Archive for July, 2010

Item of the Week: Another Clark Library

July 29, 2010

William Andrews Clark, Jr. founded not only our Clark library, but also funded the building of Clark Hall at his alma mater, the University of Virginia.  Originally the law library (Mr Clark was part of the law school class of 1899), Clark Hall now houses the Science and Engineering Library, but still contains the same law-themed murals by artist Allyn Cox, who also executed the mural work at the Clark Library in Los Angeles.

Two Clark librarians are at UVa this week, attending classes at Rare Book School and they made a point to stop by the Clark Hall to see Mr Clark’s east coast library (which is not the only library for which he was responsible — he also built the Alice McManus Clark Library, now Clark Administration Building, at the University of Nevada, Reno).


Item of the Week: Sibly’s Witchcraft

July 22, 2010

From Derek Quezada, Clark Library Assistant:

Although the occult exhibition has come and gone, we here at the Clark feel that a number of the books showcased still have a bit more to offer. One of them is an unusual manuscript entitled, A Treatise on Witchcraft (1793) by Ebenezer Sibly. Itself a transcription of another manuscript based on Edward Fairfax’s Daemonologia (1621), it relates the narrative of two young girls bewitched by a coven of malicious witches.

While the story is of course commonly available in printed form, what makes Sibly’s particular handwritten transcription of the tale worth revisiting is the inclusion of an index of fantastic hand-inked illustrations that depict, as Sibly says, “Figures to represent the Persons concerned in the foregoing History.” These figures, while chiefly human, also include a strange procession of phantasmagoric beasts. Everything from dragons and cyclops and satyrs and brownies are contained within and words are inadequate to convey their feverish design.

Its a real treat then to present to you a large sample of these illustrations, particularly as they remained largely invisible throughout the run of the exhibition. In fact the only thing that visitors could see of A Treatise on Witchcraft was the title page and frontispiece which gave only a  suggestion of the bizarre images just a few pages beyond. As you can see now then, it is a truly spectacular item of the week.

Post-lunch love story

July 21, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, some Clark staff members (lucky enough to be outside in the middle of the day), ran into Krishna while he was setting up a surprise 10th anniversary picnic on our lawn for his wife Elaine. They grew up in our neighborhood: Krishna even attended 24th Street School, right down the street from the library and had fond memories of visiting the grounds as a youngster.

Luckily, Jennifer Bastian, our Eric Gill Artwork Project Archivist and favorite photographer was one of the folks who met Krishna and Elaine — while she happened to be walking between building with her camera, no less.  She was able to take some lovely pictures to email to the cute couple — and was also kind enough to share them with us.

Item of the Week: Snooks and friends

July 15, 2010

As some of our readers may be aware, our founder William Andrews Clark, Jr. is now on Facebook.  Staff have long suspected him of haunting the library, a suspicion recently confirmed by a psychic medium present at the opening of our recent exhibition on the occult.  Whether Mr Clark’s social networking presence is an ongoing supernatural occurrence or a clever sham, the fact remains that he has been posting some archival images of the library and his colleagues that we thought might be appropriate to share here as well.

In 1919, Clark’s bibliographer Robert E. Cowan, Cowan’s wife Marie, and Caroline Estes-Smith, manager of the LA Philharmonic posed for the below picture in the library’s sunken garden, along with the Clark family’s dog, Snooks.


The Clark Library: “A charming hideaway”

July 15, 2010

The Clark is featured in an article in the Los Angeles Times today, June 15th.  Reporter Sam Allen knows what he is talking about in singing the library’s praises: he was a student this past spring quarter in Professor Joseph Bristow’s Oscar Wilde seminar.

Paul and Margaret Landacre’s Cabin

July 6, 2010

Inspired by Hector Tobar’s article in the LA Times last week, our manuscript librarian sought out Paul and Margaret Landacre’s Echo Park house this past Saturday.

The house is Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument no. 839 and is marked by this sign on El Moran.

You can still make out the “Landacre” on the mailbox


Item of the Week: The Landacres and Edendale

July 2, 2010

A lovely article by Hector Tobar on Paul and Margaret Landacre, and their neighborhood of Edendale appeared in the June 1 Los Angeles Times.  As many of you may know, the Clark holds the archive of Paul Landacre, considered one of the finest wood engravers of his time.  The collection includes correspondence, prints and original wood blocks — including the original block for 2506 El Moran, the 1932 wood engraving which inspired Tobar to write his LA Times article.  Sadly, we don’t own a print of the image, but we are still actively collecting Landacre material, so that could change.

A finding aid to the Landacre collection is available online.

The Clark staff is planning a field trip to take some pictures of the Landacre house and the neighborhood soon, which will of course be shared here.

above: 2506 El Moran woodblock, Box 35, Paul Landacre Collection, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA.

3rd Annual Clark Bastille Day Party!

July 1, 2010