HOMELife & WorksAbout the SocietyMemberhip & DonationsPublications Events  •  Links

William Morris Society: US Newsletter July 1994

William Morris Society in the United States
Newsletter July 1994


MLA SAN DIEGO
The Society will participate, as usual, in the upcoming December annual convention of the Modern Language Association, to be held this year (what a change from Toronto!) in San Diego, California. Two sessions of papers are scheduled. The first, on "William Morris in Our Fin de Siècle," will be chaired by Hartley Spatt (Maritime College, State University of New York) and the subjects and speakers are: "Roadways and Railways: Morris on Travelers and Tourists," Gary Aho (University of Massachusetts Amherst), "Morris the 'Green': Landscape and Community in Morris's Essays on Art and Society," Florence Boos (University of Iowa); "Morris and the Problematic Autonomy of Art," Norman Kelvin (City University of New York); and "What Is It: A Want or a Need? William Morris and the Social Dimension of Environment," Jacquelyn Smith (Drew University). "Victorian Sexuality and the Morris Circle, "the second session, will feature the following: "Charles Robert Ashbee, Edward Carpenter, and 'Homogenic' Love," James Benjamin (architectural historian) and "Love for the Sake of Love: Friendship and Sexuality in Morris's 'Riding Together,'" A. A. Markley (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill). B. J. Robinson, our "Newsletter" editor (University of Miami), will preside. The Society will also sponsor the traditional cash bar, hosted this year by Hartley Spatt.


MORRIS CENTENARY EXHIBITION PLANS
October 1996 will be the hundredth anniversary of the death of William Morris. As you may have heard, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, under the direction of Linda Parry, will mark the occasion with a major exhibition, an exhibition which may very well not come to the United States. Some time ago the governing board of the Morris Society decided to look into the idea of sponsoring our own show (and related events) during the centenary year. A number of libraries and museums were approached. Some turned us down flat, others were interested but had scheduling problems. One, The Grolier Club in New York, responded with enthusiasm and a commitment for the time slot of December 1996 to February 1997. This is an opportunity too good to be missed, and, as announced in the April issue of the British "Newsletter" and in a flyer posted to members in the Northeastern U. S., a preliminary meeting was held on 3 June at the Grolier Club to discuss the project. (For those who don't know, the Grolier Club--despite its name--is a midtown Manhattan located tax-exempt bibliophile institution with public programs and a large exhibition hall.)

Our member Florence Boos kindly undertook to keep notes of the 3 June meeting. Here is her report:

The following attended: WMS members Mark Samuels Lasner (chair and president WMS), Hartley Spatt (secretary/treasurer of the WMS), Pamela Bracken Wiens (vice-president WMS), Joseph Dunlap (chair emeritus), Norman Kelvin, Carole Silver, William S. Peterson, Theo Rehak, Florence Boos, and Sandra Church. Martin Antonetti (librarian) and Martin W. Hutner (chair of exhibitions committee) represented the Grolier Club and George Fletcher represented another interested institution, the Pierpont Morgan Library.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the William Morris centenary exhibition, scheduled for December 1996-February 1997 at the Grolier Club in New York. The show will be organized in part by the Society and will take place in the Club's ground floor exhibition gallery. A centenary Morris symposium will also be arranged at the City University of New York Graduate Center for sometime during the exhibition, and there is the possibility of another Morris exhibition in the same time period, to be held at the Pierpont Morgan Library. One of the purposes of the meeting was therefore to discuss coordination of these several events.

Mark Samuels Lasner gave an initial overview of his inquiries regarding an exhibition site and his suggestions for what might be feasible and appropriate types of exhibits. George Fletcher then reported on preliminary ideas for the Pierpont Morgan Library show, and Martin Antonetti discussed ways in which the Grolier Club would participate, the limitations of the exhibition rooms, the nature of a possible catalogue, and ways in which it might be funded, and other organizational matters. He reiterated the Club's strong interest in a Morris exhibition and the kinds of expenses it might be prepared to assume: transportation, installation, insurance, and some logistical costs. Antonetti said that, as a matter of course, the Club issues invitations and has an "opening" for all major exhibitions. Moving from the practical to the intellectual, we then talked about possible themes for exhibitions, and the ways these should be coordinated. Our discussion focussed on means in which this particular exhibition could emphasize other aspects of Morris's work besides his decorative artwork, since this has been the subject of most recent displays, such as the one held in 1991 in Katonah. Several of those present liked the idea of presenting Morris as a "collector" in the broadest sense of this term--his book collecting, his reading, his social ideas, his friends and human relationships, his critique of the economics of private ownership. Suggestions for exhibits or topics included: Morris's book annotations; his ability to learn from his mistakes; his relationship to public institutions and purchasing; the development of his typographical work; the features and stages of his book collecting; his influence on other collectors; his attempt to appeal to several different audiences; and the relationship between his book collecting, his use of medieval antecedents, and his socialist practice. A number of those present argued that wherever possible exhibits should feature little known material, with an emphasis on original manuscripts, art works, or editions owned by Morris not heretofore shown. Space and funds, it was suggested, would probably limit the items to what is available in U.S. collections, particularly institutions and private owners on the East Coast. Martin Hutner and Martin Antonetti said that, based on previous exhibitions, the gallery will hold (in cases and on the walls) about 150 items. They also reminded us that the Grolier Club has a "Morris Room" on the fifth floor, decorated with Morris curtains and appropriate turn-of-the-century furniture; this space is normally used only by Club members, but might fit into our plans as a special display area or as a place for talks or receptions.

We also considered the question of related activities. Sometime during the exhibition the Society would want to sponsor an evening lecture and reception, or perhaps a day of seminar presentations and panels, followed by an evening lecture and reception. Depending on the number of attendees and the cost involved, these events might also be sited at the Grolier Club. Another idea mentioned was a series of talks on various aspects of Morris. Other groups, such as the Victorian Society or the American Printing History Society, might be approached as co-sponsors.

It was decided to ask members--especially those who could not come on 3 June--to think seriously over the next two or three months about topics for the show and about items which merit possible inclusion. This will prepare us for another preparatory meeting, to be held in the Fall. Our goal is to form a committee, open to all who will actively participate, which will do the "work" on the exhibition. We welcome suggestions and ideas of all kinds--for one or more exhibition items, or for the arrangement of exhibits under appropriate rubrics--and offers to help. Members are urged to get in touch with Mark Samuels Lasner (who is acting as the overall "curator" for the exhibition) as soon as possible.

The meeting was adjourned by about 5 p.m., but we talked and consumed refreshments provided by the Grolier Club for another hour or so.


THE TABLES TURNED
Ohio University Press has just published "The Tables Turned, or Nupkins Awakened: A Socialist Interlude" by William Morris, with an introduction by Pamela Bracken Wiens. As the first modern reprint of Morris's only play, previously available only in the rare first edition of 1887 or in May Morris's "William Morris: Artist, Writer, Socialist," this is an important publication of interest to all Morrisians. "The Tables Turned" was written for the Socialist League and responded to current court prosecutions of leaguists or obstructionism, including Morris's own arrest after the Norwich affair. The play revives conventions from the Townsley Cycle and, as Pamela Wiens points out in her introduction, reflects current Strand practices in characterization and theme. The play presents Morris's socialist-agrarian Utopian vision and does so with many references to various socialist branches, such as the anarchists. Wiens's introduction and notes nicely clarify these contemporary references, detailing the impact of the play on subsequent English drama and on twentieth-century agit-prop. While pointing out that "The Tables Turned" possesses certain technical ineptitudes Wiens praises its Medieval structure, its influence on the Socialist cause, and its "place in the development of dramatic art forms as the vehicle for Socialist propaganda and education."

Apart from its intellectual importance, "The Tables Turned" is a delight to read and, as proved recently by a production at the National Gallery of Canada, a delight to act and view. This new edition makes a crucial Morris text available in a handsome, illustrated format. Members of the Society, in the U. S. and elsewhere, can obtain the book at a considerable discount -see the advertisement overleaf.


EXHIBITIONS
The Pierpont Morgan Library hosts (until the end of August) an exhibition of more than 40 Burne-Jones drawings few have ever seen, illuminated designs, words and initials for "The Fairy Family," an anonymous book by Archibald MacLaren. MacLaren, an Oxford gymnastics instructor on the outskirts of the Oxford "brotherhood," admired Burne-Jones's landscape studies and commissioned the young artist to make drawings for his forthcoming work on the powers and habitats of various fairies in European legend. The published book, which appeared in 1857, contained only a frontispiece, title-page, and tailpiece; the entire series of illustrations now exhibited show Burne-Jones's earliest surviving work, before he met Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

"The Yellow Book: A Centenary Exhibition," just over at the Houghton Library, Harvard University, was curated by Margaret D. Stetz and Morris Society president Mark Samuels Lasner. This show included over 96 items connected with the most famous and notorious periodical of the British 1890s, compiled from the Harvard College Library, the Fogg Art Museum, and loans from other institutional and private owners. Unusually representative and wide-ranging, the exhibit of course included material related to John Lane, Henry Harland, and Aubrey Beardsley--such as Lane's typescript account "The Yellow Book: Recollections of John Lane," letters from Harland to Ada Leverson and other contributors, and five original drawings by Beardsley (among them "A Nocturne of Chopin" and "Black Coffee," both slated for Volume V of "The Yellow Book.") Of this material, the most interesting was Beardsley's "Portrait of Henry Harland" in graphite and charcoal, lent by Loras College. The exhibit also represented many of the "Yellow Bookworms," such as Max Beerbohm, with his sketch of Henry Harland; William Rothenstein, with his chalk drawing of Beardsley; Ernest Dowson, John Davidson, George Egerton, William Watson, Ella D'Arcy, Arthur Symons, Netta Syrett and such later contributors as George Gissing, William Butler Yeats, and Baron Corvo. The exhibit especially drew attention to work by women artists, for instance, to the illustration of the "Black Cockade" for Volume XIII done by Catherine Cameron and the cover design for Volume XI done by Nellie Syrett. Further, it represents some of the Bodley Head's marketing strategies with various posters by Will H. Bradley and Ethel Reed as well as its impact on the public with Publication Lists and Shirley Everton Johnson's satire on "The Yellow Book," entitled "The Cult of the Purple Rose." The illustrated catalogue for the exhibit includes an excellent essay which explodes current myths about the magazine, such as its exclusivity, its littleness, its aestheticism, its founding and its decline. To order (price $10.00 plus $2.00 postage) write to The Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138.

There was, necessarily, some overlap between "The Yellow Book" and "A Struggle for Fame: Victorian Women Artists and Authors," held more or less concurrently at the Yale Center for British Art. But the emphasis was on the earlier portion of the period, with strong representations of Pre Raphaelite painters such as Elizabeth Siddal, Barbara Bodichon, May Morris, Helen Allingham, and Anna Mary Howitt, and Pre-Raphaelite writers such as Christina Rossetti, all amid an almost unprecedented display of art works and books (of all kinds, not just literature) by women creators. Admirably curated by Susan Casteras of the Yale Center for British Art and Linda H. Peterson of Yale's English Department, the exhibition has also been recorded by a catalogue (price $14.95 plus $3.50 shipping) available from Publications, Yale Center for British Art, Susan Casteras, 1080 Chapel Street, Box 2120, Yale Station, New Haven, CT 06520.


CONFERENCES
"The Nineteenth-Century City: Global Contexts, Local Productions" is the theme for the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies meeting at the University of California at Santa Cruz from 6-8 April 1995. The Planning Committee is especially interested in papers or panels with interdisciplinary, transnational, or broadly comparative approaches to the nineteenth-century city. For information, write to: Gordon Bigelow, The Dickens Project, Kresge College, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (2-page abstracts are due by 15 October 1994.)

This year's Victorians Institute Conference is on "Crime and Criminality in Victorian Literature" and will be held at the University of Richmond, VA from 30 September-1 October 1994. Possible topics for conference panels include Newgate; true crime and detective novels; the author as either criminal or detective; historical crimes; crime and gender; crime as infection; origins of the detective story; Holmes and his ancestors; criminal "genres" and generic criminals; crime drama and melodrama; "high art" and low crime; and criminal poetics, crime and poetry. Send 15 minute papers or detailed abstracts by 1 July 1994 to Charlotte Oberg, Department of English, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA 23173.

"Carlyle at 200," a bicentenary conference sponsored by Memorial University of Newfoundland and the journal "Carlyle Studies Annual," will be held at St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, on 10-14 July 1995. The conference will feature papers by beginning and established scholars on Thomas and Jane Walsh Carlyle and their circle. Among those scheduled to attend will be Ruth Roberts (University of California-Riverside and a Morris Society member), Aileen Christianson (Edinburgh), Fred Kaplan (City University of New York), George Levine (Rutgers), Claude de L. Ryals (Duke), G. B. Tennyson (UCLA), Michael Timko (Queens College). Those who wish to speak or attend should contact Mark Cumming, Department of English, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada A1G 5S7 as soon as possible. Potential speakers should submit a one-page abstract by 15 August 1994.

The Fourth Annual Conference on 18th- and 19th-Century British Women Writers will be held at the University of Notre Dame from 2-4 March 1995. The conference especially encourages papers addressing the past and present significance of non-canonical British women writers in various disciplines. Send inquiries, 1-2 page abstracts for papers, and proposals for panels by 1 October 1994 to Donell Ruwe or Margaret Stein, 356 O'Shaughnessy Hall, English Department, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Plenary speakers for this conference include: Felicity Nussbaum, Anne K. Mellor, and Sally Shuttleworth.

The Southeast Nineteenth Century Studies Association announces its 14th annual conference, to be held at Loyola College, Baltimore, Maryland on 30 March-1 April 1995. The topic is "Conflict and Resolution." Papers might consider the agenda of Jacobins, Chartists, aesthetes, socialists, and other groups, defining points of interest and controversy; the struggles surrounding the displacement of rural, agrarian, and native ways of life by urbanization, industrialization, and colonization; they might analyze how new institutions--such as the Universities of Berlin, London or Chicago- or new fields of knowledge--such as sociology and psychology--achieved recognition. Proposals for 20 minute papers should be accompanied by a brief c. v. All materials should be sent by 1 November 1994 to Regina Hewitt, Department of English, CPR 107, University of South Florida, 4204 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33620-5550.

A centenary conference focusing on the prose and poetry of Christina Georgina Rossetti will be held 11-12 November 1994 at Yale University. The two-day event will be co-sponsored by the Whitney Humanities Center and the Yale Center for British Art. Please submit essays (10-12 hardcopy pages) by 15 September to Linda Peterson, Michele Martinez, or Rebecca Laroche at the English Department, Yale University; P.O. Box 208302; New Haven, CT 06520-8302. Questions may be directed to the above persons at Tel. 203-432-2233 or via e-mail laroche@minerva.cis.yale.edu or michelem@minerva.cis.yale.edu.


QUONDAM ET FUTURUS: JOURNAL OF ARTHURIAN INTERPRETATIONS
A multi-disciplinary quarterly journal of Arthurian Studies from the beginnings to the present is now housed at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas under the editorship of Bonnie Wheeler, Department of English. The official learned journal of the International Arthurian Society, North American branch, "Quondam et Futurus" publishes reviews of books concerned with Arthurian literature, early and medieval Britain and medieval culture/history/literature. Subscriptions cost $25.00 in the United States, Canada, and Mexico; $40.00 elsewhere. Send books and correspondence to A Journal of Arthurian Interpretations, Department of English, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75175-0435. Tel. 214 768-2949, fax 214-768-4129 attn: B. Wheeler; and e-mail to bwheeler@sun.cis.smu.edu.


SATANICK TYPEFACE
Marty Snyder, a new member of the Society who teachers at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, writes that his Satanick, an excellent digitized version of Morris's Troy, is available in both Truetype and Type 1 Postscript format for Macintosh and GeoWorks, and soon will be available in IBM PC format. All will be accessible on America Online, and, in Mac format only, on Compuserve. The font was made from a printed sample of the cold-press type in the possession of Cambridge University. The on-line versions are shareware and contain full alphabets and numerals. An augmented update--which adds ornaments (such as the leaf found in this "Newsletter") and ligatures, can be purchased directly from Snyder for $15. His digitized version of Goudy Lombardic is also available on AOL. Write to Marty Snyder, 601 West Mermaid Lane, Philadelphia, PA 19118, Tel. 215-242-1719.


NEWS OF MEMBERS
Florence Boos, Professor of English at the University of Iowa (and surely the busiest Morrisian alive), spoke on "Landscape and Community in the Writings of William Morris" on 7 April 1994 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Her talk, a version of her subject for a future MLA paper and article, was co-sponsored by the Department of English of CUA and the Society. Flyers announcing event were posted to all members within "striking distance" on the East Coast.

Norman Kelvin has just completed and sent off to Princeton University Press volume V, the final volume, of his edition of the William Morris "Letters." He expects publication of volumes III and IV in time for the centenary events in 1996. On 27 May he held a champagne party to celebrate the volume's "launching off."

Alicia Craig Faxon writes that in Fall 1994 Abbeville is publishing a second edition of her "Dante Gabriel Rossetti" at $20 less than the first edition. Also, that the Phaidon Press in England will be bringing out a paperback edition of the Rossetti book at a reduced price (though available only in England). And that later this year, Associated Universities Press will bring out "Pre-Raphaelite Art in its European Context," co-edited and contributed to by Faxon and Susan Casteras. This book, which includes an article on as well as several references to Morris, may be inquired after at Associated Universities Press, 440 Forsgate Drive, Cranbury, NJ 08512, Tel. 609-655-4770.

The Spring 1994 issue of "Arts and Crafts Quarterly Magazine" contains an article by Sherry M. Richmond on the strong connections the city of Chicago had with the Arts and Crafts Movement. "The Chicago Arts and Crafts Movement" traces the history of numerous arts and crafts organizations, such as the Chicago Arts and Crafts Society, founded in 1897 by settlement workers at Hull House, and considers the many arts and crafts inspired architects, designers, craftspersons, graphic artists, studios, and manufacturers, including Frank Lloyd Wright and Howard Van Doren Shaw. Richmond concludes with a recommendation to anyone interested in the Arts and Crafts Movement to visit the city in order to see such attractions as Richardson's Glessner House, and Wright's Prairie School residences, such as the Robie House in Chicago, the Ward Willets House in suburban Highland Park, and many other Wright buildings in Oak Park, including Unity Temple and the Frank Lloyd Wright studios. Prairie School furnishings can be seen in such Chicago collections as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Frank Lloyd Wright home and studio, and the University of Chicago's Smart Gallery. There are also Arts and Crafts handicrafts in the collections of the Chicago Historical Society and the Hull House Museum.


ARTS AND CRAFTS IN AMERICA AND ENGLAND
On 28 January 1994 "The New York Times" reviewed "The Ideal Home, 1900-1920," the first installment in a series on American Crafts at the American Craft Museum. This review states that despite including amongst its 200 items interesting objects like Mary Chase Perry's vases, Dick Van Erp's copper lamps, Elizabeth Eaton Burton's lamp, a candelabra by Marie Zimmermann, and textiles designed by Stickley, the exhibit lacks really outstanding or representative material, such as a Stickley couch. Further, the exhibit confuses Art Nouveau with Arts and Crafts, fails to acknowledge such regional varieties of Arts and Crafts as that of the West Coast, and gives little sense of what an Arts and Crafts home would look like. It concludes with this assessment: "But far too often this exhibition travels over ground that has been covered better elsewhere, and in the process it manages to make a great topic seem dull and confusing."

Arts and Crafts Tours offers eleven day tours of Glasgow, the Lake District, the Midlands, the Cotswolds and London to see such Arts and Crafts sites as Philip Webb's Standen, William Morris's Red House, and Kelmscott Manor, the Cotswold silver workshop of Charles Ashbee, the Birmingham Museum, Wightwick Manor, and homes designed by Richard Norman Shaw, Edwin Lutyens, Detmar Blow, and C. F. A. Voysey. The next scheduled tour runs from run from 10- 21 August 1994. Contact Elaine Hirschl Ellis, President, 110 Riverside Drive, Suite 15-E, New York, NY 10024, Tel. 212-362-0761, fax 212-787-2823.


CRAFTSMAN FARMS
Craftsman Farms, located in and owned by the Township of Parsippany Troy Hills, is the former home of Gustav Stickley, the major American proponent of Arts and Crafts. It is located on 26 of the original 650 acres where Stickley planned to establish a cooperative community, including a furniture factory, a school, cottage residences for friends and colleagues, and a farm to supply the community with all its foodstuffs. The township of Parsippany-Troy Hills intends to restore the property, which has been named a National Historic Landmark, to its original appearance. Considerable progress has been made in restoring the main building, the log house, built circa 1908-10, which was originally intended as a club house for the proposed community and then was turned into a residence for Stickley and his family. It now contains a number of handsome Stickley pieces, along with lamps, rugs, and much handmade furniture.

In the last year, the Stickley Museum has inaugurated an exhibitions program that deals not only with historical aspects of Arts and Crafts but also with contemporary craftspeople whose work is influenced by the movement. A recent show (8 May-5 June) concerned "Two Views of the Art of Dining," the subject of a joint and cooperative effort between Craftsman Farms Foundation and Fosterfields Living Historical Farm at The Willows in Morristown. The exhibit illustrated dining in the 19th and turn-of-the-20th century. Included in the exhibit were two tables set with china from Stickley's New York restaurant, a nine-piece sterling silver flatware set by Gorham Manufacturing Company in their Etruscan pattern, Stickley candlesticks, rare Celadon-colored Rookwood plates, and a typical Stickley dinner gong. "Dining" was followed by (12-30 June) an exhibit of Plein-Air paintings by Minnesota artist Brian Stewart, who specializes in the traditional oil on canvas painting done at the turn-of the-century in the open air. Stewart links his paintings with the Arts and Crafts Movement by handcrafting many of his frames in the style of Gustav Stickley or the West Coast designers, the Greene brothers of Pasadena, California.

Craftsman Farms will host the Second Annual Arts and Crafts Symposium to benefit Craftsman Farms, 23-25 September 1994 at the Hanover Marriott in Whippany, New Jersey. The weekend will include an all Arts and Crafts Show and Sale with a special Friday evening sneak preview, lecture series, group discussions, a book fair and exposition, and bus tours. Amongst the speakers will be Felicity Ashbee, Beth Cathers, Richard Guy Wilson, and Barbara Perry. Their topics include "Gustav Stickley: Stylistic Development" and "C. R. Ashbee and the Guild of the Handicraft." For further information, please write to: Arts and Crafts Symposium, 9 S. Main Street, Lambertville, NJ 08530, Tel. 609-397-9374, attn. Elaine M. Talec.

Coinciding with this symposium will be an exhibit on the work of Charles R. Ashbee and the Guild of Handicraft to be held at Craftsman Farms from 23 September-30 October 1994. The exhibit will include examples of the book arts of Ashbee's Essex House Press, and metalwork and jewelry of the Guild of Handicraft. For further information--about exhibitions, conferences, and Craftsman Farms membership, contact Nancy Strathearn, Executive Director, 2352 Route 10 West, Morris Plains, NJ 07950-1214, Tel. 201-540-1165 or David W. Lowden, Stroock and Stroock and Lavan, 7 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004, Tel. 212-806-6187.


BEARDSLEY QUERIES
Joan Navarre writes that her dissertation on "The Publishing History of Oscar Wilde's and Aubrey Beardsley's 'Salome'" investigates 100 years of editorial changes and addresses the need for a critical English illustrated edition. For this project, Ms. Navarre is particularly interested in learning more about various inscribed editions, specifically, the 1894 Bodley Head editions inscribed by Wilde and/or Beardsley. She can be reached at Oak Valley Farm, W952 Oak Valley Road, Fountain City, WI 54629, Tel. 608 687-8149.


AT THE BOOKSELLERS
Named for the famed turn-of-the-century Portland, Maine publisher of limited editions, Mosher Books, established in 1991, carries a select antiquarian book stock including fine bindings, early imprints, early illustrated books, private press and fine printing, and books on books. Of interest to Morrisians, the firm often handles books printed at the Kelmscott Press and books whose printing reflects the influence of Morris, especially the work of American printers and publishers. Send your want list or information about your collecting interests or visit Mosher Books, Philip R. Bishop, proprietor, 28 North Water Street, Lancaster, PA 17603, Tel. 717-293-9178.

As regular readers know (some know all too well) the President of the U. S. branch of the Society collects books by the Pre-Raphaelites and their associates, including Morris, of course. So when he received a catalogue devoted entirely to the Rossettis he ordered what he wanted--and could afford--and then put it aside for later mention in the "Newsletter." And mention, Catalogue 12 from D and D Galleries surely deserves. For it contains a comprehensive group of books--both rare first editions and secondary sources--which would be difficult to assemble again. The emphasis is on Christina Rossetti (this is the centenary year of her death) and the highlights include inscribed copies of "The Prince's Progress and other Poems" (1866) and the collected 1879 "Goblin Market and Princes Progress," both given to the minor writer Caroline M. Gemmer, and a copy of "Called to be Saints" (1881) presented to Christina's aunt, Eliza Polidori. An evocative association book is "Commonplace and other Stories" (1870, a very uncommon title) with an inscription from the publisher, F. S. Ellis--who was also Morris's publisher and a later co tenant of Kelmscott Manor--to Jane and May Morris; this is further enhanced by authentication by Sydney Cockerell and has a price of $1750.00. There is, too, a copy of "The Germ" with manuscript material by William Rossetti and others in the group, and Dante Gabriel is represented by letters, an early photograph by Lewis Carroll (shown here), and virtually all his works (even some large paper copies) and there are autograph letters, periodical appearances, biographies, and critical studies which will interest both collectors and academics. Many of the books were formerly owned by the late John Sparrow, Warden of All Souls College, Oxford, who had a notable collection of Pre-Raphaelite books. D and D Galleries, Box 8413, Somerville, NJ 08876, Tel. 908-874-3162, fax 908-874-5195.

Though they apparently never met, the novelist George Gissing was greatly interested in William Morris, especially (as shown in "Demos") the socialist side of him. Readers and admirers of Morris often read and admire works of Gissing and they will want to know about a recent catalogue from Sumner and Stillman (P. O. 973, Yarmouth, ME 04096), which contains "many of the author's first and other early editions, a small (but choice) selection of autograph letters and biographical/critical material." This is the personal collection of the bookshop's owner, Richard Loomis, and, as befitting the quality of the material and the special nature of the sale, the descriptions are more informative than usual, forming in a sense a miniature biography-cum-publishing history of the writer. A copy of Gissing's first book, "Workers in the Dawn" (1880) is offered; other significant items include three original contracts (signed by the author, one signed by H. G. Wells as witness) for American editions. The price is £7.00 or $10.00 (credited toward any subsequent purchase from the catalogue), sent air mail if applicable.


MISCELLANY
Time Warner and Sony's catalogue "Sound Exchange" has for its cover (and for sale) "The Kiss" by Dante Gabriel Rossetti which depicts King Rene of Anjou and Isabella of Lorraine who were married in 1420. The reproduction stained glass tableau includes a hanging chain for display. 5 by 7 in. #163980 $32.00, Tel. 1-800-521-0042.


A SHOPPING GUIDE TO WILLIAM MORRIS

MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON
Tel. 1-800-225-5592
"Redhead Notecards." Features Rossetti "redheads." #21071-203, $10.95; "William Morris Tie." Pure silk tie based on a Morris pattern. 3 1/2 in. wide. Navy #40394-425, Burgundy #40394-405, or Plum #40394-430, $32.00.

GARDENER'S EDEN
Tel. 1-800-822-9600
"Millefleurs Jardiniere." Drawn from Morris pattern of a field of wildflowers against a black background with forget-me-nots and leaves detailing the rim, 14 in. diameter, 12 in. high. #62-504373,* sale price $89.00.

PAST TIMES
Tel. 1-800-621-6020
"Morris Plate, Cup and Saucer." In the Iris design, #9878 Plate $29.50, #9701 Cup and Saucer $32.50, #2545 Set of Plate, Cup and Saucer $59.50, #6959 set of 6 Plates, Cups and Saucers $345.00; " Morris Napkins." In Iris Pattern. #6907 Box of 4 napkins, $14.95; "Morris and Co. Orange Tree Cushion." Tapestry cushion reproduces a cushion design of c. 1912 by J. H. Dearle. #4170 cushion $25.00; "Compton Silk Scarf." Based on the wallpaper and chintz design by J. H. Dearle. Pure silk. #5324 scarf $45.00; "Voysey Tree Brooch." Sterling silver and set with garnets, this brooch was inspired by Charles Voysey's distinctive flowering trees. #5789 brooch $79.50; "Sir Edward Burne-Jones." A richly illustrated, large format book which studies Burne-Jones's art, containing a lavish collection of color plates with full and informative notes. One of these plates, "Laus Veneris," graces the cover of Past Times catalogue. #5800 book $49.50; " Oscar Wilde Handkerchief." Cotton lawn handkerchief setting out 12 of the best known quotations from the work of Oscar Wilde and decorated with James Whistler's early caricature of Wilde. #6395 handkerchief $10.95; "The Sayings of Oscar Wilde." A collection of more than 400 of the most incisive lines from Wilde's plays, articles, and novels. #5803 book $9.95.

THE SMITHSONIAN CATALOGUE
Fall/Winter 1994 Preview issue
Tel. 1-800-322-0344
"Floral Art Glass Lamp." Handcrafted table lamp produced in the style and technique of Louis Comfort Tiffany. #3684, $1095.00; "William Morris Tapestry." Reproduction of medievally-inspired Morris and Co. tapestry, depicting the tale of a king turned into a woodpecker. Jacquard-woven in France. Rings sewn in back for hanging. 61 by 29 in. #3359, $295.00.

LAST UPDATE 4 JAN 2001 · PLEASE REPORT BROKEN LINKS TO WEBMASTER@MORRISSOCIETY.ORG

<<Newsletter Home