News from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection
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 http://themorrisian.blogspot.com.au/2013/09/mark-samuels-lasner-collecting-life.html#more
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.
"Collecting the Victorians" at Rockwood Mansion, Wilmington, Delaware September 29, 2013
Mark Samuels Lasner spoke about collecting as part of the fall Friends of Rockwood lecture series. Rockwood is a Gothic Revival mansion built between 1851-1854 by Joseph Shipley in north Wilmington.
Mark Samuels Lasner in conversation with Diane Waggoner, National Gallery of Art May 6, 2013
"Useful & Beautiful: William Morris and his Books," Mark Samuels Lasner, in conversation with Diane Waggoner, associate curator, department of photographs, National Gallery of Art, on Monday, 6 May 2013, at 12 noon.
The event, which is Free and Open to the Public, will take place in the East Building Concourse Auditorium at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
William Morris (1834-1896) gained fame as a designer, as a poet, as a socialist, as the founder of the arts and crafts movement, and as the maker of beautiful books at his Kelmscott Press, founded in 1891. In this illustrated conversation with National Gallery of Art curator Diane Waggoner, Mark Samuels Lasner explores Morris's lifelong, multifaceted engagement with print--as a reader, author, collector, calligrapher, typographer, printer, and publisher--which culminated with the publication of the great Kelmscott Chaucer just before his death. Samuels Lasner will also touch on his own collecting of Morris and his circle.
More information: http://www.nga.gov/programs/lectures/index.shtm#morris-books
Selections from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, on loan to the University of Delaware Library, are included in "Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848-1900" and "Pre-Raphaelites and the Book," currently on view at the National Gallery of Art through 19 May 2013.
Mark Samuels Lasner to deliver Ferguson lecture at Tulane University and other talks March - April - May 2013
On Thursday, 4 April, Mark Samuels Lasner will give the Josephine Gessner Ferguson lecture in English Literature at Tulane University in New Orleans. This annual endowed lecture, sponsored by the Tulane English department and the university library, brings to Tulane a distinguished speaker who can make the connection between literature and the book. Samuels Lasner's topic, "Useful & Beautiful: The Books of William Morris," is therefore an appropriate one. In his presentation he will use materials from his own collection and from Tulane's special collections to give an overview of Morris's multiple role as author, collector, designer, typographer, and publisher and treat Morris's impact on the book in his time and our own.
Samuels Lasner is also participating in a 13 March "collectors' forum" at the Grolier Club associated with the exhibition, American Little Magazines of the 1890s. In addition he is speaking about dandyism on 9 May at one of a series of informal discussions hosted by the Providence Athenaeum in connection with Artist/Rebel/Dandy: Men of Fashion (see below).
Works from Mark Samuels Lasner Collection included in five (yes, five) exhibitions February - June 2013
About 60 books, manuscripts, artworks, and even realia from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection will be on view in museums this spring. Covering the Washington-to-Providence corridor the venues include the National Gallery of Art, the Grolier Club, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, and the University of Delaware's own University Gallery in Old College.
First up are two shows at the National Gallery, Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Art and Design, 1848-1900, a version of the groundbreaking exhibition from Tare Britain (through 19 May) and Pre-Raphaelites and the Book, an additional special display (on through mid-August) made up almost entirely from MSL Collection materials. Included in the two exhibitions are Kelmscott Press titles, first editions of books by William Morris and Christina and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, pencil drawings by Edward Burne-Jones, a Morris and Co. textile, and two star items: the illustrated manuscript visitorss book from the Burne-Jonesss holiday house in Rottingdean, Sussex, and a volume containing two calligraphic manuscripts by William Morris.
In American Little Magazines of the 1890s: A Revolution in Print, at the Grolier Club in New York, copies of The Germ, The Yellow Book, The Savoy, The Page, and The Butterfly, together with a Beardsley poster and ephemera, show the British influence which engendered the plethora of avant-garde periodicals which appeared in this country from the mid-1890s through the 1920s.
Collection loans to Artist/Rebel/Dandy: Men of Fashion at RISD--the first major exploration of dandyism by any museum--include original caricatures by (and of) Max Beerbohm, Aubrey Beardsley's self-portrait of 1894, and a first edition of Thomas Carlyle's Sartor Resartus, an impassioned, satirical attack on the latter-day followers of Beau Brummell. The exhibition also includes Max Beerbohm's walking stick and an Inverness cape and three-piece suit borrowed from Samuels Lasner's own wardrobe--the first time that any of his clothes have been on display except on his body.
Finally, the only book in the University Gallery's Gertrude Kasebier: The Complexity of Light and Shadow comes from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection. This is a copy of The Round Rabbit and Other Poems by Agnes Lee, published by Copeland and Day, Boston, in 1898. Its presence in a photography show is explained by the fact that the author was the model for some of Kasebier's most famous images, including the iconic Blessed art thou ... and by two further connections: the illustrations are by Rose O'Neil, another Kasbeier subject, and the publisher was F. Holland Day, the photographer who had introduced Lee to Kasebier. Although The Round Rabbit is an American work and outside the usual British focus of the collection it was acquired largely because of its wonderful cover design, by Olive Grover, depicting rows of rabbits.
The Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon Blog February 2013
Paul van Capelleveen, rare book librarian at the Dutch national library in The Hague, recently came to the University of Delaware Library to see the collection. His research focuses on Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon, the illustrators and artists who, among other things, designed many of Oscar Wilde's books and operated the Vale Press. A short note about his has appeared on his interesting and informative Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon blog devoted to these two remarkable figures. The post includes images from the dedication copy of the Vale Press Parables (1903) and a photograph of Capelleveen with Mark Samuels Lasner. When he was here Capelleveen generously made two gifts to the collection, a privately printed pamphlet he has issued containing a previously unpublished Wilde letter and a new book (limited edition of 75 copies) about the poet John Gray's connections with the Netherlands. He reports that a further visit will be necessary to examine all the Ricketts and Shannon material in the collection; one day was not enough.
Lead Graffiti publishes The Multifaceted Mr. Morris: A Record of the Exhibition in the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, 1-30 October 2010 by Jane Marguerite Tippett * September 2012
Easily the most ambitious book project by Ray Nichols & Jill Cypher of Lead Graffiti, The Multifaceted Mr. Morris is the catalogue of the William Morris exhibition mounted in the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection for the "Useful & Beautiful" conference held in October 2010 at the University of Delaware. More than thirty books, manuscripts, drawings, and other works are described and an introduction tells the story of how the collector came to collect Morris and the Pre-Raphaelites. The author, Jane Marguerite Tippett, is a PhD student in Art History at the University of Delaware.
As Lead Graffiti approaches printing via letterpress as designers, they wanted to find an interesting way to incorporate visual elements into the project. Many of the pieces included in the book are fabulous, often either one-of-a-kind or ones with an important provenance. The designers took each entry and looked for some visual element they found interesting. Often it was typographic, in the instance of a photo or a drawing it might just be a small area or a word from a letter. These images were printed in a light tone to complement the main text. It will be interesting for someone who visits the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection to look through some of the pieces and see if they can find the image. Sometimes it will be obvious and sometimes obscure.
The July 2012 edition of Fine Books & Collections included an article on the book that included some additional information about Lead Graffiti.
Printed via letterpress in Caslon type in two colors with eight color plates, The Multifaceted Mr. Morris is issued in an edition of 150 copies, all bound by hand: 100 in wrappers and 50 hardbound in parchment backed boards, each signed by the relevant participants. The book is available from Lead Graffiti and from Oak Knoll Books.
2013 University of Delaware Library/Delaware Art Museum Fellowship in Pre-Raphaelite Studies * September 2012
The University of Delaware Library and the Delaware Art Museum invite applications for the 2013 joint Fellowship in Pre-Raphaelite Studies. This one-month Fellowship is intended for scholars working on the Pre-Raphaelites and their associates. Up to $2,500 is available. The recipient will be expected to be in residence during 2013 and to make use of the resources of both the University of Delaware Library and the Delaware Art Museum. By arrangement with the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, scholars may apply to each institution for awards in the same year; every effort will be made to offer consecutive dates.
The Delaware Art Museum is home to the most important collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in the US. Assembled largely by Samuel Bancroft, Jr., the collection includes paintings, works on paper, decorative arts, manuscripts, and letters, and is augmented by the museum's Helen Farr Sloan art library. With comprehensive holdings in books, periodicals, electronic resources, and microforms, the University of Delaware Library is a major resource for the study of literature and art. The Library Special Collections contains material related to the Pre-Raphaelites who are also well-represented in the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection of Victorian books, manuscripts, and artworks. The deadline for applications is 1 November 2012. For more information and an application form visit www.delart.org/education/fellowships.html or write to: Pre-Raphaelite Studies Fellowship Committee Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806.
"Dickens and the Late Victorians" * Spring 2012
On view in the Mark Samuels Lasner Room, Morris Library, Spring 2012 (by appointment only), was the exhibition "Dickens and the Late Victorians." Curated by Petra Clark, graduate assistant in the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, and by Mark Samuels Lasner, the display focuses on writers and artists who had a connection – personal or through influence or criticism – with Dickens and is works. George Eliot, William Morris, Oscar Wilde, Gustave Doré, Alice Meynell, and George Gissing are among the figures represented. A highlight of the exhibition is an original miniature watercolor portrait of Dickens by his daughter, Kate Perugini.
"Beardsley and His Publishers," 29 March 2012
On Thursday, 29 March, Mark Samuels Lasner will be speaking on "Beardsley and His Publishers" at the Book Club of California in San Francisco. The talk is one of a series of events occasioned by the exhibition, "The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avant-Garde, 1860-1900," at the Legion of Honor until 17 June 2012. Mills College is having a show of "Women Bookmakers of the Aesthetic Movement" and Margaret D. Stetz, Mae and Carter Professor of Women's Studies at the University of Delaware, is giving a lecture there on Wednesday, 28 March – her topic, "The Aesthetic Woman."
Presentations planned for 2011-2012
Mark Samuels Lasner will be giving a number of talks during the 2011-2012 academic year. In October, Samuels Lasner is to give a presentation to library students at the University of Maryland-College Park. On November 10, 2011, he will deliver a lecture on "Aubrey Beardsley and His Publishers" at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The Washington Rare Books Group has also invited him to speak on "Collecting the Late Victorians" at the group's annual May 2012 lunch at Ft. Totten, located in Washington, D.C..
University of Delaware Library/Delaware Art Museum Fellowship in Pre-Raphaelite Studies
The University of Delaware Library and the Delaware Art Museum invite applications for the 2012 joint Fellowship in Pre-Raphaelite Studies. This one-month Fellowship is intended for scholars working on the Pre-Raphaelites and their associates. Up to $2,500 is available. The recipient will be expected to be in residence during 2012 and to make use of the resources of both the University of Delaware Library and the Delaware Art Museum. By arrangement with the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, scholars may apply to each institution for awards in the same year; every effort will be made to offer consecutive dates. The Delaware Art Museum is home to the most important collection of Pre-Raphaelite art in the US. Assembled largely by Samuel Bancroft, Jr., the collection includes paintings, works on paper, decorative arts, manuscripts, and letters, and is augmented by the museum’s Helen Farr Sloan art library. With comprehensive holdings in books, periodicals, electronic resources, and microforms, the University of Delaware Library is a major resource for the study of literature and art. The Special Collections Department contains material related to the Pre-Raphaelites who are also well-represented in the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection of Victorian books, manuscripts, and artworks. The deadline for applications is October 15, 2011. For more information and an application form visit www.delart.org/education/fellowships.html or write to: Pre-Raphaelite Studies Fellowship Committee Delaware Art Museum, 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806.
Mediamorphosis: Periodicals Across the Pond, 9 September 2011
"Mediamorphosis: Periodicals Across the Pond" is an online exhibition of magazines and print ephemera from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection and the University of Delaware Library's Department of Special Collections that was originally on display Friday, September 9, 2011, in the Mark Samuels Lasner Room, in conjunction with the University of Delaware symposium Mediamorphosis: Print Culture and Transatlantic Sphere(s), 1880-1940. The exhibition was curated by Mark Samuels Lasner and Timothy D. Murray.
Samuels Lasner contributes chapter to Other People's Books, February 2011
Book Lovers Fear Dim Future for Notes in Margins, appeared in the New York Times, February 20, 2011. The new book mentioned in the article, Other People's Books: Association Copies and the Stories They Tell (Chicago: Caxton Club, 2011), contains an introduction by G. Thomas Tanselle and a contribution by Mark Samuels Lasner, Senior Research Fellow, University of Delaware Library.
Samuels Lasner resources mentioned on Robert Louis Stevenson website, December 2010
The University of Delaware Library and the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection are listed under "Other Libraries" on the Robert Louis Stevenson website.
Mark Samuels Lasner was the principal facilitator of this conference and related exhibitions, which was held 7–9 October 2010 at the University of Delaware (Newark, DE) and at the Delaware Art Museum and the Winterthur Museum & Country Estate (Wilmington, DE). Organized with the assistance of the William Morris Society in the United States, "Useful & Beautiful" highlighted the strengths of the University of Delaware’s rare books, art, and manuscripts collections; Winterthur’s important holdings in American decorative arts; and the Delaware Art Museum’s superlative Pre-Raphaelite collection (the largest outside Britain). All events focused on the multitude of transatlantic exchanges that involved Morris, the Pre-Raphaelites, and the Arts and Crafts and Aesthetic movements of the late nineteenth century.
In addition to sessions featuring internationally known scholars and experts, there was a keynote lecture by noted biographer Fred Kaplan; demonstrations by leading practitioners who make and design Arts and Crafts objects; special exhibitions; an early music recital; and a performance of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest by the University of Delaware’s critically acclaimed Resident Ensemble Players/Professional Theatre Training Program.
For more information, including a list of speakers, go to www.udel.edu/conferences/uandb.
The University of Delaware Library mounted two exhibitions associated with "Useful & Beautiful." "London Bound: American Writers in Britain, 1870–1916," in the Special Collections Department gallery, curated by Margaret D. Stetz, Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women's Studies at the University of Delaware, and by Mark Samuels Lasner, was open to the public 24 August–17 December 2010. A display on "The Multifaceted Mr. Morris" in the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection room (Morris Library 115A) was also on view during the conference.
Facing the Late Victorians: Portraits of Writers and Artists from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection at the Henry B. Plant Museum, Tampa, FL, 5 March - 5 June 2010
More than fifty drawings, prints, photographs, and books from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection were on display at the Henry B. Plant Museum, Tampa, FL, in the spring of 2010. Scheduled from 5 March to 5 June 2010, Facing the Late Victorians: Portraits of Writers and Artists from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection was curated by Margaret D. Stetz, Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of Delaware. The show was a version of an exhibition held in 2008 at the Grolier Club in New York—recorded in a book of the same name published by the University of Delaware Press. Facing the Late Victorians was timed to coincide with the Nineteenth Century Studies Association’s 11th annual conference, Theatricality and the Performative in the Long Nineteenth Century, which took place 11-12 March 2010 at the University of Tampa. (The Plant Museum is located in the university’s glorious late-Victorian main building, originally the Tampa Bay Hotel which opened in 1891). Both Mark Samuels Lasner and Margaret D. Stetz spoke at the conference.
For an illustrated review of the Grolier Club version of this exhibition, see Maureen E. Mulvihill's essay for the Victorian Society in America's March-April 2008 e-newsletter.
Books in Hard Times Conference, 22 September 2009
Mark Samuels Lasner presented a talk, "A Collector’s View," at the Books in Hard Times conference held at the Grolier Club, New York, on 22 September 2009. The conference examined "the impact of the recession on collectors, librarians, and the antiquarian booktrade" and featured a number of well-known speakers from the "book world" including Robert H. Jackson, William S. Reese, Tom Congleton, Priscilla Juvelis, Breon Mitchell, Katherine Reagan, David Alan Richards, William Buice III, and Terry Belanger. For the text of the talk click here.