Archive for May, 2011

Huguette Clark has died

May 24, 2011

Our founder’s half sister, Huguette Clark, died this morning in a New York City hospital.  She was 104.

More information is available in this MSNBC article.

Item of the Week: Reading Faces, Hands and Feet

May 20, 2011

Last summer, the Clark had an exhibition devoted to the arts of the occult, which featured several of our collection’s rare books devoted to the subject of palmistry and physiognomy.  Not displayed with these items was a manuscript recently rediscovered by our manuscripts librarian, which includes some fantastic pen and ink illustrations. The drawing below, which shows how to read a person’s forehead, is on a double sized page that folds out of the book.

Tractatus phisionomia was purchased by the library in 1959 and was likely written around 1650.  It’s unclear whether the Latin text is an original unpublished text, or if it is a transcription of a previously written work (though we believe it is likely copied from another source as opposed to an original work).  Physiognomy, palmistry and phrenology are all treated by the text and the accompanying illustrations are meant to help you understand what you, the amateur physiognomist, ought to be looking for.

The irregularity of some of the fingers above leads us to believe that the writer might have been simply tracing his (or her) own hand on a sheet of paper.  Like the lady in the first illustration, whose eyes are looking in two different directions, this only adds to the overall interest and charm of this volume, in our humble opinion.  We have not tried out the methods outlined in Tractatus phisionomia for ourselves, but you are more than welcome to consult the text and test it out in our reading room!

Tractatus phisionomia, MS.1959.008, William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA.

Item of the Week: Towser’s Kennel

May 13, 2011

We’ve posted examples of Paul Landacre’s fine art prints and illustrations on the Clog before, but today we choose to highlight a piece he created for a more commercial illustration assignment, one of many such works in our Landacre archive here at the Clark.  Indeed, many of our fine press archives contain a large measure of commercial printing and design work that often gets short shrift.

We recently came across the image above, taken from an architectural periodical, and were charmed by the notion of architecturally designed dog houses AND by the pictured pup’s passing resemblance to our own (long-departed) Clark pooch, Snooks.

Snooks, with Caroline Smith, Robert Cowan and Marie Cowan in the Clark's gardens

Irish Aestheticism conference!

May 12, 2011

Cultures of Aestheticism—Before and After Oscar Wilde, Part 3:

Irish Aestheticism 

Directed by Clark Professor Joseph Bristow (UCLA)

Friday June 10, 10:00 a.m.
Saturday June 11, 10:00 a.m.

Cultures of Aestheticism will feature a series of conferences that cover a fairly broad historical span, starting with the emergence of British assimilations of ideas about art for art’s sake (from French sources such as Théophile Gautier) in the 1850s and 1860s to the legacies of the Aesthetic Movement to interwar and post-war cultures around the world. The critical questions raised by aestheticism reverberate through many of the most decisive interventions into critiques of aesthetics (notably Theodor Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory), and their reappearance is evident in recent postmodern debates about “the new aestheticism.” The conference series will address the growth of l’art pour l’art in ways that expand our understanding of this movement beyond its more familiar cultural, disciplinary, and geo-political contexts.

Lady Wilde

Session 3Irish Aestheticism
This conference brings together scholars whose research explores the figure of the Irish aesthete before and after Oscar Wilde. Papers will examine such writers as Jane Francesca Wilde, George Moore, W.B. Yeats, Lady Gregory, J.M. Synge, Elizabeth Bowen, and Austin Clark, as well as performers including Hilton Edwards and Micheál MacLiammóir. “Irish Aestheticism” takes place immediately before the XXII North American James Joyce Conference, Joyce in Science and Art, which will be held at the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, June 12–16, 2011.

George Moore

Registration forms available at the website of the Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies.

Registration Deadline: June 3

Registration Fees: $20 per person; UC faculty & staff, students with ID: no charge*
*Students should enclose a photocopy of their current ID with the registration form. Fees are not refundable and apply to full or partial attendance.

Complimentary lunch and other refreshments are provided to all registrants.

Please see the conference program for more information on speakers and topics.

W.B. Yeats

Item of the Week: Numismatics, Birds and Bulls

May 4, 2011

Last week, the Clark Library welcomed our intrepid volunteer Marvin Lessen and his friend George Kolbe, a numismatist and Bible enthusiast, for a morning tour. They were here to view the current exhibition, Bible. English. Authorized: Celebrating the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible. As a very generous thank-you gift, Mr. Kolbe donated a four-volume illustrated edition of The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Numismatic Library auction catalog, compiled by Mr. Kolbe himself.

This is a particularly welcome addition to the Clark because the front cover of each volume was designed and typeset by Henry Morris, the proprietor of the Bird & Bull Press, of which the Clark Library owns many works. Mr. Morris also wrote an introductory essay explaining the process of how he helped to create the front covers. There is only one other copy of this catalog recorded, and that is at Notre Dame.

The Clark Library has a very modest collection of early numismatic literature. Books can be found in the UCLA online catalog by searching the keyword “numismatics” or “numismatists.” Bird & Bull Press titles can also be found in the catalog by searching under the press name or under “Morris, Henry, 1925-” (or under one of his pseudonyms: “Bachaus, Theodore, 1925-“ or “Bogus, Roger, 1925-“ or “Nova Villa, Henricus de, 1925-“).

The King James Bible exhibition is on view until June 30, 2011.

Thank you Mr. Kolbe!