morris scholars present was induced to take notes: how many realize that both Morris and Wright were Welsh, that Wright's uncle, Jenkin Lloyd Jones, was much influenced by Morris's socialism, or that Wright's early book designs were an American interpretation of the Kelmscott Press? The interest of the lecture was reinforced by the almost ghostly presence near the speaker of Morris himself, in the form of a large photograph by Frederick Hollyer--one of the items in the Kelmscott Gallery's current exhibition described see below. The company, the ambience, and the insight into Morris made this a truly memorable occasion, for which we a extraordinarily grateful to Scott Elliott.
OTHER CENTENARY EXHIBITIONS
While nothing will compare in either size or comprehensiveness to what will take place at London's Victoria and Albert Museum, the exhibitions in the United States show that Morris is not forgotten on this side of the "pond." It is interesting, even surprising, that of all of the shows we know about so far, not one is taking place at a major art museum. Perhaps the renaissance of interest in the American Arts and Crafts movement has swamped interest in the movement's "founder"; perhaps Morris's politics are too "incorrect" for public institutions that seek dwindling government funds in the age of Gingrich; perhaps our man is not "on the map" except as proprietor of the Kelmscott Press--who knows? Better not to speculate; just be grateful for the riches one will be able to see in a variety of seasons and in a variety of geographical locations. The announcements which follow are in chronological order by opening date.
MORRIS AND WRIGHT AT KELMSCOTT GALLERY, CHICAGO
On 26 January the Kelmscott Gallery in Chicago opened "William Morris and Frank Lloyd Wright: Art, Craft, and the Machine," an exhibition of original drawings, watercolors, prints, photographs, books, furnishings, and decorative objects by William Morris, Frank Lloyd Wright, and their followers. The exhibition includes an extremely rare original watercolor study for "The Woodpecker," one of only two or three tapestries which Morris designed and wove completely himself. Morris wallpaper samples designed from 1875 are also on view, along with leaves from the Kelmscott Chaucer, and photographs (like the one at left) of Morris and his circle by Frederick Hollyer. Other highlights are a complete, inscribed copy of Wright's important "Wasmuth Portfolio" from 1910 and a portrait of Aubrey Beardsley, the great illustrator of the decadent 1890s, taken by Frederick Evans in 1896, mounted within an original border design by Beardsley. Works by followers of Morris such as Walter Crane and Will Bradley will also be featured. William Morris and Frank Lloyd Wright are, in the view of Kelmscott Gallery owner Scott Elliott, unquestionably the two most dominant figures of modern design. Contrary to popular belief, Morris anticipated, rather than opposed Wright's views on the art and craft of the machine. In fact, these two giants had so much in common that their achievements can be seen as a virtually unbroken line of progressive continuity in design for living from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. Both fervently believed in Morris' dictum: "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" and that honesty in design and production were essential to the well being of society as a whole. The Kelmscott Gallery exhibition, believed to be the first of many internationally scheduled events to commemorate the centenary of Morris' death, explore the links between these two great movers and shakers and attempt to establish a basis upon which their legacy may serve as a signpost for architects and designers in the beginning of the twenty-first century. "William Morris and Frank Lloyd Wright" will continue through Saturday, 2 March 1996. All of the items are for sale. (Selection will be displayed at "Works on Paper" at the Seventh Regiment Armory, New York, NY on 7-10 March.) Kelmscott Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For further information contact: David Snydle or Scott Elliott, Kelmscott Gallery, 4611 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago, IL 60625; Tel. (312) 784 2559; fax (312) 784 5026.
"WILLIAM MORRIS AND HIS CIRCLE" IN AUSTIN
The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas, Austin, has staggering holdings of books, documents, and art in virtually every field of human endeavor. So it will come as no shock to learn that "William Morris and his Circle," which opens on 12 February, is full of remarkable things. Never mind the ubiquitous Kelmscott Chaucer (in this case a vellum copy, one of 13 known); here will be found a rare Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society poster (1888), the manuscript of Morris's "Gothic Architecture," William Morris's copy of the Zainer Bible (Augsburg, 1475) with extensive annotations, also letters and other items relating to Morris's principal associates--painters Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the engraver and book historian Emery Walker, Morris's secretary Sydney Cockerell--and minor figures such as Charles Augustus Howell and Charles Fairfax Murray, Exhibit hours for the fourth floor gallery are Monday&endash;Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Thursdays until 7 p.m. The Ransom Center is located on the corner of 21st Street and Guadalupe on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. On 15 February, rare book expert and writer Colin Franklin will deliver the annual Pforzheimer lecture, which this year will be on Morris. Address inquires to: Richard W. Oram, Librarian, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, P.O. Drawer 7219, Austen, TX 78713-7219; Tel. 512-417-9119; fax 512-471-2899; E-mail email@example.com.
"WILLIAM MORRIS AND THE KELMSCOTT PRESS" IN NEW LONDON
Connecticut College, in New London, CT (yes, you've not heard of it? It's where the President of the WMS in the U.S. went to school) has announced "William Morris and the Kelmscott Press." Opening on 3 April and running through 30 June this exhibition will feature the college's copy of the necessary Kelmscott Chaucer, other titles from the press, and books by and about Morris. The Friends of the Library plan a talk by a distinguished speaker (no, not the President of the WMS in the U.S.), details not yet set. Since the display area is, unusually, in the main part of the library, the exhibition is open on weekends and late at night. For information contact: Brian Rogers, Special Collections Librarian, Charles E. Shain Library, Connecticut College, New London, CT 06320; Tel. (203) 439-2654 ; E-mail Bdrog@conncoll.edu.
"BEING WILLIAM MORRIS" AT THE MORGAN LIBRARY
The Pierpont Morgan Library is having not one, but three Morris-connected exhibitions this year, all running parallel to the exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum. This being the Morgan, the emphasis is on rare books, manuscripts, and drawings, but we are promised some representation of Morris's creativity in the decorative arts. "Being William Morris," the main affair organized by rare books curator George Fletcher, is divided into six sections, covering the formative influences on Morris's work, Morris as man of letters, "The Firm," book arts (a reduced version of the Morgan's 1976 "William Morris and the Art of the Book"), Kelmscott Press, and socialism. Most of the material derives from the Morgan's holdings (notably the library of Gordon N. Ray and the John M. Crawford collection) but will also include selections lent by several other public and private owners. Needless to say there will be a plethora of original manuscripts, letters, inscribed books, drawings, and unique items--enough to justify a trip to New York form anywhere, even London. The dates are 8 May to 1 September--precisely the same as the Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition. Two concurrent, smaller displays will compliment "Being William Morris." The first, "Pre-Raphaelite Drawings: The Art of the Book and Beyond," curated by Evelyn Phimister, will be appropriately housed in the "cloister" section of the Library; the second, tentatively titled "Illuminated Manuscripts from Morris's Collection," features items such as the dazzling Windmill Psalter. For further information contact: Pierpont Morgan Library, 29 East 36th St., New York, NY 10016; Tel. (212) 685-0008.
"WILLIAM MORRIS; WORKS FROM THE BERGER COLLECTION" AT THE HUNTINGTON LIBRARY--AND MORE
Sandy and Helen Berger's unrivaled collection will provide the basis for the West Coast's answer to London and New York, "William Morris: Works from the Berger Collection," which comes to the Huntington Library's Art Gallery from 25 October&endash;31 December 1996. Margarita Lovell, of the University of California-Berkeley, is the curator, and while we don't have details of precisely "what" is to be shown we know, given the extent and quality of the Bergers' mass of decorative arts (stained glass, textiles, samples, artworks), books, and manuscripts, that there will be plenty and it will be good. The Huntington is planning a symposium on Morris for the end of October.
Houghton Library, Harvard University's repository for rare books and manuscripts, is also expected to arrange an exhibition on Morris and medievalism. Believed to focus on the Kelmscott Chaucer this is tentatively scheduled for sometime this summer. In Chicago, the Glessner House, a mansion from the 1880s partially furnished with products by Morris and his associates, plans an exhibition to examine the design and aesthetic connections between Morris, the Glessners, and the house's architect, H. H. Richardson. There is also the chance that there will be a Morris show somewhere in Florida, organized by our member Richard Mathews. Details of these exhibitions and anything else we hear about will be featured in the next "Newsletter" and--if things digital get going right-on our Web site.
THE "COLLECTED LETTERS" COMPLETED
It is appropriate (and wonderful timing!) that the onset of the centenary year also brings to completion the publication of the magisterial "Collected Letters of William Morris," edited by member Norman Kelvin, professor of English at The City University of New York and at the graduate center, The City University of New York. Volumes III and IV, taken together, give in fascinating detail Morris's life and activities from 1888 to his death in 1896. The letters brim with comments and observations that articulate his problematic political and artistic stands and equally problematic position within the aesthetic movement as it developed in the 1890s. Most eloquently voiced also are the complexities of his troubled marriage and his devotion to his epileptic daughter, Jenny, and his other daughter, May. But dominating all these themes, organizing and structuring them, are the Kelmscott Press and the building of Morris's collection of medieval manuscripts and early printed books. The letters record the way in which the Kelmscott Press becomes not only the center of Morris's aesthetic ambitions and achievements, but also the site for his closest human relations and for much of his connecting with the makers of early modernism. Thoroughly annotated and illustrated like their predecessors, Volumes III and IV provide a new assessment of Morris's career. Included as appendices to Volume IV are two important documents: F. S. Ellis's unpublished valuation list of Morris's library and the never before reprinted text of what was to be Morris's final essay on socialism, originally published in April 1896.
The "Collected Letters" should be on the shelves of everyone seriously interested in William Morris. To make purchase more affordable, Princeton University Press has generously granted us a special discount. A 20% off special offer flyer will be mailed to all U.S. members this Spring. In the interim, should you wish to take advantage of the discount, please make your check out to California/Princeton Fulfillment Services, Inc. and send it or your credit card info (VISA or MASTERCARD) to: Paul Mooney, Princeton University Press, 41 William St., Princeton, NJ 08540. Please add shipping and handling ($3.00 for first book and $.75 for each additional book. (NJ customers should add 6% sales tax; CA. 8.25% tax). For credit card orders, please include the credit card number, expiration date, and your signature. This special offer is in effect through 30 July 1996.
Publication details and prices are as follows: Volume III: 1996. 440 pages. 86 halftones. 5 line illus. 6 x 9 in. Cloth: 0-691-06601-9. $45.00; Volume IV: 1996. 392 pages. 79 halftones. 7 line illus. 6 x 9 in. Cloth: 0 691-04422-8. $45.00 (previous volumes: Volume I: 1848&endash;1880 1982. 648 pages. Illus. Cloth: 0-691-06501-2. $90.00; Volume II, Part A: 1881&endash;1884 1987. 450 pages. 36 illus. Cloth: 0-691-06600-0. $60.00; Volume II, Part B: 1885&endash;1888 1987. 550 pages. 41 illus. Cloth: 0-691-06723-6. $75.00). UK sterling prices: Vol. 1: £73.50, Vol. 2A: £43.50, Vol. 2B: £56.50, Vol. 3: £35.00, Vol. 4: £35.00.
MACKAIL REPRINT FROM DOVER
A recent Dover Publications catalogue brings the welcome news that they have reprinted J. W. Mackail's classic "Life of William Morris" at a very reasonable price. Published in 1899, this was the inaugural biography which, despite its weaknesses (particularly on the political side of Morris, which was played down) remained for many years the standard book on its subject. Mackail has been superseded--at first and in part, by the works of E. P. Thompson and Philip Henderson and, more recently and completely, by Fiona MacCarty's "William Morris: A Life for Our Times"- but he still merits reading. For the early biography contains information and vivid detail not found elsewhere, much of it supplied by Georgiana Burne-Jones. Moreover it is an excellent example of the original, once-defunct 19th century school of two-volume "lives of the great" which has been revived--in more prurient guise--to serve the needs of, among others, Lytton Strachey, Evelyn Waugh, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf. The Mackail reprint, stock no. 28793-9, is priced at $18.95 ($4.00 shipping for U.S.). Contact: Dover Publications, 31 E. 2nd St., Mineola, NY 11501.
"PRE-RAPHAELITE ART IN ITS EUROPEAN CONTEXT"
A new revisionist approach to Pre-Raphaelitism is offered in "Pre raphaelite Art In Its European Context," a volume of scholarly essays edited by Susan P. Casteras and Alicia Craig Faxon. This book attempts to evaluate the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and their followers not in isolation as a solely British phenomenon but rather in terms of its larger Continental contexts in the nineteenth century. Its essays link Pre Raphaelite art and thought with such movements as Impressionism, Symbolism, and the Rose + Croix salons. They reveal common themes, in literature and religion especially, on both sides of the Channel as well as underscoring the sustained influence on the Continent of John Ruskin, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, and William Morris. The contributors include Sarah Phelps Smith, Liana De Girolami Cheney, Linda Julian, Helene Roberts, Alice Beckwith, Laurel Bradley, and Gail S. Weinberg. To order, send $80.00 to Associated University Presses, 440 Forsgate Dr., Cranbury, NJ 08512; Tel. (609) 655-4770; fax (609) 655 8366.
AT THE ANTIQUARIAN BOOKSELLERS
Many antiquarian booksellers--perhaps on account of the centenary year- seem to have gone Morris-mad. Or so it seems from a perusal of recent catalogues and announcements. "Catalogue 95" from Bromer Booksellers, Boston [(617) 247-2818] had a copy of the Kelmscott "Tale of Beowulf" presented by Morris to Georgiana Burne-Jones ($5500.00). Ursus Rare Books, New York City [(212) 772-8787], offered 21 Kelmscott titles, including the Chaucer, in their "List 16." Another copy of the "Pocket Cathedral" (Burne-Jones's term for the Chaucer) is literally in the hands of Thomas G. Boss--depicted here from a "Boston Globe" article, 11 November 1995, on the opening of the Boston antiquarian book fair--of Thomas G. Boss Fine Books, Boston [(617) 421-1880], and John Windle, San Francisco [(415) 986-5826] had one in his latest list: both he and Boss can also supply lesser examples from Morris's press.
Gordon &;Gordon Booksellers has just issued its latest catalogue of books by and about Morris and his circle. The offerings include rare large paper copies of the "Volsunga Saga" and "Three Northern Love Stories" (from the libraries of Robert Hoe and John Quinn) along with a selection of modestly priced editions, biographies, and fine press books by Morris's followers. Any Morris Society member who asks will be sent a copy. Contact: Gordon &;Gordon, P.O. Box 128, West Park, NY 12493; Tel. (914) 384-6361.
VICTORIANS IN CYBERSPACE
Since the July "Newsletter" more (and more) interesting Internet sites have come to our attention. Many of the ones we listed then, plus others, are described in "Victorians in Cyberspace," a flyer produced by the Society. (Copies are free--you are encouraged to distribute them to potential members--just contact Mark Samuels Lasner.) No publication can really try to keep up to date in this area, but here are additional places of interest to Morrisians and Victorian enthusiasts who have access to a computer, a modem, software, and the appropriate on-line connection:
Member Holly Dworken Cooley has produced what we believe is the first Web site devoted specifically to William Morris. Titled naturally enough "The William Morris Page" this is an excellent, well-organized and still-growing resource, an essential stop on the Information Highway for all Morrisians. It provides an excellent brief biography, a bibliography of primary and secondary sources, reproductions of designs, information on and pictures of Morris's houses, links to further Pre-Raphaelite and Arts and Crafts areas on the Internet, and, most interesting of all, a place for comments on Morris by Dworken's students and others. Address: http://www.pitt.edu/~dworken/morris.html.
Fine Printing" is the subject of the home page of Kelmscott Press
bibliographer/historian William S. Peterson. Here will be found the
texts of Morris's "Note on his Aims in Founding the Kelmscott Press"
and W. Irving Way's account of a visit to Morris, also information on
the Kelmscott Press "Golden Legend," essays by D. B. Updike, and a
comprehensive bibliography on printing and book-making--all presented
in a handsome and appropriate typographical manner. Further links to
other bibliophilic sites are provided for the curious. Address: http://www.wam.umd.edu/~wsp/home.htm.
Alan Lupack, at the University of Rochester, has put together the "Camelot Project," an Arthurian web site. This site includes texts and images of many Victorian Arthurian sources, as well as write-ups on individual characters, themes and motifs. Address: http://rodent.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/cphome.htm.
"Dickens on the Web" (Address: http://lang.nagoya u.ac.jp/~matsuoka/Dickens.html) and "The Gaskell Web" (Address: http://lang.nagoya-u.ac.jp/~matsuoka/Gaskell.html) are the work of Mitsuharu Matsuoka of Nagoya University, Japan. Professor Matsuoka has uploaded texts of Gaskell's "Cranford, "Cousin Phillis," and some famous short stories; his "Victorian Web Sites" (.Address: http://lang.nagoya u.ac.jp/~matsuoka/Victorian.html) offers links to additional literary pages dealing with other authors.
The Victorian Women Writers Project is an electronic collection of texts by British women writers of the late Victorian period. The collection includes works by Louisa Bevington, Amy Levy, Eliza Keary, Maud Keary and Dollie Radford, with works by Mathilde Blind, Dinah Maria Mulock Craik and Louise Guiney in preparation. Currently, the collection includes volumes of poetry and verse drama, with plans to include other literary and critical texts in the future. The Project gives considerable attention to the accuracy and completeness of the texts, as well as to their accurate bibliographical descriptions. Supported by Indiana University's Library Electronic Text Resource Service, the Project is available for use through the World Wide Web. Address: http://www.indiana.edu/-letrs/vwwp/. Contact: Perry Willett, Victorian Women Writers Project, Main Library, Indiana University; E-mail PWILLETT@indiana.edu.
Moody informs us of a new mailing list, "Trollope," devoted to the
discussion of all aspects of the life and works of Anthony Trollope.
Such aspects include critical interpretation and personal opinions
about the various novels, reviews of old and new works about Trollope
and his work, and historical or cultural observations that add to the
understanding of Trollope's life and works. The list address is firstname.lastname@example.org (this is the one you send messages to the whole list to). To
subscribe, send the following message: SUBSCRIBE TROLLOPE to the
address: email@example.com (this is the listserv computer). Contact: Elizabeth Thomsen, Trollope
listowner, Library Management Associates; E mail
Also on-line is The Arts &;Crafts Society web site. This interactive electronic community is dedicated to the philosophy and spirit of the original Arts and Crafts movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Its guiding principles include the ideals of discussion, debate, camaraderie, research, craft and enjoyment. It encourages participation, comment, and the acquisition of knowledge for all community members and guests. The site contains four areas: Archive (Arts and Crafts resources, both historical and current), Events (listing of Arts and Crafts shows, tours, exhibitions, lectures around the world), Forum ("community center" of discussion groups and classified ad section), and Marketplace (collection of merchants, artisans, and specialists, offering a variety of goods and services, with online ordering). Address: http://www.arts crafts.com/. Contact: Carol Kamm, The Arts &;Crafts Society, 1209 W. Huron, Ann Arbor, MI 48103; Tel. 313-665-4729; fax 313-663-4248; E mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
IS THIS WILLIAM MORRIS? YOU MAKE THE CALL
Fiona MacCarthy's "William Morris: A Life for Our Time" was published here (by Knopf, $45.00) to a series of rave reviews. So good was the response that it made the list of best books of 1995 in the "New York Times Book Review," and the usually difficult Michael Dirda, writing in "Washington Post Book Week," singled it out as a Christmas gift suggestion. By far the most "interesting" notice was the one which appeared in the "Boston Globe" on 8 November. The "Globe's" Robert Taylor found MacCarthy's book " one of the few biographies that require and receive a breadth consumate with its subject." Very nice praise indeed (and deserved, too) but it's the accompanying photograph--see below- that grabbed the attention of member Linda Zieper. She sent it to us with the question: "Who is this guy?" Who indeed. With short beard, wristwatch, necktie, and white shirt it can't possibly be "our" William Morris. Anyone know? And how could something so wrong get into a major newspaper?
Kelmscott Farm, located in Lincolnville, ME, is a rare breeds educational foundation that sells a limited edition line of classic English woolen products. Inspired by the artistry and philosophy of William Morris, the Metcalfe family renovated and expanded a century-old farm and named it for Morris's own English country home: Kelmscott Manor. An "earthly paradise" is its own way, the working farm now conserves endangered livestock breeds while providing an educational resource for schools and general public. It is open for tours on weekends from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Kelmscott creates products that utilize fleece of endangered sheep such as Cotswold and Shetland breeds. Wool-filled duvets, hand loomed scarves, blankets, and felted hats are just some of the product offerings. This year, in commemoration of the centenary of William Morris's death, Kelmscott offers its William Morris-inspired rug. The design integrates many Morris textile motifs and rare Cotswold sheep wool. It measures 3 feet by 5 feet and is reversible. Following on Morris's work with organic dyes, Kelmscott uses organic dyes such as indigo, fustic, and madder. The rug is featured in a catalogue (price $5.00) which blends quotations from Morris with photographs of sheep and products made from their wool. (Morris would have seen at once that the exceptionally good-looking sheep are happy in their work.) For further information contact: Kelmscott Farm, RR 2, Box 365, Lincolnville, ME 94849; Tel. (207) 763-4088 or (800) 545-9363; E-mail email@example.com.
REPRODUCTIONS OF KELMSCOTT PAGES
Katherine L. Roberts, a member in Tempe, AZ, offers prints of three woodcut illustrations from the Kelmscott Chaucer that introduce the following tales: "The Prologue of the Tale of the Manne of Law," "A Treatise on the Astrolabe," and "The Book of the Duchess." Each illustration by Burne-Jones is surrounded by an elaborate border and sumptuous initial designed by Morris. The prints (approximately 10.5 x 15 in) are lithographed in black ink on a sheet of white, handmade paper which measures 15 x 20 in. The paper's natural deckle edge makes it suitable for framing with a mat or floated within the frame. Special pricing is available to Morris Society members--$35.00 each, plus shipping and handling. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the William Morris Camphill Community, UK, a residential center for young people in need of special care. Contact: Katherine L. Roberts, 832 E. Dava Drive, Tempe, AZ 85283; Tel. (602) 491-7613.
NEWS FROM MEMBERS
Godfrey Rubens, the author of a biography of the architect W. R. Lethaby published by the London Architectural Press, would be pleased to meet with or come and talk to anyone interested in Lethaby and the Arts and Crafts movement. Rubens writes that one of the reasons he is currently in the United States is to carry out some research on the influence of the British on the American Arts and Crafts movement. Lethaby's influence extended to Frank Lloyd Wright; indeed, the Boston architect Bertram Goodhue believed that Lethaby was "the greatest living theorist on matters architectural," Rubens can reached at 29 Martindale West, Shelburne, VT 05482; Tel. (802) 985-9159.
Carl Sandburg, the poet and biographer of Abraham Lincoln, it seems, was a Morrisian. Pamela Bracken Wiens discovered this in one of his poems, "Salvage," which reads:
Guns on the battle lines have pounded now a year between Brussels
And, William Morris, when I read your old chapter on the great arches and naves and little whimsical corners of the Churches of Northern France- Brr-rr!
I'm glad you're a dead man, William Morris, I'm glad you're down in the damp and mouldy, only a memory instead of a living man--I'm glad you're gone.
You never lied to us, William Morris, you loved the shape of those stones piled and carved for you to dream over and wonder because workmen got joy of life into them,
Workmen in aprons singing while they hammered, and praying, and putting their songs and prayers into the walls and roofs, the bastions and cornerstones and gargoyles--all their children and kisses of women and wheat and roses growing.
I say, William Morris, I'm glad you're gone, I'm glad you're a dead man.
Guns on the battle lines have pounded a year now between Brussels and Paris.
Jean-Francois Vilain brought to our attention many
newsworthy items. He commends two "pretty impressive" books: Leslie
Bowman's catalogue for "American Arts and Crafts: Virtue in Design"
and Kenneth Trapp's "The Arts And Crafts Movement In California:
Living The Good Life."He also recommends the Winter 1994 issue of
"Traces Of Indiana And Midwestern History," a journal published by
the Indiana Historical Society; the issue is devoted to the Arts and
Crafts movement in Indianapolis and contains an interesting article
on Joseph M. Bowles and his "Modern Art" magazine. Vilain also
alerted us to the fact that "Head, Heart, and Hand," the Roycroft
exhibition, will be on view at the Currier Gallery of Art in
Manchester, VT (1 March&endash;7 May 1996), not in Albany as
originally planned. And attesting to his observation that "Arts and
Crafts seem to be quite the rage," Vilain noted the following: an
exhibit in Traverse City, MI (where?) which combines the Roycroft
exhibition designed by the Burchfield Center and a show of pottery
and furniture; seminars organized by "Style 1900" at the end of
September; the Pacific Coast Arts and Crafts Exposition in Seattle
held in October; an exhibition in Salt Lake City on the Arts and
Crafts in the Intermountain West; the Wolfsonian's "Confronting
Modernity"; the 9th Annual Grove Park Inn Conference, February 1996;
and the exhibition organized by Wellesley College due to open in
Jan Londraville updates us on the status of her edition of the correspondence between May Morris and New York lawyer-collector John Quinn. The book, entitled "On Poetry, Painting, And Politics: The Letters of May Morris and John Quinn," will be published in early 1997 by Susquehanna University Press in this country and by the Associated University Presses in Canada and England. It will include pictures of Quinn and May and republish May's 1898 one-act play, "Lady Griselda's Dream," from "Longmans Magazine" as its appendix. The jacket appropriately reproduces (in black and white) May's "Honeysuckle" wallpaper. Jan and her husband are already onto their next collection of John Quinn letters, this time the series to Maud Gonne. She has also completed an article based on Quinn's 1911 journal entries from his trip to Europe when he spent time with May; the journal had been "lost" for nearly thirty years, but was discovered by Quinn's grandnephew.
A NEW WILDE MAGAZINE
"When The Blue Bird Sings" is a privately printed, privately distributed, bimonthly magazine dedicated to celebrating Oscar Wilde and his world. It seeks high-quality articles, artwork, short stories (fiction and nonfiction), commentaries and short drama from fans of the Irish author and playwright to both entertain and inspire. The magazine discusses everything related to Wilde's birth, childhood, life, parents, Irish heritage, career, wit, trials, imprisonment, sexuality, American tour, marriage, tastes in decorating, biographies, current or past popularity, literature, plays and poetry, people who knew him, values, or influence. It also includes information about events, new books, or collectible items like coffee mugs and notepaper. Subscription rates (including postage) for one year (6 issues) are: U.S. $36.00, Canadian (Air Mail) $42.00, and Foreign (Air Mail) $49.00. Please make check payable to Kimberwicke Enterprises. Contact: C. Platt, Editor, "Bluebird," Kimberwicke Enterprises, P. O. Box 1114, St. Augustine, FL 32085; Tel. (904) 823-9837; E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
"VICTORIAN LITERATURE AND CULTURE"
The journal "Victorian Literature and Culture" is about to celebrate a special birthday. In 1997 they will have been published for twenty-five years. The editors seek specially distinguished contributions on all subjects of Victorian literature and culture for the quarter-century volume 25 planned for 1997. They look for excellent studies of individual authors or groups of authors, scholarly investigations of historical and textual issues, new approaches to literature by innovative critical or theoretical methods, interdisciplinary studies of the relations between social and cultural phenomena and the production and content of literature and the arts. (They do not look for papers specifically on the political economic history of the period, which are already well circulated in "Victorian Studies.") For their Works in Progress section they also welcome submissions of chapters from longer works that will not be published in book form for some time. For their Special Effects section they welcome proposals for publication of unknown Victorian texts or illustrations. Please send articles directly to either editor (two copies please, MLA style--except chapters for Works in Progress, which may follow your book style.). Contact: John Maynard, Department of English, New York University, 19 University Place, Room 235, New York, NY 10003; Tel. (212) 998-8835; fax (212) 995 4019 or Adrienne Munich, Department of English, SUNY/Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794; Tel. (516) 632 9176; fax (516) 632-7302.
"VICTORIAN STUDIES BULLETIN"
We would like to draw your attention to "Victorian Studies Bulletin," a quarterly newsletter which contains information of interest to all Victorian scholars in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and all international locales. "Victorian Studies Bulletin" contains timely notices of conferences, calls for papers and essays for book-length publications or special journal issues, and notices of publications of newsletters and works from small publishers. VSB also reports on past conferences, opportunities for grants and scholarships, and the activities of regional groups, with details of their meetings. To subscribe, send a check for $5.00 (U.S.) to: Hartley Spatt, Department of English, SUNY Maritime College, Fort Schuyler, Bronx, NY 10465. All editorial materials should be sent to Lenore Beaky, Co-editor, Victorian Studies Bulletin, Department of English, LaGuardia Community College, 31-10 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101; E-mail: email@example.com.
NEW READINGS OF BRITISH AESTHETICISM
Kathy Psomiades and Talia Schaffer solicit essays for a collection of new critical approaches to nineteenth-century Aestheticism. Possible topics for this collection include: Aestheticism and economics; gender, sexuality, and the Aesthete; Aestheticism and imperialism; gendering the Aesthetic; high art and popular Aestheticism; aesthetes, Decadents, and New Women; Aestheticism's legacy; Aestheticism and women's popular culture; Aestheticism and objectification. Submissions are due by 1 April 1996. Send two copies of 2&endash;5 page abstracts or 18&endash;30 page articles to: Kathy Psomiades, English Department, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556, or Talia Schaffer, 185 Dolores St. #5, San Francisco, CA 94103.
IDEAS AND IMAGES: CONFERENCE IN WILMINGTON
In conjunction with the exhibition "Visions Of Love and Life: English Pre Raphaelite Art From The Birmingham Collection" and the Museum's own Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Collection of Pre-Raphaelite Art, the Delaware Art Museum held a two-day International Symposium on 22&endash;23 September 1995. Entitled "Ideas and Images," this was a major event in the world of Pre-Raphaelite scholarship, with nearly thirty papers delivered on the art (mostly) and literature associated with the Brotherhood and its followers over two succeeding generations. The participants formed a virtual "Who's Who" of the field, with many members of the Society either giving talks or listening to them; in all about 250 people came, a singular number for two days of erudition concerning some relatively obscure figures from a century ago. To name but a few who delivered papers: Stephen Wildman ("Pre-Raphaelitism and the Civic Gospel:"), Dianne Macleod (on women art collectors), Rowland Elzea (on Samuel Bancroft, Jr.), Debra Mancoff (speaking on Morris, Burne Jones, and Arthurian romance), Joseph Kestner (Pre-Raphaelites and St. George), Gail S. Weinberg (on Pre-Raphaelite exposure to "real" Pre Raphaelite art), Julie Codell (on ChArles Fairfax Murray), and Mark Samuels Lasner (filling in for Jerome McGann, on McGann's "Rossetti Archive" and the Internet). We expect that many of these presentations will find their way into print. The Birmingham exhibition, seen together with virtually all of the Delaware Art Museum's own Pre-Raphaelite holdings? Well what can one say? Splendid, spectacular, revelatory, a once-in-a-lifetime experience are the epithets which come to mind.
The North American Conference on British Studies will hold its
annual meeting in conjunction with the Midwest Conference on British
Studies at Loyola University of Chicago on 18&endash;20 October 1996.
The Conference seeks participation by scholars in all areas of
British history and culture, including graduate students and scholars
from overseas. Proposals for individual papers or for panels on a
common theme will be considered, with preference granted to the
latter. Proposals for roundtable discussions of a topical work or
theme are also welcome. The typical panel will include three papers,
each lasting twenty minutes, a chair and a commentator. No
participant will be permitted to take part in more than one session,
and no more than one proposal will be considered from each applicant.
Proposals should include a 200-word abstract for each paper and a
one-page curriculum vitae for each participant, including chairs and
commentators. For entire panel proposals the name, address, and phone
number of the principal contact person should be listed. All
proposals should be submitted by 1 March 1996 to: Chris Waters, NACBS
Program Chair, Department of History, Stetson Hall, Williams College,
Williamstown, MA 01267; Tel. (413) 597-2524; fax (413) 597-3673; E
Papers are invited on any aspect of nineteenth-century British periodicals (editing, publishing, contributors, readers, influence, etc.) for the 1996 Annual Conference of the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals to be held 14&endash;16 September in Portland, OR. Send 2- to 3-page proposals for individual papers or complete panels by 1 March 1996 to: Sally Mitchell, English Department, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122; E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Inquiries are welcome, especially from people with ideas for workshops on teaching, ways to put together a forum, or suggestions for sessions which do not consist of people reading papers. Requests for registration materials go to: Richard Fulton, Clark College, 1800 E. McLoughlin Blvd., Vancouver, WA 98663; fax (360) 992 2870; E-mail email@example.com.
The Nineteenth Century Studies Association (formerly the Southeastern NCSA-SENCSA), an organization for the interdisciplinary study of nineteenth-century cultures, announces its 15th annual conference, "Nineteenth-Century Design," to be held at Florida International University in Miami, 11&endash;13 April 1996. Keynote speakers will include Shari Benstock. Inquiries and requests for registration to: Kathleen McCormack, Department of English, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199; Tel. (305) 348-2260; fax (305) 348-3878.
The Dickens Project of the University of California announces an interdisciplinary conference on "Victorian Spectacle" to be held 1&endash;4 August 1996 on the Santa Cruz Campus. Keynote speakers will include Joseph Litvak of Bowdoin University. They invite proposals for twenty minute papers on any topic related to the conference theme, including papers on Victorian writers other than Dickens. Possible topics for panels include: Victorian theatricality, visual spectacle, spectacle and culture, the spectacle of the self, representing spectacle, and spectacle on holiday. Mail proposals by 15 February 1996 to: Helena Michie, Department of English M. S. 30, Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005; Tel. (713) 527-4840; E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
"THE POST-PRE-RAPHAELITE PRINT"
Just what is a "Post-Pre-Raphaelite Print"? You would know if you had seen a brilliant, in part pioneering exhibition of that name held at Columbia University's Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery from 11 October&endash;16 December 1995. Focusing on what art historian Allen Staley called a "golden age" of British printmaking in the third quarter of the nineteenth century, the show went far beyond the well-worn subject of "English Illustration: The Sixties" outlined a century ago by Forrest Reid and Gleeson White. Book illustration, to Staley and his co-organizers, is only one aspect--albeit a major one--of the "black and white" art of the time, which they see as encompassing etching, lithography, reproduction, and photography. So, perhaps for the first time, book and magazine work by Burne-Jones (see accompanying illustration, from "Good Words," 1863), Millais, Rossetti, and Crane, original etchings by Whistler and Haden, and photographs by Cameron, Carroll, and Hill could be seen together, Of particular interest was the section devoted to "reproductive engraving"- the prints made "after" famous paintings which circulated widely as a major art form in middle-class homes--a genre which is just now receiving serious attention from scholars (and collectors). Everything on view belonged to a private or public New York owner and given the scholarship involved and the richness and the "local" nature of the material, it is a pity that the exhibition went virtually unnoticed by the press. Happily, however, a very informative, well-illustrated catalogue was produced: "The Post-Pre-Raphaelite Print: Etching, Illustration, Reproductive Engraving &;Photography in England in and around 1860s" by Allen Staley, Martha M. Evans, Pamela M. Fletcher, Yaël Ksander, Lisa R. Leavitt, Jason M. Rosenfeld, and Paul Taylor. Beautifully designed by Morris Society member Jerry Kelly and printed by the Stinehour Press (using ITC Golden, Dante, and Troy typefaces) this is available from: Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University, 116th Street and Broadway, New York, NY 10027; Tel. (212) 854-7288.
"THE ARTS OF REFORM AND PERSUATION, 1885-1945"
The new Wolfsonian Museum, just opened in Miami Beach, is hosting its inaugural exhibition: "The Arts of Reform and Persuasion, 1885&endash;1945." The exhibition features 260 works from the museum's permanent collection, focusing on art movements in Europe and America that either embraced or rejected modernity. Examples of works by William Morris (Dove and Rose furnishing textile) and his followers in the Arts and Crafts movement will be included. The exhibition is organized into three distinct sections: "Confronting Modernity;" "Celebrating Modernity;" and "Manipulating Modernity: Political Persuasion." The exhibit looks at the modern era, with its new transportation and communication systems and new political and economic structures, and attempts to address the impact of these changes on art, architecture and design in America and Europe during this period. Dates for the global tour of "The Arts of Reform and Persuasion" (the itinerary is mind-boggling) are as follows: The Wolfsonian, 11 November 1995&endash;28 April 1996; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 21 July&endash;22 September 1996; Seattle Art Museum, 24 October 1996&endash;12 January 1997; The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 22 February&endash;18 May 1997; Indianapolis Museum of Art, 15 November 1997&endash;1 February 1998; Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 14 March&endash;31 May 1998; Kunst-und Ausstellungshalle, Bonn, 11 July&endash;4 October 1998; Palazzo Esposizioni, Rome, 31 October 1998&endash;17 January 1999; Palazzo Ducate, Genoa, 13 March&endash;6 June 1999; and Sotagaya Museum, Tokyo, 17 July,&endash;26 September 1999.
While at its initial venue, the exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive series of related films, lectures, and concerts, as well as a city-wide arts festival created in partnership with other Greater Miami-area cultural institutions. The Wolfsonian itself will host two lectures of lectures and a symposium on 9&endash;10 March under the rubric "The Politics of Design": the speakers include curator Wendy Kaplan (8 March) and Alan Crawford (on "The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain, 9 March). For further information contact: The Wolfsonian Museum, 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139; Tel. (305) 531-1001.
EXHIBITIONS PAST, CURRENT, AND FUTURE
Craftsman Farms reopened with "Innovation and Derivation: The Contribution of L. &;J. G. Stickley to the Arts and Crafts Movement." This exhibition of Mission furniture by Leopold and John George Stickley, the often overlooked brothers of Gustav Stickley, was on through the January 1996 at the Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms in Parsippany, NJ. Co curators Donald Davidoff and Stephen Gray arrayed the best furniture by the L. &;J. G. Stickley Company between 1902 and 1924 to shed light on the importance of their contribution to the Arts and Crafts movement. This exhibition showed that carefully derived elements from other designers of that period as well as innovative new designs by L. &.;J. G. Stickley themselves, made their Mission furniture popular with consumers for more than 20 years. It included "takes" on Gustav Stickley's bow-arm Morris Chair and Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie Settle from his 1909 Robie House. L. and J. G. Stickley Company also absorbed the influence of Peter Hanson whose forms demonstrate familiarity with the work of English Arts and Crafts designers such as C. F. A Voysey. Hansen's work also explored the international design ideas of Joseph Hoffmann of the Vienna Secession, Charles Rennie Mackintosh of the Glasgow School and Art Nouveau. "By melding these design ideas," Stephen Gray writes, "L. &;J. G. Stickley Company eventually evolved a unique aesthetic character and created some classics of American design. A theme of the exhibition was the interesting family relationship among the Stickley brothers. A portrait of this family's personalities--the idealistic Gustav and the consumer driven Leopold and John George--is revealed in the illustrated 128-page exhibition catalogue, "Innovation and Derivation: The Contribution of L. &;J. G. Stickley to The Arts and Crafts Movement," by Donald A. Davidoff and Stephen Gray, with a forward by Beverly K. Brandt. This can be purchased ($22.95 plus shipping and handling) from Craftsman Farms Foundation, Tel. (201) 540-1165. In conjunction with this exhibit, the Third Annual Arts and Crafts Symposium was held 22-24 September 1995 in Whippany. Lectures included "L. &;J. G. Stickley: Innovation and Derivation" presented by Davidoff and Gray; "Virtue in Design: American Arts and Crafts at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art" by Leslie Greene Bowman, head curator of decorative ceramics at the Los Angeles County Museum; "Frank Lloyd Wright and Japanese Arts" by Julia Meech; and "A. W. N. Pugin: Designer and Craftsman" by Paul Atterbury.
"Mothers and Others: Victorian Literary Association Books, Drawings, and Letters from the Collection of Mark Samuels Lasner," 22 September&endash;30 November 1995 at the Connecticut College Library, New London, featured a number of Morris and Pre-Raphaelite works. Among these were the copy of Morris's "Volsunga Saga" inscribed to poet William Allingham, Ruskin's "Ethics of the Dust" presented to Jane Carlyle, and several Rossetti books, including Dante Gabriel's "Poems" given to Sir Theodore Martin, Christina's "Sing-Song" inscribed to her brother, William Michael, and the family copy of Nightingale's "Notes on Nursing." A limited edition catalogue is available gratis from: Brian Rogers , Special Collections Librarian, Charles E. Shain Library, Connecticut College, New London, CT 06320; Tel. (203) 439-2654; E-mail Bdrog@conncoll.edu.
At the Moderne Gallery, a commercial dealer in Philadelphia, "Rethinking English Arts and Crafts: The Modernist Tradition in Turn-of the-Century British Design" offered a collection of furniture, decorative arts and jewelry from 1880&endash;1930, illuminating often overlooked origins of early 20th century modernist design. This exhibit, 6 October&endash;16 December 1995, invited those who enjoy Art Deco to discover some of the most important origins of modernism in turn-of-the-century British design. Many of these sophisticated, high style works displayed reflected close ties to the Art Nouveau and Secessionist movements on the European continent. This exhibit featured forward-looking furniture and decorative arts by some of the most renowned and original designers of this period, including Archibald Knox, C. R. Ashbee, E. W. Godwin, George Walton, Frank Brangwyn, Liberty of London and others. A symposium, "Rethinking English Arts and Crafts," was hosted by "Metropolis" magazine on 30 November. An illustrated exhibit catalogue is available for $25 (postpaid). Contact: Moderne Gallery, 111 North Third Street, Philadelphia, PA; Tel. (215) 923 8536.
"The Grosvenor Gallery: A Palace of Art in Victorian England" exhibition will be at the Yale Center for British Art from 2 March through 20 April 1996, and then will move to the Denver Art Museum (1 June&endash;25 August) and to the Laing Gallery, Newcastle, UK (13 September&endash;November). Commemorating the premier London gallery which promoted the works of the Aesthetes, in particular Whistler and Burne-Jones, this important show will include paintings, works on paper, and memorabilia. An interdisciplinary symposium, "Palaces and Temples: Changes in Art and Institutions in Victorian England," is scheduled for 2&endash;3 Mary (this will include a performance inspired by the writings of Whistler); the annual Interdisciplinary Nineteenth Century Studies conference, to take place at Yale on 12&endash;13 April, will be coordinated with the exhibition. For information call: The Yale Center for British Art, Tel. (203) 432-2850. Also at Yale, in the Beinecke Library, "Woman to Woman" will open on 19 April and run through the end of June. Strictly speaking, the sole "official" Victorian figures to be represented will be George Eliot (Yale has a mass of her letters and papers) and E. B. Browning. But others who lived in the period (even briefly) will be included: the Ladies of Llangollen, Maria Edgeworth, Anna Jameson, Sarah Austin, Dorothy Richardson, Violet Trefusis (to Vita Sackville-West), and Bryher. No catalog, but curator Christa Sammons has a kind of commonplace book with quotations from the letters in the works. Info from: Christa Sammons, E-mail CSAM@yalevm.ycc.yale.edu
Speaking of Victorian women, "Telling Her Story: British Women of Letters of the Victorian Era" was a major show on exhibit in the main exhibition gallery of the Firestone Library, Princeton University until 7 January 1996. Manuscript letters as well as early editions of novels were drawn mainly from the Library's Rare Books Division, its Manuscript Division, and its Taylor and Parrish Collections of Victorian Novelists. Beginning with Queen Victoria (an 1868 edition of "Leaves from the Journal of Our Life in the Highlands"), the exhibit presented drawings, juvenile, verses and fiction by Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte; illustrations by Leighton for George Eliot's "Romola," Eliot's translation of Feuerbach, and some of her unfinished essays for "The Westminster Review"; a copy of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "Aurora Leigh" with Robert Browning's corrections; Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market and other Poems" with designs by D. G. Rossetti; Mathilde Blind's book about George Eliot (the first biography, 1883); Amy Levy's haunting photograph; some examples of Adelaide Procter's work, including the information that her poems sold more copies than the work of any other living poet except Tennyson; and items representing Yonge, Gaskell, Oliphant, Craik, Josephine Butler, Frances Power Cobbe, Greenaway, Burnett, and Mrs. Beeton. A recent issue of the "Princeton University Library Chronicle" was devoted entirely to essays dealing with the exhibition.
The Bard Graduate Center is the site of the first retrospective exhibition devoted to A. W. N. Pugin. "A. W. N. Pugin, Master of Gothic Revival," curated by Paul Atterbury, opened on 9 November 1995 and continues through 25 February 1996. The exhibition features roughly 150 objects. Pugin had a profound influence on English and American design, architecture and theory, an influence which defined the parameters of the 19th century Gothic Revival as the official style in England. The exhibition shows how this influence was exercised in every form imaginable: church and domestic architecture, textiles, book design and ceramics to furniture, stained glass, jewelry, metal work and wallpaper. An elaborately-illustrated catalog is available. For further information, contact: The Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, 18 West 86th Street, New York, NY 10024; Tel. (212) 501-3000.
"Visions of Love and Life: Pre-Raphaelite Art from the Birmingham Collection, England" is still gallivanting around the United States. If you didn't see it in Delaware or in Houston (where it closed on 2 January 2, 1996) there is one more chance: Atlanta's High Museum of Art, from 27 January through 7April. Then back home to Birmingham.
"MODERN PAINTERS" SYMPOSIUM
Last August, the Santa Fe Opera and St. John's College sponsored "Giving Voice to Modern Painters: John Ruskin His Life and Times." a symposium held in conjunction with the world premiere of David Lang's opera "Modern Painters."Alice Chandler and Sharon Aronofsky Weltman have provided us with this short review of its papers: "Elizabeth Helsinger in 'Portraits of the Artists and Their Circle' explored the artistic relationships among the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the unusual degree of artistic cooperation among them--using each other as models, taking each other for subject matter, etc. She also discussed Ruskin's somewhat ambiguous championship of Elizabeth Siddal as an artist and the dualities of treatment to which both she and Christina Rossetti were subject. Ruskin himself sought with incomplete success to be a part of that camaraderie. In 'The Psychology of Fragmentation in Ruskin's Early Writings,' David Hanson dealt with the relationship between Ruskin and his father as writers. George Landow with 'Ruskin's Magic Realism' focussed on the significance of Ruskin's canons regarding truth and detail in painting. He illustrated its application to the paintings of the PRB and also reconciled Ruskin's adherence to realism with his championship of a seemingly impressionistic Turner. Landow explained Ruskin's abhorrence of Whistler's work as the result of his fear of bright and flashing lights (combined with his distaste for Whistler's personality). Other papers were: Linda Austen, 'Rosie, My Pet'; Steve Finley, 'Completing Praeterita'; Julie Codell, 'John Ruskin's Political Economy of Art: Valuing the Artist's Labor'; Jim Spates, 'Breaking the Ties that Bind: Ruskin, the Divorce from Effie, and Theory of Perfidious Elites'; and Matthew E. Gallegos, 'Ruskin on the Rio Grande.'"
ARTS AND CRAFTS TOURS
Arts and Crafts Tours offers many programs of interest to Morrisians. Each tour is accompanied by scholars serving as lecturers, guides, and hosts. "Early Utopians" (10&endash;19 May 1996) focuses on such industrialists as William Lever, George Cadbury, and Joseph Rowntree who, through their generosity to museums and their civic-mindedness, helped create the best collections of the work of the Pre-Raphaelites and the most impressive and exquisite 19th century municipal buildings. Some of the sites this tour visits include: Port Sunlight, Saltair, New Earswick, Bournville, Letchworth, the first Garden City; and Hampstead Garden Suburb, just north of London. The tour also visits houses and buildings designed by Baillie Scott, C. F. A. Voysey, Alfred Waterhouse, Ernest Newton, and Edwin Lutyens, and interior decorations of Morris &;Company, Alfred Powell, A. W. N. Pugin, the Bromsgrove Guild of Handicraft, and Ford Madox Brown. "Gardens of the Arts &;Crafts Era" (6&endash;16 June 1996), under the guidance of Judith B. Tankard, author of two books on Gertrude Jekyll, examines the landscape of this period. It will include visits to Standen, designed by Philip Webb, Jekyll's own garden at Munstead Wood, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant's Charleston Farmhouse, and the quintessential Arts &;Crafts garden at Rodmarton Manor. "Homage to William Morris" (13&endash;21 July 1996) visits such important Morris sites as the Red House, the William Morris Gallery, Kelmscott House, Wightwick Manor (perhaps the most completely furnished Morris &;Co. home), Kelmscott manor, and the Oxford Union Society. "Northern Independents" (7&endash;17 August 1996) travels northward to Scotland, visiting along the way Wightwick Manor, Madresfield Court, Eastnor Castle, John Ruskin's home Brantwood, and several private homes by Voysey as well as St. Giles, Cheadle, the church designed by Pugin. In Scotland, the tour will visit the Dovecoat Tapestry Company in Edinburgh, the Glasgow School of Art and the Scotland Street School. "The Center of Creativity" (14&endash;22 September 1996) visits houses by Lutyens, Voysey, Baillie Scott, Thackeray Turner, and Philip Webb. "An Arts &;Crafts Sampler in Wales" (12&endash;20 October 1996) visits Wales to see Castell Coch and Cardiff Cast, designed by William Burges; homes by W. D. Caroe, J. D. Seddon; interiors by Pugin. To make reservations or receive further information, write to: Arts &;Crafts Tours, 110 Riverside Drive, Suite 15E, New York, NY 10024.
This "Newsletter" was written and edited by B. J. Robinson and Mark Samuels Lasner.
A SHOPPING GUIDE TO WILLIAM MORRIS
Another installment of our continuing listing of Morris-related items, most of them available from mail-order catalogues and other sources. See also the sections above devoted to Kelmscott Farm, to antiquarian booksellers, and to the prints offered for sale by Katherine L. Roberts.
The recent catalogue offered a wide range of Morris-related items--and had a photograph of Morris on the cover. Morris Centenary Collectors' Plates. Plates delivered during 1996 as follows: Spring--available now; Summer--in March; Autumn--in August; Winter--in October. Spring plate (#3252) $49.50. All 4 plates and hanging wires (#5000) $189.00 All 4 plates and stands (#5001) $189.00. Woodpecker Wall Tapestry (#3485) $199.00. "Love Is Enough" Silver Poesy Ring, sizes K, M, O, and Q (#1893) $49.50. "The Earthly Paradise: Music Loved by William Morris." Cassette (#8916) $11.95 or Compact disc (#8917) $21.95. Commemorative Morris Mug in Gilded Fine Bone China: one (#3079) $15.95 or pair (#3081) $29.95. Morris Lion Tapestry Pillows: Lion A (#4177) $74.50, Lion B (#4121) $74.50, or pair (#4178) $139.00. "Apple Tree" Fragranted Plaque (#3239) $8.95. Lion Tapestry Correspondence Wallet (#4267) $9.95. William Morris Travelling Soaps (#1148) $17.95. Morris Leather Box in Green (#1667) $34.50 or Red (#8583) $34.50. Pair of Morris Bone China Mugs (#3091) $29.95. Morris Hare Tote Bag (#8611) $24.95. Pair of William Morris Tea Towels (#2935) $12.95. William Morris Centenary Sampler Kit (#1333) $89.50. Strawberry Thief Wool Tunic Sweater (#2203) $149.00. Strawberry Thief Paperweight (#9710) $9.95. * "William Morris: His Life and Work" (book) (#1247) $12.95. "Dante Gabriel Rossetti" (book) (#1438) $39.50. Rossetti Paperweight (#1237) $9.95. Rossetti Calendar 1996 (#97523) $4.95. Pre-Raphaelite Appointments Diary 1996 (#98178) $7.95. William Morris Chocolate Easter Egg: Dark chocolate (#5283) $19.95 or Milk chocolate (#3201) $19.95. William Morris Acanthus Mirror (#1743) $39.50.
William Morris Tie (#2016) $30.00. * William Morris Wool Rug (#3319) $220.00&endash;$440.00. * "William Morris Textiles" (book) (#1023) $18.00. Poppy Fields Scarf, adapted from Morris's "Wreath" design (#2153) $45.00. William Morris Tie, "Compton" (#2035) $35.00.
September Catalogue (p. 9) offers William Morris Rug in various sizes $99.00&endash;$549.00.
METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
Werkstatte Holiday Cards (#K8536K) $17.95. William Morris Note Cube &;Notelets (#80059R) $9.50.
MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON
William Morris Pillow Kit (#40758) $49.50. Redhead Notecards (#21071-203) $13.95. Morris Oak Scarf (#40735-436) $58.00. William Morris Gold Picture Frame (#52751) $48.00. Burne-Jones "Days of Creation" Notecards (#20859-203) $7.99. Rossetti "Heart's Desire" Notecards (#22516-203) $13.95. William Morris "Willow Boughs" Throw (#40931) $59.50.
LAST UPDATE 4 JAN 2001 · PLEASE REPORT BROKEN LINKS TO WEBMASTER@MORRISSOCIETY.ORG