Category: Mark Samuels Lasner

Visitors Enjoy Exhibit of Francis Meynell & Other Modern Fine Printing at the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection

Two dozen visitors to the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection enjoyed a specially arranged display of modern works of fine printing on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 30th. The exhibit, which featured thirty-four Collection pieces ranging in date from 1914 to 2014, were showcased prior to the University of Delaware Library’s program and exhibition “Will H. Bradley, An American Artist: Selections from the Gordon A. Pfeiffer Collection.” Will H. Bradley was an important American illustrator and designer of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries whose works were frequently found in popular magazines. The Samuels Lasner Collection exhibit celebrated printed materials made during and long after Bradley’s active years.

Many of the selections related to the life and work of members of the famous Meynell literary and publishing family, notably Sir Francis Meredith Wilfrid Meynell (1891-1975), the well-known British typographer, designer, and poet who founded the Nonesuch Press in 1922. Francis’s father was Wilfrid Meynell, a journalist and publisher. His mother, Alice Meynell, was a highly regarded poet, critic, and Suffrage activist.

Among the items on display were several examples of Francis Meynell’s early work. Katharine Tynan’s The Flower of Peace, a 1914 collection of devotional poetry designed by Meynell and Stanley Morison and published in London by Wilfrid Meynell’s publishing firm, Burns and Oates, was shown alongside Alice Meynell’s Ten Poems, 1912-1915, one of 32 copies printed by Meynell himself on a hand press situated on his family’s kitchen table. Meynell’s venture the Pelican Press was represented by A Printer’s Miscellany, a series of broadsides produced 1921-1922, and by the five catalogues (the only recorded complete set) produced for the Serendipity Shop, the antiquarian bookshop operated by brother Everard Meynell. On view also was the first book of the Nonesuch Press, Letters form George Meredith to Alice Meynell (1923), the particular copy inscribed by Francis Meynell to his first wife, Vera; and several of Meynell’s other publications and two autograph letters.

Books produced by other printers included two of the great Grolier Club publications, New York (1915), with its famous color wood-engravings by Rudolph Ruzicka, and For Jean Grolier (2009), the catalogue of the club’s exhibitions and publications designed by Jerry Kelly (one of 26 special copies); Bruce Rogers’s edition of Max Beerbohm’s The Happy Hypocrite (1955); and The Multifaceted Mr. Morris, privately printed by Newark, Delaware-based Lead Graffiti to commemorate a William Morris conference and exhibition held at the University of Delaware in 2010.

For a list of all pieces included in the display, view the exhibition checklist.  To view photographs from the afternoon, see below.


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UD Library Exhibition and Program Celebrate Work of Will H. Bradley

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Will H. Bradley.  Cover of Collier’s Weekly, OutDoor Number, April 28, 1900.
pecial Collections, University of Delaware Library.


Works by one of America’s most influential artists are on display at the University of Delaware Library, and a program set for September 30th will discuss their place in American design history.

Will H. Bradley (1868-1962) was an artist and designer who led the American Art Nouveau movement around the turn of the twentieth century.  Hailed as the “Dean of American Designers” by The Saturday Evening Post, Bradley’s designs and illustrations earned him a place in the pantheon of American artistic trendsetters.  University of Delaware alum Gordon Pfeiffer (class of 1956), a noted bibliophile and Bradley enthusiast, donated his collection relating to Bradley to the Special Collections Department of the University of Delaware Library.  An exhibition of pieces from Pfeiffer’s collection, titled “Will H. Bradley, An American Artist: Selections from the Gordon A. Pfeiffer Collection” is currently on display in the Special Collections Department’s main gallery on the second floor of the Morris Library on the University of Delaware campus.

At 4:30 p.m. on September 30th, the UD Library will host a program to celebrate Will H. Bradley.  Gordon Pfeiffer will present on his collection.  Paul Shaw, a celebrated calligrapher and typographer at the Parsons School of Design and the School of Visual Arts in New York City, will also speak.   A reception will follow.  The event is free and open to the public.  (Parking validation will be provided for the Visitors’ Lot #41 on South College Avenue, the Trabant University Center Garage on Main Street and the Perkins Student Center Garage on Academy Street upon leaving the Morris Library.)

Please join us for what is sure to be a spectacular and memorable evening.  For more information on the program, click here.


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Will H. Bradley.  Prospectus for Bradley: His Book, 1896.
Special Collections, University of Delaware Library. 

Mark Samuels Lasner to Speak at Grolier Club Symposium


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


Mark Samuels Lasner, senior research fellow at the University of Delaware Library, will present at “Mind the Gap: Recent Provenance and Antiquarian Material,” a symposium to be held at the Grolier Club in New York City, on Saturday, November 7, 2015.

Sponsored by the Bibliographical Society of America, “Mind the Gap” will offer perspective on understanding and interpreting the recent ownership history of rare books, manuscripts, artworks, and ephemera.  Samuels Lasner will feature in a panel session titled “Provenance, Collectors, and the Trade.”

“Mind the Gap” is open to the public.  Tickets are $75 ($25 for students), and seating is limited to 150. Please contact Michele Randall, Executive Director of the Bibliographical Society of America, for reservations and payment:

The program for the symposium may be found here:  For more information on the Bibliographical Society of America, visit  A full listing of the Grolier Club’s programs may be viewed here.



Library of the Grolier Club, New York City.
Courtesy of the Grolier Club.

Mark Samuels Lasner Collection Pieces Figure in Groundbreaking Exhibition


Display case in the “Victorian Connections” exhibition at the Grolier Club in
New York City.  (Photo by Jennifer Sheehan, Grolier Club.)


Rare items from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection figured in a path-breaking exhibition on the life and work of Victorian poet William Allingham and his wife Helen, mounted at the Grolier Club in New York City.

Titled “Victorian Connections: The Literary and Artistic Circles of William and Helen Allingham from the Collections of Grolier Club Members,” the exhibit was on view through May 25.  The exhibition was co-curated by Mark Samuels Lasner, senior research fellow at the University of Delaware Library, and Natasha Moore, recipient of the 2014 University of Delaware Library/Delaware Art Museum Fellowship in Pre-Raphaelite Studies.  Moore, who holds a Ph.D. in English from Cambridge University, authored a catalogue to accompany the exhibition, which is available for purchase through New Castle, Delaware-based Oak Knoll Books.

More information on the exhibit is available here:  Learn more about the Grolier Club at  Visit the Grolier Club’s Flickr page to view more images of the exhibition.



Catalogue of the “Victorian Connections” exhibit,
Oak Knoll Press.

Philadelphia Goes Wild for Oscar Wilde: Margaret D. Stetz and Mark Samuels Lasner Co-Curate Wilde Exhibit at Rosenbach


Oscar Wilde. New York: Napoleon Sarony, 1882. Mark Samuels Lasner
Collection, on loan to the University of Delaware Library.


Philadelphia has gone wild for Oscar Wilde with the help of Mark Samuels Lasner, senior research fellow at the University of Delaware Library.  Samuels Lasner and Margaret Stetz, the Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women’s Studies and Professor of Humanities at the University of Delaware, co-curated an exhibit titled “Everything is Going On Brilliantly: Oscar Wilde and Philadelphia” at the Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia.  The exhibit was on view through May 24.

The exhibit considered the life and times of the legendary British literary and cultural figure Oscar Wilde, who delivered a series of lectures in the Philadelphia area in 1882.  Wilde-related materials from several public and private collections in the region showcased the writer’s work and offered a fresh spin on this well-known character’s legacy.

The sizeable exhibit occupied two galleries at the Rosenbach, both of which were decorated in an evocative, late-nineteenth-century style.  The exhibit showcased important Wilde documents, including a drawing-filled poetical notebook, a fragment of The Ballad of Reading Gaol and a typescript of Salome.  The exhibit received a positive review in The Wall Street Journal.

The show was made possible by a generous gift from Barbara F. Freed and Alan Mittelman in loving memory of Sheldon Tabb, and grants from the Pine Tree Foundation of New York and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.



Oscar Wilde, Salome. London: John Lane, 1907. Illustrations by Aubrey Beardsley.  Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, on loan to the University of Delaware Library.

Victorian Actress Ellen Terry Subject of Lecture at UD


Ellen Terry and her cat, “Boo Boo.”  London: Henry Walter Barnett, 1922.  Mark Samuels
Lasner Collection,
on loan to the University of Delaware Library.


Famous Victorian actress Ellen Terry (1847-1928), widely regarded as one of the greatest stage performers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, formed the subject of a lecture by esteemed Professor of English Katharine Cockin, of the University of Hull (UK), on March 18.

The talk, titled “Ellen Terry: A Life in Letters,” examined the public persona and personal life of the famed actress, with a special focus on scandalous letters Terry exchanged with Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw.  In addition to discussing the history of Terry’s fascinating life, Professor Cockin offered insights on her years of involvement in the publication of Terry’s collected letters.   The audience of professors, librarians, graduate students, and community members enjoyed Cockin’s reflections on this unique type of academic work.

Professor Cockin, who holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Leicester, visited the University of Delaware to research the Ellen Terry-related holdings of the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, on loan to the University of Delaware Library.  Cockin conducts interdisciplinary research in theatre history, literature, and the British women’s suffrage movement.

An iconic portrait of Ellen Terry portraying Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, painted by John Singer Sargent, may be seen here:

Center for the Book Arts, New York, March 7, 2014

Mark Samuels Lasner, senior research fellow, University of Delaware Library, was an invited speaker on a panel in the “History of Book Design” series at the Center for Book Arts, New York, March 7. His presentation, “The Victorian Author as Designer,” included images of items from the Special Collections Department of the University of Delaware Library and from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, on loan to the library. The other two speakers were William S. Peterson, professor emeritus, University of Maryland, and Jane R. Siegel, curator of rare books, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University.

Simeon Solomon Research Archive features Swinburne Association Item from Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, March 2014

Simeon Solomon Research Archive, an online resource devoted to the Victorian artist (1840-1905), has featured two posts about a book recently acquired by the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, on loan to the University of Delaware Library. Solomon’s “A Vision of Love Revealed in Sleep,” privately printed in 1871, is considered one of the key works of gay literature in the 19th century. This rare copy–one of about only sixteen known to exist–has the additional importance of having been presented by the author/artist to his close friend, the poet Algernon Charles Swinburne. See and

Collector Mark Samuels Lasner interviewed by Clara Finlay, October 2013

“The Morrisian,” Clara Finlay’s blog “about the famous poet, designer, and Socialist, William Morris,” has just published an interview: “Mark Samuels Lasner: The Collecting Life,” at

National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest, Library of Congress, October 18, 2013

Mark Samuels Lasner was the invited speaker at the awards ceremony for the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest, October 18, 2013 in Washington, D. C. First-place winners of college and university book collecting contests are automatically enrolled in this national contest, which is sponsored by the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America (ABAA), the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (FABS), the Center for the Book and the Rare Books and Special Collections Division (the Library of Congress) Contest, with major support from the Jay I. Kislak Foundation.

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