Category: Mark Samuels Lasner

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection Hosts Book History Open House

Faculty, librarians, graduate students, and community members discuss history of the book at UD Library

An eclectic assemblage of University of Delaware professors, librarians, conservators, administrators, and community book enthusiasts gathered in the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection on Thursday, December 3rd to discuss the importance of book history, material texts, and print/manuscript culture within the broader context of material culture studies. Over festive seasonal fare including cranberry orange scones and hot apple cider, the crowd also enjoyed an exclusive viewing of the temporary exhibition “Beyond the Looking Glass: Lewis Carroll Materials in the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection,” which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the famous children’s book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. View a gallery of photos from the event below.

 

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August A. Imholtz, Jr. Explains Delaware Connection to Alice in Wonderland

Large audience attends lecture on Eldridge Johnson and the Lewis Carroll Alice manuscript

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August A. Imholtz, Jr. presents on Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, December 1, 2015.

Noted Lewis Carroll scholar and collector August A. Imholtz, Jr. explained the little-known Delaware connection to the manuscript of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, the original version of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, during a lecture on Tuesday, December 1. A crowd of 86 University of Delaware faculty, staff, students, and community members filled the UD Library Class of 1941 Lecture Room to capacity for the highly anticipated talk.

While Lewis Carroll’s books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass remain treasured pieces of children’s literature, few know that the manuscript for the first Alice story has an American—and indeed a Delaware—connection. When Alice Liddell Hargreaves, Carroll’s inspiration for his stories, sold the manuscript for Alice’s Adventures Under Ground at auction in 1928, it was purchased by the famous Philadelphia book dealer Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach, who in turn sold it to native Delawarean Eldridge Johnson, co-founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company. After Johnson died in 1945, Rosenbach again purchased the manuscript and, with the help of many wealthy Americans including Walt Disney and Nelson Rockefeller, donated the book to the British Library as a token of American appreciation for British valiance during the Second World War. Imholtz’s talk traced the fascinating history of the manuscript and its circuitous path to the United States and back to Great Britain.

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August A. Imholtz, Jr. shows a picture of Eldridge Johnson, December 1, 2015.

August A. Imholtz, Jr. was the Government Documents Vice President of Readex, a digital publishing company. A former president of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America, he is also a past president of the Baltimore Bibliophiles, a member of the American Library Association’s Rare and Endangered Government Publications Committee, and a member of the Lewis Carroll Societies of Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. He has written or edited several books and published more than 100 articles on Greek and Latin philology, Lewis Carroll, and other subjects. He has lectured at Cambridge University, the Smithsonian Institution, Princeton University, the Foreign Language Library in Moscow, and other institutions.

To view a digitized version of the Alice’s Adventures Under Ground manuscript, click the following link: http://www.bl.uk/onlinegallery/ttp/alice/accessible/introduction.html.

This talk was associated with “‘We are all Mad’: The 150th Anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” an exhibition (November 20–December 18) in the Guenschel Case, located in the University of Delaware Morris Library’s Information Room. The display includes a copy of the facsimile of the Alice manuscript Eldridge Johnson had printed in Vienna in 1936. Another exhibition, titled “Beyond the Looking Glass: Lewis Carroll Materials in the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection,” is on display in the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection (Room 115A, Morris Library) until December 18th. Viewing of the exhibition is by appointment only. Please call Mark Samuels Lasner at 302-831-3250 or e-mail him at marksl@udel.edu to arrange a viewing.

Pre-Raphaelite Fellow Wows Audience with Lecture on Rossetti Painting

Professor Nancy Marshall of the University of Wisconsin-Madison sheds new light on the Delaware Art Museum’s famous painting Veronica Veronese, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

 

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Professor Nancy Rose Marshall lectures at UD Library, November 18, 2015.

Are colors, words, and sounds really all that different? Nancy Marshall, the University of Delaware Library/Delaware Art Museum 2015 Fellow in Pre-Raphaelite Studies, addressed this question and challenged common conceptions of differences between the artistic genres in a lecture on Wednesday, November 18th, held at the University of Delaware Library.

Fifty UD students, faculty, staff, and community members attended the lecture, which was followed by a reception. Marshall’s talk came at the end of her three-week residency in Delaware, where she explored collections held at the University of Delaware Library and Delaware Art Museum related to the Pre-Raphaelite artists who reshaped English aesthetic taste in the late nineteenth century. The focus of Marshall’s research was Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s famous painting Veronica Veronese, owned by the Delaware Art Museum, which depicts a sensual, contemplative, red-headed female figure composing music and plucking on a violin. Marshall immersed audience members in the intellectual, aesthetic, and cultural context in which the painting was created, suggesting that Rossetti intended his work to blur the lines between literature, music, and painting. By escorting listeners through the painting’s important visual features—flowers, feathers, musical notation, construction of the human figure—as well as nineteenth-century theories of sound, Marshall postulated how Rossetti may have theorized the symbiotic nature of the arts.

 

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Veronica Veronese, 1872
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 – 1882)
Oil on canvas, 41 1/2″ x 34″
Delaware Art Museum
Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Memorial, 1935

Rossetti’s willingness to blur the lines between discrete aesthetic traditions and concepts challenges our modern tendency to construct the world in oppositional binaries, Marshal asserted. Veronica Veronese is a peculiar painting in its design and juxtaposition of various artistic, musical, and literary elements. Marshall urged audience members to allow these oddities to serve as entry points into Rossetti’s broader message about art and life: fluidity between and unity of the mind, body, senses, and spirit. Painted in 1872 when the famous Dante Gabriel Rossetti was 43 years old, the painting was purchased by Frederick Leyland, owner of the landmark “Peacock Room” (http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/online/peacock/). It was one of many Rossetti paintings owned by Leyland and today is one of Rossetti’s best-known works.

 

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Mark Samuels Lasner (senior research fellow at the UD Library), Nancy Rose Marshall, and
Margaretta Frederick (chief curator and Annette Woolard-Provine Curator of the Bancroft
Collection at the Delaware Art Museum).

The painting, in the words of Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s brother William Michael, represents “fine art in its total range.” According to Marshall, “The picture is trying to produce in its viewers what one would experience when listening to music. The picture is audible….Color and sound are the same.” By “stimulating our bodies in multiple ways,” Marshall concluded, the painting evokes the universal nature of the arts and even unites the spiritual and earthly worlds. “Rossetti believed in the presence of a spiritual world around us at all times. When we experience something sensuously beautiful, that is the sign of divinity with us.”

“Alice in Wonderland” Lecture December 1st at UD Library

Alice
Lewis Carroll, 1832–1898, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
New York: D. Appleton, 1866.
(Special Collections, University of Delaware Library)

 

Did you know that the state of Delaware enjoys an historical connection to Lewis Carroll’s manuscript Alice’s Adventures Underground, the first draft of his famous Wonderland book? Come to the Morris Library at the University of Delaware at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 to learn more.

Lewis Carroll scholar August A. Imholtz, Jr., will present a lecture on Eldridge Johnson, a Delaware native, inventor of the early gramophone called the Victor Talking Machine, and one of the wealthiest Americans of the early twentieth century who purchased the Alice manuscript in 1928. Imholtz’s lecture, titled “His Master’s Voice and Alice: Eldridge Johnson’s Adventure with Lewis Carroll’s AliceManuscript,” will share this fascinating and little-known history.

Light refreshments will be served following the lecture. All are welcome, but RSVP’s are requested at libraryrsvp@winsor.lib.udel.edu or call 302-831-2231. Please see the following PDF for more details about the talk: Imholtzannouncement.

Mark Samuels Lasner Talks Collecting, Provenance at New York Symposium

 

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Mark Samuels Lasner at the Grolier Club, November 7, 2015.
Photo courtesy of Margaret Stetz.

Mark Samuels Lasner, senior research fellow at the University of Delaware Library, discussed the importance of provenance at the Grolier Club in New York City on Saturday, November 7th as part of a symposium titled “Mind the Gap: Recent Provenance and Antiquarian Material,” sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of America, the oldest scholarly society in North America dedicated to the study of books and manuscripts as physical objects.

 

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Mark Samuels Lasner (center) sits on a panel at the Grolier Club, November 7, 2015.
Photo courtesy of Margaret Stetz.

Provenance, or information about the past ownership of a book, manuscript, or other collector item, is a hot topic in bookish academic and collector circles. Samuels Lasner’s afternoon talk comprised part of a three-person panel that explored the theme of “Provenance, Collectors, and the Book Trade.” Other panelists were John Crichton of the Brick Row Book Shop and Nina Musinsky of Musinsky Rare Books, Inc. Samuels Lasner’s remarks were titled “A Collector Reflects on Provenance.” Samuels Lasner organized his presentation around four objects in his Collection of late Victorian British literature, each of which illuminated a form of provenance of interest to the antiquarian book collector. For example, Samuels Lasner highlighted an autographed copy of Oscar Wilde’s The Sphinx and contrasted the piece with a forged Wilde autograph to discuss the importance of detecting spurious provenance.

 

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Title slide of Mark Samuels Lasner’s November 7, 2015 presentation at the Bibliographical
Society of America’s “Mind the Gap” symposium, Grolier Club, New York City.

Other themes discussed in the remarks include associational provenance (which documents connections between a book’s author and his or her friends and associates), collector provenance (which traces the book collectors who have previously owned the piece in question), and obscure provenance (ownership by non-famous individuals). Collector provenance was highlighted by means of a book featuring five bookplates—including that of famed author Thomas Hardy, as well as Samuels Lasner himself. Samuels Lasner highlighted a particularly pretty volume of Maxell Gray’s Westminster Chimes to discuss obscure provenance, as the volume features an inscription from the author to a book collector who is relatively unknown today. The volume, however, was originally Gray’s personal copy and features original artwork by the author, which lends considerable visual beauty to the literary work.

 

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John Meade Falkner, The Lost Stradivarius. Edinburgh: William Blackwood, 1895. Provenance: Thomas
Hardy-Hugh Walpole-Michael Sadleir-H. Bradley Martin-Mark Samuels Lasner Collection.

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Maxwell Gray, Westminster Chimes: And Other Poems London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trèubner, 1890.
Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, on loan to the University of Delaware Library.

“It is the general ambition of the [book collector] class to find value where there seems to be none,” wrote renowned bibliophile John Hill Burton. Provenance figures prominently in the effort to attach meaning to books. Samuels Lasner’s remarks at the Grolier Club demonstrate how collectors use provenance to shape and inform their libraries. Recent provenance—ownership information from the last several decades—merits greater attention from scholars, collectors, and librarians.

Samuels Lasner was one of many presenters at this landmark gathering; the well-attended symposium featured lecturers from around the nation and, indeed, the world. Scholars from as far away as Germany and Italy, as well as American institutions including Harvard, the Folger Library, UCLA, the University of Virginia and the University of Pennsylvania, all reflected on the significance of recent provenance to bibliophilic collecting and scholarship.

The program for the symposium may be found here: http://www.grolierclub.org/files/2015.BSA_MindTheGapProgramFINAL.pdf.  For more information on the Bibliographical Society of America, visit http://bibsocamer.org. To learn more about the Grolier Club, click the following link: http://www.grolierclub.org.  A PDF of Samuels Lasner’s PowerPoint presentation, including more images of objects from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, is available here: MSL_Provenance_Talk_11-07-15.

Enjoy Tea With Renowned Pre-Raphaelite Scholar Dr. Jan Marsh at Delaware Art Museum

Love's_Messenger

Love’s Messenger, 1885. Marie Spartali Stillman (1844 1927).
Watercolor, tempera, and gold paint on paper mounted on wood, 32 x 26 inches.
Delaware Art Museum, Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Memorial, 1935.

Talk & Tea with Dr. Jan Marsh
Marie Spartali Stillman: Degrees of Separation from Julia Margaret Cameron to Virginia Woolf
Saturday, November 7 | 1:00 p.m.

Enjoy a cup of tea and pastries, along with an exclusive talk with Dr. Jan Marsh, noted Pre-Raphaelite scholar and co-curator of the exhibition Poetry in Beauty. Marsh will speak on Marie Spartali Stillman’s life and work in relation to the artistic and literary culture of the late 19th and early 20th century. Marsh is currently working on the Late Victorian Catalogue at the National Portrait Gallery in London. She has published on a broad spectrum of Pre-Raphaelite art, including Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood, Women Artists and the Pre-Raphaelite Movement, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Painter and Poet. $8 Members, $12 Non-Members. Admission, tea and pastries included.

For more on the Poetry in Beauty exhibition, please visit the following link: http://www.delart.org/exhibits/poetry-in-beauty-the-pre-raphaelite-art-of-marie-spartali-stillman/.

Pre-Raphaelite Art Lecture November 18 at the University of Delaware Library

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Veronica Veronese, 1872
Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 – 1882)
Oil on canvas, 41 1/2″ x 34″
Delaware Art Museum
Samuel and Mary R. Bancroft Memorial, 1935

 

“A Pre-Raphaelite Paints Music: Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the Delaware Art Museum’s Veronica Veronese

Lecture by Nancy Rose Marshall
Professor of Art History, University of Wisconsin-Madison and
2015 University of Delaware Library/Delaware Art Museum Fellow in Pre-Raphaelite Studies

Wednesday, November 18
5 p.m.
Morris Library, Class of 1941 Lecture Room
University of Delaware
Newark, DE

Free and open to the public

Nancy Rose Marshall, professor of art history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and University of Delaware Library/Delaware Art Museum 2015 Fellow in Pre-Raphaelite Studies, will speak on “A Pre-Raphaelite Paints Music: Dante Gabriel Rossetti and the Delaware Art Museum’s Veronica Veronese” on Wednesday, November 18. The lecture will take place at 5 p.m. in the Class of 1941 Lecture Room near the entrance of the Morris Library on the University of Delaware campus. A reception will follow the lecture, which is free and open to the public. Walk-ins are welcome, but please rsvp to libraryrsvp@winsor.lib. udel.edu or call (302) 831-2231.

During her residency as the 2015 Pre-Raphaelite Fellow, Marshall has worked on Dante Gabriel Rossetti, a monograph commissioned by PhaedonPress. Unlike many studies that examine Rossetti in isolation from mainstream Victorian culture, this book places him in specific social-historical contexts.  While in Delaware, Marshall has made considerable use of the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection and the holdings of the Special Collections Department in the University of Delaware Library as well as examining the Rossetti artworks—including the 1872 painting Veronica Veronese (and associated curatorial files) in the Delaware Art Museum.

A specialist in Victorian art and visual culture, Professor Marshall is the co-author of the exhibition catalogue James Tissot: Victorian Life/Modern Love (Yale Center for British Art, 1999). Her book on the construction of imperialist metropolitan modernity in fine art, City of Gold and Mud: Painting Victorian London, was published by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art in 2012.

For further information contact Mark Samuels Lasner, senior research fellow, University of Delaware Library, marksl@udel.edu or (302) 831-3250.  A flyer promoting the event is available here: Nancy_Marshall_Flyer.

Online Exhibition Highlights First World War Connections in Mark Samuels Lasner Collection

returnofthesoldier

Rebecca West, 1892–1983
The Return of the Soldier: with Illustrations by William Price
New York: The Century Company, 1918
Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, on loan to the University of Delaware Library

 

The Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, on loan to the University of Delaware Library, may be best known for its holdings relating to late nineteenth-century British art and literature, but it also contains materials that shed interesting light on the history and legacy of the First World War. A new online exhibition curated by Margaret D. Stetz, PhD, Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women’s Studies and Professor of Humanities at the University of Delaware, highlights those materials and evokes memories of a devastating world conflict nearly ninety-seven years after the Great War ended.

The digital exhibition is titled “We will remember them”: An Exhibition of First World War Materials from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection.  It may be viewed here.  The exhibition assembles materials that were first displayed on 1 November 2014 as part of “Remembering the Great War,” a symposium sponsored by the UD Office of Alumni Relations. Divided into four sections, the exhibition presents a range of literary and visual responses to life during wartime, whether intended for public consumption or for private circulation. Most of the items are rare, and many are unique, including a number of unpublished letters and manuscripts, along with previously unknown variants of published works and inscribed copies of books.   The sources illuminate the human impact of international conflict.

The permanent link to the exhibition is as follows: http://exhibits.lib.udel.edu/exhibits/show/ww1exhibit.

“Alice in Wonderland” Lecture at University of Delaware Library

Alice

Lewis Carroll, 1832–1898, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. New York: D. Appleton, 1866.
(Special Collections, University of Delaware Library)

 

Did you know that the state of Delaware enjoys an historical connection to Lewis Carroll’s manuscript Alice’s Adventures Underground, the first draft of his famous Wonderland book? Come to the Morris Library at the University of Delaware at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 to learn more.

Lewis Carroll scholar August A. Imholtz, Jr., will present a lecture on Eldridge Johnson, a Delaware native, inventor of the early gramophone called the Victor Talking Machine, and one of the wealthiest Americans of the early twentieth century who purchased the Alice manuscript in 1928. Imholtz’s lecture, titled “His Master’s Voice and Alice: Eldridge Johnson’s Adventure with Lewis Carroll’s Alice Manuscript,” will share this fascinating and little-known history.

Light refreshments will be served following the lecture. All are welcome, but RSVP’s are requested at libraryrsvp@winsor.lib.udel.edu or call 302-831-2231. Please see the following PDF for more details about the talk: Imholtzannouncement.

New Acquisition Commemorates Titans of Victorian English Art & Culture: Brontë Sisters, Clement Shorter, and Max Beerbohm

Perhaps no British authors better capture the haunting romance of Victorian England than Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë, who wrote such works as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Agnes Grey.  A caricature by Max Beerbohm recently acquired by the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, on loan to the University of Delaware Library, depicts the three literary stars along with characters well-known in the English social scene two generations after the sisters lived: writer Clement Shorter and aristocrat Alexander Nelson Hood. The piece complements the many other Max Beerbohm books, artworks, and memorabilia found in the Mark Samuel Lasner Collection.

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Sir Max Beerbohm, “Let Justice Be Done.” 11 1/4″ x 15 1/2″. Pencil and watercolor on paper.
Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, on loan to the University of Delaware Library. 

Sir Max Beerbohm (1872-1956) was an English writer and caricaturist who drew many well-known public figures of his day. In this image, dating to ca. 1924, he depicts the famous English critic, journalist, book collector, and Bronte biographer Clement Shorter standing in the National Portrait Gallery in London, in front of a portrait of the Brontë sisters painted by their brother, Branwell, ca. 1834. The short, mustachioed Shorter peers through his pince-nez glasses at his companion, the English aristocrat Alexander Nelson Hood (1839-1924), Duke of Bronte. Dialogue included on the caricature captures Shorter’s enthusiasm for the beloved authors. “And so you’re the Duke of Brontë!” Shorter exclaims. “Now, do like a good fellow, go and pull a wire or two at Court, and get Lottie and Em and Annie made Duchesses in retrospect!”

Shortly before its acquisition for the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, the Beerbohm caricature appeared in an article by Mark Bostridge in The Times Literary Supplement titled “The Brontës and the Conmen.” Read the article here.

See Branwell Brontë’s portrait of his sisters, now owned by the National Portrait Gallery in London, here.

Special Collections at the University of Delaware Library holds one linear foot of material related to Clement Shorter, including manuscripts, photographs, newspaper clippings, letters, books, notes, caricatures, and drafts for his autobiography ranging from 1894 to 1973 (bulk dates 1895-1926). Learn more about the Clement King Shorter papers here.  The Mark Samuels Lasner Collection also contains other Shorter material, including a caricature of Shorter drawn by his wife and numerous letters written to the famous writer.

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