William Morris Society activities for the rest of the year center on the Modern Language Association annual convention, which will take place on 27&endash;30 December in San Francisco. As usual, we shall sponsor panels of scholarly papers and an "outside" social event. The first session, "New Views of the Pre-Raphaelites," is scheduled for the evening of Sunday, 27 December. Margaret Debelius (Princeton University) will serve as moderator for the following speakers: Florence Boos (University of Iowa), "Once More Into the Venusberg: 'The Hill of Venus' 's Seven Drafts and a Secular Resolution of Morris's Epic"; Jessica Feldman (University of Virginia), "Domestic Rossetti"; Kathy Psomiades (University of Notre Dame), "Christina Rossetti's Aestheticism"; and Thomas J. Tobin (Duquesne University), "New Views of the Old Views of the Pre-Raphaelites: Periodical Criticism in the Later Nineteenth Century." "In Honor of Burne-Jones, Beardsley, and Morris: The Late Victorian Book," chaired by Bonnie J. Robinson (North Georgia College and State University), follows on the afternoon of the next day, 28 December. The participants are: Nick Frankel (Virginia Commonwealth University), "Excavating The Sphinx: Towards an 'Archeological' Poetics of the Book"; Adela S. Roatcap (University of San Francisco), "From the Kelmscott: William Morris and Sire Degrevaunt"; Carole Silver (Yeshiva University), "At the Margins of the Garden: Fairies and Victorian Illustration"; and Hartley Spatt (SUNY-Maritime College), "Art Books and Books as Art." (Readers will note the stimulating variety of subjects and the presence of both new faces and regulars.)
While the MLA convention is officially open only to those who register and pay a hefty fee, everyone&emdash;especially members resident in the Bay Area&emdash;is invited to the social gathering we are organizing in San Francisco during MLA time. This is very likely to take the form of a reception at the Book Club of California on Monday evening, 28 December. Members will recall the Book Club's co-hosting, some years back, of a splendid party honoring distinguished Morris collectors Sandy and Helen Berger. We expect an equally enjoyable affair again, with food and drink and a chance to meet with congenial people on the Club's attractive bibliophile premises located near Union Square. Details of all MLA-associated events will appear in a flyer mailed in mid-November (the information will be posted also on the William Morris Home Page).
The past six months must stand as some sort of a record for the number of events the William Morris Society was able to produce on the East Coast. Thanks to co-sponsors (and to several helpers who assisted with organization and mailings), members were treated to four rather special presentations. On 19 February, Marcia Allentuck spoke at the Fales Library at New York University. Her "Two Collectors of William Morris: Estelle Doheny and William Noble" dealt with two contrasting bibliophiles, the rich Doheny and the working-class Noble. Of particular interest were Allentuck's charming reminiscences of her visit, as a young scholar, to the Huntington Library which led to meeting Doheny's secretary, who regaled her with stories and showed off Doheny's Morris books and manuscripts. In Washington the following Monday (23 February), the Smithsonian's Masters Program in the History of Decorative Arts joined with us to hear art historian John Wilton-Ely talk on "Prophet and Crusader: John Ruskin and the Visual Arts." Wilton-Ely's slide lecture provided a remarkably concise and approachable summation of Ruskin's complicated life, art, writings, and ideas; he was very good at showing how Ruskin's influence&emdash;political as well as aesthetic&emdash;was crucial to Morris and the Arts and Crafts movement. When Wendy Kaplan, Associate Director for Exhibitions and Education at the Wolfsonian in Miami, came to the Freer Gallery on 26 March in conjunction with their Art for Art's Sake exhibition, we were happy to help gather a large audience for her talk on "The Aesthetic Interior." Kaplan dealt with Morris as one of a number of artists&emdash;Whistler prominent among them&emdash;who revolutionized home decoration in the 1870s and 1880s; she showed that behind what often seemed a mix of eclectic styles were aesthetic principles not unconnected with social and economic changes. Finally, back in New York on 6 June, Stephen Wildman, one of the curators of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Edward Burne-Jones: Victorian Artist-Dreamer, offered a guided tour of the exhibition. This was a really splendid introduction (see Meg Wise-Lawrence's review below), which examined not only Burne-Jones's creative development, but also his ongoing relationship with Morris and with Morris's work in both literature and the decorative arts. (In a sense Wildman gave an onsite follow-up to his more formal lecture the day before, "Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris: Brothers in Art and Partners in Design," which many of us were able to attend.)
"I want big things to do and vast spaces and for common people to see them and say Oh!&emdash; only Oh!"&endash;-Edward Burne-Jones (as quoted by Alan Crawford in his essay, "Burne- Jones as a Decorative Artist," in Edward Burne-Jones: Victorian Artist-Dreamer by Stephen Wildman and John Christian).
The centenary of the death of Sir Edward Burne-Jones is being celebrated at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in a beautiful ten-room exhibition. On view are more than 160 works in all media&emdash;paintings, watercolors, painted furniture, murals, stained glass, tiles, and books&emdash;spanning the artist's entire career. Members of the William Morris Society were given a special tour of the show on the morning of Saturday, 6 June. Our guide was Stephen Wildman (curator at the Ruskin Center at Lancaster University), one of the exhibition's organizers and co-author of its catalogue.
Edward Burne-Jones was William Morris's life-long friend (they attended Exeter College together) and creative partner in the decorative arts. To follow the rooms chronologically was to trace Burne-Jones's association with Morris, as well as a history of the Pre-Raphaelites. Although he was an apprentice for awhile to Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Burne-Jones was primarily self- taught. For this reason his work is sometimes dismissed as flat or unsophisticated. But he pursued a uniquely personal vision, as his portraits and caricatures reveal. The unconventional portrait of Katie Lewis, the daughter of a friend, shows the girl on her stomach reading&emdash;seemingly more interested in the book than in being a model. The self-caricature, Unpainted Masterpieces, shows a skinny and woeful Burne-Jones amid dozens of empty canvases. Unlike Rossetti's sometimes cruel caricatures of Morris, Burne-Jones's were more often fond and amusing.
Burne-Jones valued applied art as fine art itself, as did Morris. They saw "high" and "low" as creative forums, each with unique challenges to be faced. Aside from the numerous paintings and drawings, Burne-Jones produced painted furniture, illustrated books, and even designed jewelry. His tapestries and stained glass designs, commissioned by Morris and Co., are now recognized among the best and most innovative of their time.
Stephen Wildman's tour was lively and informative. Of particular interest to Society members was the full-scale recreation of the room in which the murals depicting the Story of Cupid and Psyche were originally installed. This was done up entirely in Morris and Co. style, right down to the panels containing extracts from The Earthly Paradise. For those of us on this side of the Atlantic, it was a rare chance to experience Morris and Burne-Jones's collaboration firsthand. Also on view were several examples of Kelmscott book design; the pictorial illustrations by Burne-Jones and foliage borders by Morris again wonderfully showed the cohesion of their complimentary styles.
Like Morris, Burne-Jones was less concerned with using old methods than with achieving a certain aesthetic perfection. For this reason the inclusion in the show of experiments with form and fascinating sketches for larger works was of particular interest. Wildman pointed out the example of The Backgammon Players, seen in different versions in pencil, watercolor, and on a cabinet.
According to Wildman, Burne-Jones was what in these days we'd term a "workaholic" and hated to leave his studio. His protective wife, Georgiana, helped to make this possible (although their marriage was strained during the time of his affair with Marie Zambaco, a model and artist herself). Morris was politically high-minded; Burne-Jones creatively so. Neither abandoned his dreams or ideals. Both worked on certain themes for years, drawing on the same sources: Classical mythology, Malory, and Chaucer. To further satiate this single-mindedness, Burne-Jones often focused his attention on cyclical works. These were many: from the connected early ceramic tile panels of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Beauty and the Beast to the series paintings of stories ranging from St. George to Perseus, to Arthur and Cupid and Psyche, and back again to Sleeping Beauty (in the Briar Wood series).
In addition to favoring repeated themes and serial works, Burne-Jones loved working on a large scale. It's not surprising, therefore, that the major paintings are best when viewed in person. The curious sexual tension found in The Beguiling of Merlin, Phyllis and Demophoön, and The Tree of Forgiveness becomes particularly powerful and alive in full-scale. Like the best works by the Symbolists, these were dark, moody, and poetic. The artist was known to display his studies and incomplete works alongside finished canvases: The Briar Rose: Study for The Garden Court, one example in the show, is such a touchingly simple portrait of a sleeping girl that, with its pale hues, it seems complete. The Perseus series feels quite experimental and modern, especially its centerpiece, Perseus and the Graia. The top half of this painting gives (in Latin) a brief re-telling of the story. The bottom is filled with the scene of Perseus and the nymphs. All the brush strokes are wispy and unearthly, proving that Burne-Jones could evoke Bosch at one turn and Picasso the next. Fantasy, a spartan chalk drawing in moody hues, seems at once ancient and contemporary. One has to wonder: were these "studies" and other incomplete works really unfinished? Burne-Jones's art was easily a precursor to Symbolism, but it was also so much more.
The recent issue of the Delaware Art Museum's Bulletin contained so much additional detail about the recent purchase of the "Rossetti-Morris Chairs" that we take the liberty of printing the following extracts: "The extraordinary pair of medieval-style chairs are directly linked to the Museum's Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Collection of Pre-Raphaelite art, the finest in the country. 'No single object that has ever been made available better fits the Delaware Art Museum, its collections and its future,' said Stephen T. Bruni, Executive Director. 'As well as enhancing our Pre-Raphaelite collection, the chairs will enable us to explore extremely important links between the English and American Arts and Crafts movements.' The whereabouts of the two rare and important chairs had been unknown for decades; they had not been seen in public for more than 130 years. They were designed by William Morris in 1856 for his apartment at Red Lion Square in London, and painted by Dante Gabriel Rossetti with help from Edward Burne-Jones in late 1856&endash;early 1857. They represent the intersection of painting and literary sources favored by Wilmington collector Samuel Bancroft in the context of the pioneering experiments of Pre-Raphaelite artists within the decorative arts. Nicola Redway, head of Christie's Decorative Arts Department in London and in charge of the sale, said, 'I am very pleased that the magnificent Rossetti chairs were bought by the Delaware Art Museum, where they will find a truly fitting home and be available for public enjoyment.' Bruni and Thomas C. T. Brokaw, a museum trustee, successfully bid for the chairs, paying £330,000 or approximately $550,000 for both. The pre-sale estimated price for both was £330,000 to £450,000. The previously lost icons of the PreRaphaelite movement were re-discovered by Christie's earlier this year when their American owner sought an appraisal. The scenes depicted on the seat backs are taken from Morris's first published work, The Defence of Guinevere. The most striking of the two, entitled 'The Arming of a Knight' from the ballad 'Sir Galahad: A Christmas Mystery,' shows a lady in a peacock cape tying an ornament onto Sir Galahad's hat while musicians play in the background. The legs of the chair are painted in red, brown, and black with bold chevrons. The back is decorated, almost certainly by Morris alone. It features abstracted foliage and bird forms against a ground of bold chevrons in red, black, and green. The chair and its decorations have survived in exceptionally fine condition with traces of the leather that once covered the tall back ribs. The other, heavier chair, 'Glorious Gwendolen's Golden Hair,' is probably earlier and therefore more experimental in terms of the paint technique, according to Christie's experts. It bears the traces of a scene depicting Gwendolen with her long golden hair."
The debut showing of the chairs at the Museum began on 3 June in a display entitled "The Morris-Rossetti Chairs: Perfect Marvels." We understand that they will be on view indefinitely, certainly for the next year or more.
Incidentally, our UK member Ray Watkinson&emdash;an expert on the subject of Pre-Raphaelite decorative art&emdash;wrote after the January Newsletter to correct information given about the chairs. We said that "They were designed by William Morris in 1856 for his flat in Red Lion Square and painted by Dante Gabriel Rossetti with help from Burne-Jones." "There is no record that EBJ laid brush to either," he writes, adding that "It is very clear that Gabriel [Rossetti] did not touch both chairs," only Morris himself. Our comment was derived from information provided by the Delaware Art Museum, which, as can be seen in the quotation above from their recent press release, continues (sometimes) to make the Burne-Jones attribution. There is, to add to the confusion, an inconsistency in what the Museum and others call these "Perfect Marvels": are they Rossetti-Morris chairs? Morris-Rossetti chairs? Rossetti chairs (favored by Christie's)? Pre-Raphaelite chairs? Perhaps all will be settled at the symposium announced in the next item
In celebration of the addition of the Pre-Raphaelite Chairs to the Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft and Related Pre-Raphaelite Collections, the Delaware Art Museum will host an international symposium on Friday, 16 October 1998. Participants include leading Pre-Raphaelite scholars drawn from the United States and England. Focusing on Pre-Raphaelite and related nineteenth century design, the symposium will pay special attention to the union of painting and decorative arts which occurred during this important period of interdisciplinary transition and to the climate of collaboration which resulted in such works as the Morris-Rossetti chairs and the foundation of William Morris's decorating firm.
The schedule of speakers and their subjects is as follows: Alastair Grieve (University of East Anglia), "The Form and Meaning of Furniture in Rossetti's Art of 1848&endash;1858"; Jenny Ramirez (Virginia Commonwealth University), "Jane Morris's Jewel Casket: A Collaborative Project by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Elizabeth Siddal"; Sylvia Yount (Museum of American Art of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts), " 'The Millennium of Taste': Aesthetic Culture and Consumption"; Debra N. Mancoff, "Intimate Icons: The Significance of Decorative Design in the Art of Edward Burne-Jones"; Jan Marsh, "Gwendolen and Sir Galahad: Collaboration on the Morris-Rossetti Chairs at Red Lion Square, 1856&endash;1857"; Michael S. Podmaniczky (Winterthur Museum), "Romance over Reason: Fabrication of the Rossetti Chairs"; Charlotte Seifen, Joyce Hill Stoner, Janice Carlson (Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation), "Interpretations of the Painted Surfaces of the Rossetti Chairs"; and Jeanette M. Toohey (Delaware Art Museum), "Perfect Marvels: Critical Nexus for the Delaware Art Museum's Collections." For further information contact: Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806, Tel. (302) 571-9590.
Those travelling around North America this summer and fall have the opportunity of seeing several interesting exhibitions with a Morris, or at least a "Morris Period," connection. Here are details, organized by city and date (note that opening hours often change during the summer; it's best to call ahead).
· Chicago: Songs in Stone: James McNeill Whistler and the Art of Lithography. At the Art Institute of Chicago, through 30 August 1998. Prints and other works by Whistler. Contact: Department of Prints and Drawings, Art Institute of Chicago, 111 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605, Tel. (312) 445-3660.
· Miami: Pioneers of Modern Graphic Design. At the Wolfsonian Museum, through 1998. Exploring the extraordinary growth of the graphic arts from the Victorians (including Morris) onward through the Wolfsonian's collection of posters, books, stationery, and ephemera. Contact: The Wolfsonian Museum, 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139, Tel. (305) 531-1001.
·New York: Edward Burne-Jones: Victorian Artist-Dreamer. At the Metropolitan Museum of Art, through 5 September 1998. The first major US exhibition devoted to the artist, with more than 150 paintings, drawings, books, and examples of decorative designs. Contact: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10028, Tel. (212) 535-7710.
·Philadelphia: Master Drawings from the Rosenbach Museum and Library. At the Rosenbach Museum and Library, until 31 July 1998. Features works by 19th century British artists, including a drawing by Aubrey Beardsley. Contact: Rosenbach Museum and Library, 2010 DeLancey Place, Philadelphia, PA 19103, Tel. (215) 732-1600, fax (215) 545-7529.
· Philadelphia: Vanity Fair: Authors in Caricature. Free Library of Philadelphia, until 6 November 1998. From 1868 to 1914, the magazine Vanity Fair published a series of brilliant chromolithographic caricatures of the great and famous in contemporary England. This exhibition features caricatures of artists, poets, and scholars, including Wilde, Tennyson, and Ruskin, along with examples of their letters, manuscripts, and published works. Contact: Rare Book Department, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 1910, Tel. (215) 686-5416.
·Philadelphia: Lewis Carroll Exhibition. At the Rosenbach Museum and Library, 22 November 1998 to 7 March 1999. Books, manuscripts, drawings, and photographs by Carroll. Contact: Rosenbach Museum and Library, 2010 DeLancey Place, Philadelphia, PA 19103, Tel. (215) 732-1600, fax (215) 545-7529.
·Princeton: Aubrey Beardsley. At Princeton University Library, 4 October (tentative) 1998 through January 1999. Drawings, books, letters, and ephemera from the world's largest Beardsley collection. Contact: Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library, One Washington Road, Princeton, NJ 08544, Tel. (609) 258-3184.
·New York: a.k.a. Lewis Carroll. At the Pierpont Morgan Library, through 30 August 1998. The last of three New York shows devoted to the Alice and White Rabbit man who died in 1898. Contact: Pierpont Morgan Library, 29 East 36th Street, New York, NY 10016, Tel. (212) 685-0008.
·Toronto, Houston, San Francisco: A Grand Design: The Art of the Victoria and Albert Museum. At the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, 21 June&endash;13 September 1998; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 18 October 1998&endash;10 January 1999; Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, 13 February&endash;9 May 1999. Contains works by Morris, D. G. Rossetti, C. F. A. Voysey, and others.
· Washington: Art for Art's Sake. At the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, through 1999. Works by James McNeill Whistler and his American contemporaries showing connections with the Aesthetic movement. Contact: Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560, Tel. (202) 357-3200.
·Wilmington: Perfect Marvels: The Morris-Rossetti Chairs. At the Delaware Art Museum, on indefinitely. First public display of chairs made for William Morris, with associated items. Contact: Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806, Tel. (302) 571-9590, email@example.com.
Burne-Jones, by member Debra N. Mancoff, is a lavishly produced tribute to the work of the artist whose rich decorative style and renderings of mystical scenes from Arthurian legend, classical epic, and the Bible made him one of the most beloved artists of the nineteenth century. Although illustrated with 96 reproductions&emdash;including 64 in full color&emdash;this is not another "coffee table book." For one thing it's too small. For another, Mancoff (author of The Return of King Arthur: The Legend Through Victorian Eyes) presents an informed, very personal, and extremely well-written text. Drawing on the artist's own words, as related in letters and commentary, she traces Burne-Jones's career from his discovery of art while a divinity student at Oxford, through his fruitful associations with Morris and Pre-Raphaelite mentor Rossetti, to his momentous and long-delayed professional debut in 1877.
As an added bonus, Burne-Jones includes paintings that are not well known along with some that are reproduced in color for the first time. The book's release coincides with the Burne-Jones exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. It should be widely available in bookstores, ISBN 0-7649-0615-1, price $30.00 (paperback). For further information contact the publisher: Pomegranate, Box 6099, Rohnert Park, CA 94927, Tel. (707) 586-5500 or (800) 227-1428, fax (707) 586-5518, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bookseller Philip R. Bishop (also a member of the Society) has published what is likely to be the definitive book on Thomas Bird Mosher, the Portland, ME publisher famed for his pirated editions of British writers issued at the turn of the century. Mosher's productions represented an important part of Anglo-American literary culture and promoted the "National Literature of England."
"The Mosher Books," as the hundreds of volumes came to be called, included works by authors such as Morris (of course), Wilde, Fiona Macleod (pseudonym of the male writer William Sharp), Stevenson, Swinburne, Rossetti, Meredith, Symonds, Robert Browning, Gissing, and Ernest Dowson. He also produced two editions&emdash;one a type facsimile&emdash;of the Pre-Raphaelite magazine, The Germ. Mosher's publications also introduced British artists to an admiring American public, as he stole designs by Morris, Rossetti, Herbert Horne, Laurence Housman, Selwyn Image, A. H. Mackmurdo, Charles Ricketts, Lucien Pissarro, William Strang, William Blake, and Edward X, Calvert, plus features from the Vale, Eragny, Daniel, Chiswick and Kelmscott Press formats. Part of this story inextricably involves the charge of literary piracy against Mosher alleged by various authors such as Andrew Lang, Hilaire Belloc, George Russell, and publishers like Blackwood and Grant Richards. In his passion for pursuing little-known texts and fine literature, Mosher often reprinted these books with or without the permission of their authors, though he never technically broke the 1891 International Copyright law. However, many came to his defense and challenged their publishers to bring out editions as beautiful and affordable as Mosher's productions. Bishop goes into all this in great detail. He also provides detailed bibliographic descriptions which will be useful for librarians and collectors. Thomas Bird Mosher, The Pirate Prince of Publishers contains an introduction by Pre-Raphaelite scholar William E. Fredeman, an eight-page color section, and 150 black and white illustrations. ISBN 1-884718-49-3, price $125.00. Worldwide sales outside the UK are by Oak Knoll Press (UK sales by the British Library). Contact: Oak Knoll Books, 414 Delaware Street, New Castle, DE 19720, Tel. (302) 328-7232 or (800) 996-2556, fax (302) 328-7274, email@example.com, website at http://www.oakknoll.com/index.html.
U&LC, the International Journal of Graphic Design and Digital Media, has an article in the Summer 1998 issue on Octavo, a Palo Alto, CA start-up company that is publishing picture-perfect electronic copies of rare books in CD-ROM format. Founded last October by John Warnock, CEo of Adobe Systems, and Patrick Ames, Adobe's book-publishing executive, Octavo's goal is to make "antiquarian printed matter accessible to the student, educator, and everyday book lover." According to a press release, the editions come in a variety of resolutions, said to be suitable for different uses, such as browsing, zooming, reading, printing, and "Examine"&emdash;extremely high resolution for looking at the details of the printed letters or paper texture. By hiding a PageMaker file behind every digital image, Octavo allows the user to scroll through text and, for example, search for a specific phrase.
The Kelmscott Chaucer is announced as one of the titles Octavo plans to issue in the near future. (Their "first edition" is the 1640 first edition of Shakespeare's sonnets, to be followed by Robert Hooke's Micrographia, published in 1665; others in the works are The Book of Mormon and Galileo's Starry Messenger.) It will be interesting to see Morris's masterpiece transferred from type, ink, and rag paper to pixels, digits, and plastic. Can a cd-rom provide anything of value, or is this simply another Morris-for-profit scheme which would seem to violate his principles of artistic integrity and craftsmanship? Certainly, being able to inspect the elements of the design at high magnification has its attractions for the specialist, and the relatively modest price (hundreds instead of thousands of dollars) makes the Chaucer available to libraries and individuals who cannot afford the 1896 original or the Basilisk facsimile, which now costs more than the original did twenty years ago. Perhaps the electronic Chaucer will introduce Morris to those who do not know him. But, as Morris pointed out in his lectures and writings, nothing can replace the actual physical "look" and "feel" of a well-made book&emdash;and the best result of Octavo's "edition" would be to send people to their nearest rare book library to examine the real thing. For further information contact: Octavo Corporation, 394 University Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301, Tel. (650) 470-0150, fax (650) 470-0155, firstname.lastname@example.org, website http://www.octavo.com.
Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies (INCS) announces its fourteenth annual conference, "Money and Culture," to be held at the Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 9&endash;10 April 1999. Proposals are invited for papers and panels on the general topic of "Transatlanticisms." Possible themes for papers include, but are not limited to: Importing/Exporting Culture, Landscapes and Tourism, Visions of America (or of Europe), Under and on the Atlantic, The Caribbean, Slavery and Anti-Slavery, Emigration, Transmission of Diseases (and cures), Architectural Influences, Cowboy Acts in Europe, and The Lecture Tour. Longer versions of INCS conference papers are regularly published in the affiliated journal, Nineteenth-Century Contexts. Send 200-word abstracts or complete papers (15-page limit) by 16 October 1998 to: Clare A. Simmons and Susan S. Williams, Department of English, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Anticipating the End: The Experiences of the Nineties" is the subject for the Virginia Humanities Conference, to be held 19&endash;20 March 1999 on the campus of Mary Baldwin College. The Conference invites you to examine the final decades of a variety of centuries and at least two millennia: the 1990s, of course, but also the 1890s, 1790s, 1590s, 1490s, and so on. Possible topics include the following: discovery and expectations of "new worlds"; disaster and demoralization; decadence and loss; revolution and renewal; empire, colonialism, and post-colonialism; apocalypticism and prophetic belief; racial and sexual identities; utopias and dystopias; diaspora and "imaginary homelands"; Millennial movements; symbols of the end; turn-of-the century/fin de sièecle representations; and cultural constructions of time. Papers, panels, and performances are invited from the full range of the humanities&emdash;art, music, theatre, literature, history, philosophy, and religion&emdash;as well as from the social and natural sciences and mathematics. Of special interest are papers and alternative presentations that explore the experiences, discoveries, creations, and changes of these final decades in a variety of cultural contexts and from the perspectives of a variety of disciplines. Graduate and undergraduate student papers are welcome. Submit proposals by 15 November in the form of one-to-two-page abstracts to: Susan Blair Green, President, Virginia Humanities Conference, MBC/PVCC Cooperative, 501 College Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22902. For further information e-mail Susan Blair Green, email@example.com.
Nina Auerbach will be the keynote speaker at "Nineteenth-Century Spectacles," the Nineteenth-Century Studies Association's 19th annual conference, to be hosted by Rutgers University, 18&endash;20 March 1999, in Philadelphia, PA. As the great age of the world's fair and of an emerging consumerist ideology, the 19th century fostered the spectacle in all realms of life and cultural production. Papers are invited from multiple disciplines that consider any manner of 19th century permutations, materials, expressions, or interpretations of, as well as reactions against, the world of spectacle. Topics might consider: world's fairs, international exhibitions, historical commemorations, sanitary fairs, national art academies, salons, theatrical events, literary experiments, historical novels, operas, music halls, circuses, traveling shows, sporting events; epic ambitions, imperialist adventures, military exploits, revolutionary uprisings, riots, terrorist acts, public pageantry, parades, funerals, and religious ceremonies; also people who made spectacles of themselves whether in fiction or in real life; the technology and artistry of spectacles: feats of engineering, developments in communications and advertising, photography, stereography, etc. Proposals of one to two pages for twenty-minute papers should be accompanied by a brief curriculum vitae and an abstract. Proposals for half-hour panels should include format, issues to be discussed, participants' statements (and a CV for each), as well as a short abstract. Proposals on other topics for open sessions are also welcome. All materials should arrive no later than 1 October. You may e-mail queries, but not proposals. Submit proposals to: Suzanne Johnson Flynn, Department of English, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA 17325, firstname.lastname@example.org. Direct other inquiries to: Robert M. Ryan, Department of English, Rutgers University, Camden, NJ 08102, email@example.com.
Victorian Poetry is currently preparing a special issue on "Women Poets 1895&endash;1918." Possible poets for this issue include Alice Meynell, Olive Custance, Katherine Tynan, A. F. Mary Robinson, H. D., Althea Gyles, etc. Suggested topics include (but are not limited to): Edwardian women's poetry in relation to such subjects as 1890s poetry, modernism, suffrage, colonial and imperial politics, socialism and working-class politics, ethnicity and immigration, Irish poetry and politics, contemporary American work, utopianism and the fantastic, Edwardian music and art. This special issue will appear on the web, so papers which discuss or work within electronic links will also be welcome. Manuscripts should follow the form specified in Victorian Poetry's "Guidelines for Authors" and be accompanied by a return envelope and return postage. Submissions go by 1 August to: Bonnie J. Robinson, Guest Editor, Department of Language and Literature, North Georgia College and State University, Dahlonega, GA 30597, Tel. (706) 864-1427, BRobinson@nugget.ngc.peachnet.edu.
Deborah Mattingly Conner's Muse website, which includes extracts from her fictional writings based in part on the Pre-Raphaelites, has been expanded. "Finally," she writes, "with the help of Jerome McGann, D. G. Rossetti's 'St. Agnes of Intercession' is on the internet. She would very much appreciate visits from members of the Morris Society. Over the winter, people were invited to complete the unfinished tale, via Gaslight (due the Eve of St. Agnes)." The "address" for Muse is: http://www.iland.net/~muse/Rossetti.htm.
The Victoria Research Web, an offshoot of the Victoria e-mail list lately underwent a much needed overhaul. In each section, existing links were updated and a number of new ones added to expand the range of the VRW's resources for Victorianist researchers. Here's a sampling of what's new: an overview of the procedures involved in using the new British Library at St. Pancras (as well as information about places to stay, getting around, and getting online in London); Sally Mitchell's splendid bibliography of research sources that she developed as part of her graduate seminar on Victorian women and fiction; links to searchable full texts of 20-year runs of Notes & Queries and Blackwood's Magazine from the ILEJ Project, the "new books" project at USC, and the new LITIR online beta test database; a section on Victorian census data available online that also links to some amazing animated maps of Victorian interest from the Historical GIS Programme; new links to collection descriptions for literary and social history, from the Brunel papers at Bristol to the Martineau mss at Birmingham. The vrw site is found at: http://www.indiana.edu/~victoria/. Patrick Leary would be glad to hear from all who visit and have corrections or suggestions about ways to make it more useful. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thomas J. Tobin sent news of upgrades and improvements to his The Pre-Raphaelite Critic website: "First, we now have audio clips from a 1965 Argo Records recording of famous poets of the 20th century reading fifteen of the major Pre-Raphaelite poems of the 19th century. The main page is less graphics-heavy&emdash;all pages now load faster. Second, after years of research, I have finally put together what I believe to be the definitive index to Pre-Raphaelite criticism between 1849 and 1900. Come take a look and judge for yourself. There are all of the citations that you can find in Fredeman's 1965 Pre-Raphaelitism plus 40 that he doesn't have, all cross-indexed for easy searching. Finding a critical article from the 19th century about the Pre-Raphaelites just got very easy to do. Third, many of the items in the index are linked to the full or excerpted text of the article; the number of 'wired' citations will grow in the coming months. Last, the sections containing Pre-Raphaelite artwork have been dramatically expanded from even just a month ago, thanks to the generosity of researchers in Delaware and Birmingham." The Pre-Raphaelite Critic can be reached at: http:/www.engl.duq.edu/servus /PR-Critic. Tobin welcomes comments; his e-mail is email@example.com.
The Fine Press Book Association is a new organization being formed by a group of individuals interested in the fine art of printing, to promote printing skills and the appreciation of beautiful books. Information about events of interest to printers, designers, and collectors such as the publication of new books, book fairs, seminars, and other related events, will be broadcast via newsletters and a website. Eventually, the fpba will also publish a journal containing substantial articles about fine books and the people who make them, as well as other subjects of interest to people who admire fine press books.
The initiative for the formation of the association came from discussions held at the Oak Knoll Fest in 1996 and 1997. Presses on both sides of the Atlantic were involved and the founders include John Randle of the Whittington Press (who has become the first President), Carol Grossman of Four Rivers Books (Coordinating Secretary), and Frances McDowall of The Old Stile Press (Secretary-Treasurer for the UK).
If you are interested in joining this group, contact the appropriate co-ordinating secretary: Carol Grossman, Four Rivers Books, 7228 Four Rivers Road, Boulder, CO 80301, Tel. (303) 530-7567, fax (303) 530-2251, or Frances McDowall, The Old Stile Press, Catchmays Court, Handogo, Monmouth NP5 4TN UK, Tel. (and fax) 0 1291689226. The FPBA maintains a website at wwwfpba.com.
An advertisement for Latymer's Linen and Home in the 18 June 1998 New York Times, headlined "Arts & Crafts," depicted a considerable range of furniture from their "extensive Mission collection." What was most interesting&emdash;apart from the fact that some armoires displayed a neat compromise between Arts and Crafts style and the needs of computer users&emdash;was the caption attached to their version of a "Morris Chair." It read: "Finally, a chair that would make even William Morris proud." Proud? Possibly not; it's a modernization of an American "Morris Chair" bastardization of Philip Webb's 1860s adaptation of a traditional British design. Make Morris comfortable? Very likely&emdash;it's a big chair.
There are two items to add to our continuing series documenting reproductions of works by Morris and the Pre-Raphaelites in unusual places. First, Geoff Thornburn writes that Rossetti's Proserpine, "displaying her pomegranate in full color, is on the cover of the January-February 1998 issue of The Sciences, a journal published by the New York Academy of Sciences. She is promoting an article therein entitled 'The Secret Garden&emdash;From Pomegranate to the Male Pill: The Tangled Politics of Contraception' by Burkhard Bilger." Then, the same artist's Pandora&emdash;actually just the top third of her&emdash;turned up on a web page devoted to Clinical Depression (this information courtesy of a reproduction in the high-tech "Curcuits" section of the New York Times). We leave readers to decide if these appearances are appropriate.
Because the US Postal Service in its infinite wisdom no longer forwards mail after six months, people who move between the dispatch of newsletters and other mailings sometimes "disappear" from our mailing list. If you know the current whereabouts of the following members, do please let Mark Samuels Lasner know (the city after the name represents the last address known): Michael Hancock (Lawrence, KS), David A. H. Sherman (New York, NY), Susan Abbott Rodgers (Palm Beach Gardens, FL), Colin Munn (Kearsarge, MI), Holly Heidorn (Oak Park, IL). And please, when you change address, kindly send us a card or an e-mail.
News has come (via the internet) of the formation of a Society dedicated to Ford Madox Ford, the prolific man of letters best remembered in our context, not as the Modernist novelist (The Good Soldier and Parade's End) and editor (The English Review and The Transatlantic Review), but as "the last Pre-Raphaelite," Ford Madox Brown's grandson and William Rossetti's nephew. (It will be recalled that he wrote Madox Brown's biography reputedly after Morris rejected the job.) The Society is in large part the brainchild of Max Saunders, whose definitive two-volume life of Ford was published recently to considerable acclaim. Its interests go back as far as the 1890s and extend forward to Ford's contemporaries and friends such as Yeats, Pound, and, of course, Violet Hunt. Membership is open to all worldwide. There is a newsletter and occasional meetings are held&emdash;so far only in the UK. Dues are $25.00 or £12.00 (individuals, there are other categories) and go in the proper currency to: Joseph J. Wiesenfarth, 5401 Greening Lane, Madison, WI 53705 or to Sara Haslam, 15 Denbigh St., Chester CH1 4HL UK. For more information contact them or Max Saunders, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Along with helping to found the Fine Press Book Association (see above), Carol Grossman has opened her own business, Four River Books, in Boulder, CO. The firm specializes in fine and private press books and stocks a larger inventory of Limited Editions Club publications, books on books, and art books. Catalogue One, which arrived in May, offered among the many contemporary volumes examples from the Ashendene, Doves, Elston, Eragny, and Vale presses. Curiously, the Kelmscott Press itself was not represented but there were several works about Morris, including a copy of Halliday Sparling's The Kelmscott Press and William Morris, Master-Craftsman in the rarely seen dust jacket. Contact: Four Rivers Books, 7228 Four Rivers Road, Boulder, CO 80301, Tel. (303) 530-7567, fax (303) 530-2251, email@example.com, also the website http://www.fourriversbooks.com.
On Thursday, 11 June Adela Spindler Roatcap spoke in San Francisco on "Passion and Expression in Beauty Itself: William Blake and the Pre-Raphaelites." The talk was one of a series of Arts and Crafts lectures held at the Swedenborgian Church.
B. J. Robinson has been appointed to a five-year term as editor of the Pater Newsletter. Published each fall and spring the journal will be of interest to many Morrisians&emdash;after all it was Pater who published a pioneer appreciation of Morris's Earthly Paradise under the title "Aesthetic Poetry." Each issue contains book reviews, an annotated bibliography of Pater studies (contributed by another member of the Society, Pater scholar Billie A. Inman), and notes. The most recent issue is attractively printed in Legacy, a digital typeface derived from the same fifteenth-century Janson model from which Morris developed his Golden Type (there's a note to this effect contributed by the journal's designer). Subscriptions are $7.00 or £4.00, payments to Hayden Ward, Department of English, Box 6296, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506, or to Laurel Brake, Centre for Extra-mural Studies, Birkbeck College, Russell Square, London WC2B 5DQ. For more information: B. J. Robinson, North Georgia College and State University, P. O. Box 5184, Dahlonega, GA 30596, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thomas J. Tobin of Duquesne University gave a paper on "The Pre- Raphaelite Critic Web Site as a Preservation Archive in Progress" at the Rare Books and Manuscripts Preconference sponsored by the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries-ALA in Washington, DC on 23&endash;26 June. Tobin's use of pioneering technology to provide access to 19th century art criticism fit in perfectly with the preconference's theme, "Getting Ready for the Nineteenth Century: Strategies and Solutions for Rare Book and Special Collections Librarians." While in Washington, Tobin took time to visit Society president Mark Samuels Lasner.
Collectors and admirers of Arts and Crafts design will like to know about Gallery 532. Located in New York's trendy Tribeca district, the Gallery offers a wide selection of over 1,500 original examples of Arts and Crafts furniture, lighting, pottery, and metalwork. The three floor, 10,000 square foot gallery&emdash;which attracts important collectors, renowned decorators, and curious students of the movement from around the world&emdash;aims to serve both those interested in accenting a room with a special piece or in furnishing an entire residence in the American Arts and Crafts movement.
In addition to its retail operation, Gallery 532 has held several special Arts and Crafts movement exhibitions devoted to individual makers such as Martin Bros. Pottery, Handel lamps, Limbert furniture, and Fulper Pottery. (The Limbert exhibition was favorably reviewed by The New York Times in October 1995.) Each show was accompanied by fully illustrated color books and catalogues. These publications can be purchased via the Gallery's web page and by phone. Potential clients are invited to e-mail or call with a want list of desired items. Contact: Gallery 532, 142 Duane St., New York, NY 10013, Tel. (212) 219-1327 or toll-free (877) 425-5532, fax (212) 219-1810, email@example.com, http://gallery532.com.
The Delaware Art Museum seeks information about objects produced in Arden, an Arts and Crafts community located near Wilmington, Delaware. The museum is organizing an exhibition to celebrate the community's centenary in the year 2000 and is actively soliciting works to be displayed that will focus on the community's production from 1900 to 1935. Arden was established as a single-tax community and included an active circle of artists, craftspeople, writers, and musicians who produced creative work for the town's benefit and for marketing to a broader audience. The local shops and studios produced metalwork, furniture, textiles, stained glass, fine art (paintings, sculpture, prints, and drawings), and printed matter. Information and photographs should be directed to: Arden 2000 Exhibition, Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806 and marked to the attention of Jeanette M. Toohey and Mark Taylor, co-curators. They can also be contacted at Tel. (302) 571-9590 (extension 533) and fax (302) 571-0220.
Reproduction of Flora tapestry, 28 x 33 in. size, T1480, $495.00; 51 ¤ 78 in. size, T-1490, $1,395.00. · Reproduction of Tree of Life tapestry (designed by J. H. Dearle), 28¤ 45 in. size, T-8125, $475.00; 51 ¤ 75 in. size, T-8135, $1,495.00. · Reproduction of Les Oiseaux tapestry, 36 ¤ 46 in. size, T-6835, $495.00; 51 ¤ 67 in. size, T-6840, $995.00; 71¤93 in. size, T-6845, $1,495.00.
William Morris doormat (Trellis pattern), 1614, $27.99. · William Morris embroidered vest, 5915, $60.95. · William Morris embroidered cardigan sweater, coat length in sizes S&endash;XL, 6668, $145.00. · carved wooden chest (with Morris pattern decorations), B7491, $225.00. · William Morris printed throw and pillows, throw, 6567, $45.00; pillow, 1471, $17.99; two pillows, 1476, $34.00; throw and two pillows, 1481, $75.00. · Woodpecker tapestry mugs, pair, 7450, $24.99.
William Morris decoupage ducks, handcrafted ceramic sculptures with adaptation of the Garden design [Editor's note: we are not making this up!], 79001, Mother size [Further editor's note: she is wearing glasses&emdash;no, we are not making this up, either], $75.00; Three Ducklings, $65.00; Four-piece set, $135.00. · Poppy Fields scarf (adapted from Wreath design), 2153, $35.00 (sale). · William Morris Strawberry Thief pin, hand-enameled, 4072, $25.00 (sale). · Reproduction of Forest tapestry, 29 ¤ 47 in., 33054, $250.00.
This newsletter was written and edited by Mark Samuels Lasner, with the assistance of Margaret D. Stetz. Items for inclusion, books for review, news, comments, go to: William Morris Society, P.O. Box 53263, Washington, DC 20009, Biblio@aol.com. For updates on Morris (and associated) events see the William Morris Home Page on the internet, http://www.ccny.cuny.edu/wmorris/morris.html.
LAST UPDATE 4 JAN 2001 · PLEASE REPORT BROKEN LINKS TO WEBMASTER@MORRISSOCIETY.ORG