Archive for August, 2011

Item of the Week: Handel at the Clark

August 18, 2011

William Andrews Clark, Jr. not only was a bibliophile, he founded the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and subsidized the first fifteen years of its existence.  Reflecting Clark’s tastes, the Library owns an important collection of printed music published in Britain dating from about 1680 to 1810.  The jewel of this collection is the compositions of George Frederick Handel in over one hundred first and very early editions.  Not even the Henry Huntington Library possesses scores in such numbers or extraordinary quality!  Other important composers are also part of the Clark’s collections, including Scarlatti, Haydn, Gasparini, Arne, and significantly, Pepusch, with the Library owning more than twenty editions of his Beggar’s Opera.

To learn more about our Handel collections, please visit a new web exhibition, created by Evan Baker, recent UCLA MLIS graduate and stalwart volunteer!  Thank you, Evan!

Save the Date!

August 16, 2011

Tuesday, Oct. 11 – All Things New: An Open House at the Clark Library

Stop in to meet our new Director, Barbara Fuchs, and our new Head Librarian, Gerald Cloud, as well as view the newest exhibition, All Things New: Imperialism and Impact, curated by Rebecca Fenning Marschall and Nina Schneider.

All Things New: Imperialism and Impact

On view: October 11-December 20, 2011

The history of the world is one of greed, jealousy, warfare, and slavery. It is also one of curiosity, exploration, scholarship, ingenuity, and determination. Drawing on the Clark Library’s wealth of materials dating from the 16th century to the present, All Things New: Imperialism and Impact will take up and treat universal themes related to colonialism and imperialism in diverse places around the globe, from Colonial America to India, Africa, Ireland and the Caribbean.  The exhibition will consider the multiplicity of ways that empire building has influenced travel and description of faraway lands, printing and publishing (including the challenges to typography posed by new alphabets and languages), capitalism and greed, fashion and decorative arts, foodways and customs, religion, nationalism and rebellion.

Item of the week: Frank Harris is a despicable character

August 11, 2011

Since our post of one of Mr Clark’s aboard-ship recordings was so popular, we thought we would share another with you this week.  This one was recorded on March 3, 1930 on the Ile de France, and was directed to librarian and assistant Cora Sanders who was overseeing the library at home in Los Angeles.

Mr Clark begins by mentioning that he did not take Gustave Macon, the director of the Musee Chantilly, up on his offer of a visit because Seymour de Ricci (bibliographer and art historian) was not in town.  After a trip to Corsica, it sounds as though Clark and his traveling companion Raymond Lemire stopped in Nice, where they met Frank Harris.  Harris, whose entry in the Dictionary of National Biography summarizes his career with the words “journalist and rogue,” was a loyal friend of Oscar Wilde, and he corresponded with Mr Clark many times about Wilde and his circle.  Mr Clark remarks that Harris was “a despicable character, but his wife seems very charming.”  Clark would later correspond with Nellie Harris after Frank’s death.

In his closing greetings to Miss Sanders, Mr Clark mentions “the old man” and “Christopher,” but we are unsure who he is referring to.  Mr Clark then records a postscript that we find a little puzzling:

We have seen Marie-Louise and there are many of them aboard, as well as a great many sons of — you know — but they are not sons of Moses.

What do you, dear readers, think?  We hope that our Mr Clark was not being derogatory towards gay men, French soldiers or Jews here, but we can’t be sure!  Please help us figure out this 1930s slang!

Oh, and enjoy the moment where Mr Clark chuckles!