Archive for June, 2011

Exhibit Opening: Oscar Wilde and the Visual Art(ist)s of the Fin-de-Siecle

June 29, 2011

Please join us on Friday, July 8th from 4pm to 7pm for an opening reception for our newest exhibit, Oscar Wilde and the Visual Art(ist)s of the Fin-de-Siecle. Gathering together original artwork and archival materials from the Clark’s collections, this exhibit will provide a survey of Wilde’s relationships with his contemporaries working in the fine arts, design and art criticism.

Oscar Wilde by Frank Miles

The exhibit will be on display through September, but we hope you can join us on July 8th for refreshments and a game of croquet!


June 24, 2011



 We are delighted to welcome Dr. Gerald W. Cloud as the new Head Librarian of the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library at the University of California, Los Angeles. Gerald is replacing Bruce Whiteman, who retired in the Fall of 2010.

For the past four years, Dr. Gerald Cloud has served Columbia University as Curator for Literature in the University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library, and as Lecturer in English and Comparative Literature, where he taught courses on bibliography and the History of the Book. Before taking that position, Dr. Cloud served as Reference and Instruction Librarian at the Mandeville Special Collection Library at UC San Diego (2005-2007). He earned his Ph.D. in English Literature at the University of Delaware (2005), where he also worked as Associate Curator for the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection. Since 2004, he has served as a Lab Instructor for an introductory course on the principles of bibliographical description at the University of Virginia’s Rare Book School. In 2010, he published John Rodker’s Ovid Press: a Bibliographical Study (Oak Knoll Press). A California native, Gerald is thrilled to return to California, and honored to take his position at the Clark, beginning August 15, 2011.

We thank Nina Schneider for serving as Interim Head Librarian during this transition.

We are also pleased to welcome Dr. Barbara Fuchs as the new Director of the UCLA Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies, which oversees the Library’s operations.

For more information about the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, please visit:

Huguette Clark’s Will

June 24, 2011

Huguette Clark’s last will and testament have been publicly released, and there was some surprise at the contents.  The majority of her fortune will be given to charity, around $30 million dollars will go to her longtime nurse, and $500,000 each will be given to her attorney and accountant.

We are happy to note that, in the will, there were also provisions for creating a foundation and museum for her large art collection.  The collection will be housed in Bellosguardo, her 21,000 square foot mansion in Santa Barbara, CA.  It is wonderful to think that this collection will eventually be on view for the public.

More information can be found in this MSNBC article.

Dorothea Conyers: a new finding aid

June 13, 2011

The Dorothea Conyers’ Papers are now available for research, with a finding aid available via the Online Archive of California! This collection was purchased in 2002 to contribute to our growing collection of Irish materials, which include the papers of George Savage-Armstrong & his family, as well as, of course, Oscar Wilde and the Irish members of his circle.

Conyers was an early 20th century writer, born around 1869 in Fedamore, County Limerick. She is known for her humorous and lively stories of the Irish sporting set, and was quite prolific when it came to writing and publishing them. This is an incredible collection not only because we get to see drafts of many of her published novels but also because the Clark owns many of her books.  Viewing the manuscripts and the books side by side is an enlightening experience because you get a sense of Conyers’ thought processes during the drafting stages and you also get to see her work come to fruition in the books that the Library maintains.  Some of her well-known works include Kicking Foxes, The Thorn Bit and Boy, Some Horses and a Girl: A Tale of an Irish Trip.

This collection was processed by UCLA MLIS intern, Jacque Giebel, who also wrote the above!

Item of the Week: Monarchy’s Unconquerable Champion

June 9, 2011

This week’s item of the week has been in the Clark’s collections since we purchased it in 1950, but we think you might like it.  It’s a manuscript second edition of George Wood’s Monarchy’s Unconquerable Champion, written by Wood in September 1685 (the full, very long title can be seen in the image of the title page below).

This version, as well as the printed version (also published in 1685) concern biblical support for monarchy — specifically that of James II.  This second edition varies from the published version in the fact that it does not contain just extracts of Bible verses, but also Wood’s commentary on these passages — written in verse.

It doesn’t appear that this version of Monarchy’s Unconquerable Champion was ever printed, but Wood has done an admirable job making this manuscript unique.  Many pages, such as a the title page, are written in an imitation of a printed title page, while others are written in a mix of calligraphic, engrossing hands.

George Wood.  Monarchy’s Unconquerable Champion.  MS.1950.031.  

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA.

Item of the Week: Louÿs and his Astarte

June 3, 2011

Over the last few years, the Clark has been actively acquiring the work of Pierre Louÿs, a French poet whose connections to Oscar Wilde and the decadent movement make him a perfect fit for the Clark.

Our most recent acquisition is a special copy on Japon Imperial paper of Louÿs’ first published book, Astarte, printed in 1892.  This edition was limited to 100 copies, and ours is one of 12 printed on Japon Imperial.  The book was originally bound in yellow paper wrappers, with a color lithograph illustration by Albert Besnard, though our copy is now encased in a sumptuous red morocco binding.

Albert Besnard's lithographed design for the original paper covers

Our copy also includes a letter from Louÿs to Pierre Bracquemond, concerning republishing Astarte under the title Poésie.

Another special addition to our copy of the book is a photograph of the author himself.  This photograph was also printed on Louÿs’ personal stationary (though the library does own several letters by Louÿs, unfortunately we don’t own any with this photo gracing the letterhead!)

This edition of Astarte is also beautified by an original watercolor by Georges Rochegrosse on the preliminary title page, illustrating the Louÿs poem “Les filles de Dieu.”  Rochegrosse was an Orientalist painter and a popular illustrator of works by symbolist poets.

This volume joins many others in our growing collection on Louÿs, which includes books, personal papers and manuscripts.  A finding aid available via the Online Archive of California describes some of these items, as does an earlier post on The Clog.