Archive: "illustration" Tag

New acquisitions: Printing proofs for the Kelmscott Chaucer

Special Collections recently acquired five printing proofs of wood engravings from William Morris’ masterpiece, the 1896 Works of Chaucer. The illustrations were designed by Victorian artist Edward Burne-Jones, and then would have been transferred to blocks of wood by Robert Catterson-Smith and then engraved by William Harcourt Hopper. These proofs would have been created as …

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Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass”: The Unpublished Art of Maynard Dixon

May 31 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of the foremost poets in American literature, Walt Whitman. To celebrate, Special Collections is exhibiting one of its most unique items from our Walt Whitman Collection: a suite of tempera paintings by Maynard Dixon, which were intended to illustrate a never-published edition of Whitman’s …

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Art Nouveau Bindings for National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month, and to celebrate, we’ve created a gallery of some rather gorgeous poetry books. The bookbindings shown here were all designed in the art nouveau style, and published between 1880 and 1910. Art nouveau features long, flowing lines, inspired by organic forms. It was popular in decorative arts of the late Victorian …

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Christmas with the Grabhorn Press

Special Collections has a large collection of the work of the Grabhorn Press, a San Francisco fine printing establishment founded in 1920 by brothers Edwin and Robert Grabhorn. The Grabhorn Collection is comprised of books, broadsides, and ephemeral pieces produced by the press over several decades, including this undated Christmas card sent by Edwin and …

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How to Celebrate a Victorian Christmas

Special Collections is celebrating the Christmas season with a new exhibit, “From Shrieks to Shenanigans: How to Celebrate a Truly Victorian Christmas.” The Victorians loved Christmas carols and tales of Father Christmas, but their festivities also included jokes, games, and ghost stories. The exhibit, which was curated by Dr. Leslee Thorne-Murphy’s English 236 students, showcases …

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American literary classics in picture books

Many classic works of literature have been adapted for younger readers over the years. At L. Tom Perry Special Collections, where we have large collections of works by American authors Walt Whitman, Louisa May Alcott, and Herman Melville, we’ve collected numerous picture books adapted from their most famous works, dating all the way back to …

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Victorian Leisure: Sports

Before the Victorian period, leisure time (and the means to pursue recreation) was largely something only the upper classes could afford. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, the middle class was able to pursue recreation — and as a group, they wanted their leisure activities to be moral, respectable, and productive. The Victorian middle class was …

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Illustrating Wordsworth

Wordsworth’s poetry was rarely illustrated during his lifetime, but after his death, publishers began issuing collections of his poems accompanied by illustration. Some of Great Britain’s top painters and designers, like Albert Henry Warren, Miles Birket Foster and John McWhirter, provided illustrations for these deluxe editions. Here is a very brief sampling of illustrated Wordsworth …

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A party for the ages

This week in 1664, King Louis XIV hosted a multi-day party at Versailles. The festival, called Les Plaisirs de l’Île enchantée [The Pleasures of the Enchanted Island], transformed the grounds of Louis’ not-quite-finished palace into a mythical wonderland. Between May 7 and 13, over 600 invitees were treated to banquets, balls, spectacles, parades, recitals, and …

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