Archive for April, 2014

Marie Antoinette and Jacques-Louis David at the Clark

April 16, 2014

By Karie Jenkins, Clark Reading Room Assistant

You never know what great treasures you will come across at the Clark. When discussing the art collection with a colleague this morning, he informed me that we have two watercolor sketches of Marie Antoinette by Jacques-Louis David.  The Death of Marat, perhaps David’s most famous painting, has been called the Pietà of the Revolution.

Death of Marat

The Death of Marat

Intrigued and delighted by this snippet of information, I immediately had to see the drawings for myself. Within moments, I was whisked away to the Clark’s “French Green Room” where the sketches are hung adjacent to one another. Once we turned the corner and walked into the room we were greeted by the queen’s image, both faint and partial.

Both sketches seemingly accentuate Marie Antoinette’s exquisite sense of fashion and her imperial disposition. The first image I came across was of her standing and resting her hand gently on the back of a chair. The rendering of her attire and physique looks as though the sketch was taken straight out of a fashion illustrator’s notebook. Each garment is carefully labeled and assigned colors, thus demonstrating David’s creative process in composing this image. The second sketch is a portrait of Marie Antoinette. Detached and disinterested, she gazes away from the viewer with her head turned to the side. And naturally, her hair and head piece are piled high thus granting her the stature and royalty definitive to her essence. Of the two sketches, only the image of her standing is dated 1793, which was the ominous year she met her demise. Right above the date David wrote, “Marie Antoinette dans La Conciergerie.”

131125_07: [Portrait of Marie Antoinette] [art original]. 1793.

If you recall, Conciergerie was the infamous prison which Marie- Antoinette was brought before her trial. She was given less than a day to prepare and received no sympathy from the courts or the public. Once the verdict was reached, she was found guilty of treason and was immediately swept away to the guillotine. David had two months to sketch the queen while she was still alive and living in her cell. Even after she had long fallen from grace, David proceeded to imbue her image with the likeness of an angel or a saint. After all, she was the mother of France and what was a son to do?131125_12: [Portrait of Marie Antoinette] [art original]. 179-?

David’s sketches are fascinating and thanks to Professor Todd L. Larkin at Montana State University they have been the topic of discussion here at The Clark. Larkin contacted us requesting a reproduction of the sketches to which he encountered as a graduate student at UC Santa Barbara. On November 24th his request was fulfilled when a photographer came to The Clark to capture a couple of shots of the jail-bird queen. Unlike most pieces in our collection, the David sketches cannot simply be removed from their frames. A couple of years back, the library decided to bolt the frames to the walls in case of an earthquake to avoid any harm or damage to the sketches.

David’s Marie Antoinette sketches will permanently remain on display and we welcome our guests and scholars to stop by and admire them.

Napoleon (not at the Clark!)

Napoleon (not at the Clark!)

 

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To give or not to give

April 11, 2014

By Cataloging Assistant Alejandro Sanchez Nunez

This week I had the opportunity to help catalog some of the Shakespeare books that Paul Chrzanowski recently donated to the Clark Library. Working with these books reminded me that whenever I am editing catalog entries, I inevitably stop and smile every time I see a field containing the phrase “gift of”.

The Clark is very fortunate to have had many generous donors over the years, and it is these gifts that have helped develop the wonderful collection we have today. In fact, its history starts with one such generous gift, Mr. Clark donating his books, library building, and home to the University of California in 1926.

I imagine that donating a personal library is not an easy decision given the sentimental and monetary value those books hold. But I think the feeling of reward that comes from knowing the books will be used and enjoyed by others far outweighs any feeling of doubt as to whether to give or not to give.

To Mr. Chrzanowski, Mr. Clark, and all donors to the Clark and UCLA Libraries… thank you!

Congratulations to Samantha Lusher, Winner of the UCLA Library Prize for Undergraduate Research

April 2, 2014

The Clark congratulates Samantha Lusher on winning the UCLA Library Prize for Undergraduate Research, incorporating materials from the Clark Library collections. Ms. Lusher and her fellow students just completed this year’s Ahmanson Undergraduate Seminar taught by Alice Boone. The UCLA English Department capstone seminar, Legacies of The Castle of Otranto, 1764-2014, explored the gothic past, present, and future of the novel, a theme that Ms. Lusher’s paper, “cyber!Gothic The Gothic Future from Frankenstein to Text-based Online Gaming,” so intriguingly evokes.

The UCLA Library Prize for Undergraduate Research awards ceremony will be held at UCLA’s Powell Library on Wednesday, 30 April 2014, at 4:00 p.m. If you’d like to attend, please secure your reservations by Friday, 18 April 2014, with an email to rsvp@library.ucla.edu or a phone call to 310.206.8526.

Job Instructions for our Defense Contractors

April 2, 2014

By Nina M. Schneider, Head Cataloger

Recently, the news has been filled with reports of the possibility of a new Cold War, while at the same time updating us about the ongoing search for Malaysian Airlines’ missing jet. It might be a coincidence then, that while cataloging Ward Ritchie’s Library, our interns ran across job instruction booklets from the early days of the Douglas Aircraft Company.

Three-quarters of the way through her 30-month internship, Patricia Garcia discovered an incomplete set of printed instructions published in 1943 by the Education Department of The Douglas Aircraft Company. Job Instruction No. 1: Safetying with Cotter Pins explains the right way to “safety a bolt” and “how to safety a clevis pin” with hand-drawn illustrations, printed in red and black.

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Job Instruction No. 2: Riveting, emphasizes the importance of the matching the tool to the rivet and the deadly consequence of laziness, inattentiveness, or hiding a broken part.

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The Clark has two copies of the second pamphlet, one produced for Douglas Aircraft, the other for the Education Department of the Consolidated-Vultee Aircraft Corp, Vultee Field Division. Both covers feature a photograph of a female employee (the original Rosie?) using a rivet gun. Interestingly, the copy produced for Douglas Aircraft has an altered cover. The woman’s hair is covered by a hairnet, but a hairnet that is printed letterpress.

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The Clark also has two copies of Job Instruction No. 3: Drilling. This time, the model is wearing an actual hairnet for the cover photo as she wields what looks like a 40-pound drill while wearing a cashmere cardigan over a lace-edged blouse. In fact, many of the booklets that we have from the defense contractor feature instructions for women.

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Job Instruction No. 9: Hints to Women Aircraft Workers stresses the importance of workplace safety and life-style practices. Looking at this book seventy years later makes us cringe. Of course, some of the advice is common sense; new working habits and different types of physical labor will likely result in sore muscles and fatigue. However, the manual warns that fatigue should be avoided because it leads to mistakes, and mistakes can be deadly. Their advice: Eat something sweet for a boost of energy, stretch, or take a hot bath, and “don’t wear yourself out on exercise.” This booklet also shows some stretches that can be done for “menstrual adjustments.” In the mix of diagrams and cartoons about the proper way to lift heavy loads, work ergonomically, and properly handle tools, are hints on makeup, shoes, and jewelry in the workplace, the importance of daily baths and using deodorant, and the types and proper amounts of food consumed in a daily diet.

Contrast this booklet with Job Instruction No. 11: X Marks the Spot. Fully illustrated in black, red, and blue, employees are menaced on every page by the lurking presence of caricaturized monsters from Japan and Germany.

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Long, loose hair can be caught in moving drills bits, zoot suits have too many pockets, neckties invite disaster when operating lathes, and wedding rings can get caught in a revolving chuck.

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In fact, all sorts of disasters can happen when employees don’t follow regulations or improperly use heavy equipment. The enemy is just waiting for disaster to happen!

enemy04

enemy05

The font is a modern, bold, sans serif face for each booklet. Uniformly sized in an 8×5” format, with rounded fore-edge corners and a stapled spine, these booklets were likely designed and printed by Ward Ritchie.

As stated in the biographical sketch for the Ward Ritchie collection of papers: Ritchie became one of the principal figures in the fine-printing movement in Southern California. [A native of Los Angeles, he studied at Occidental College and Stanford and spent a semester at Frank Wiggins Trade School learning to print. After an apprenticeship in France, he returned to Los Angeles and] printed for the Primavera Press, [while taking] commissions as the Ward Ritchie Press, which he incorporated in 1932. Gregg Anderson entered into partnership, and the printing firm was subsequently called Anderson & Ritchie, with the name Ward Ritchie Press being retained for publishing ventures. At the outbreak of World War II, Anderson joined the Army (he was killed in 1944), and Ritchie left the press for Douglas Aircraft, where he produced technical manuals. … Between 1943 and 1950 Ritchie worked as production manager at the advertising agency Foote, Cone and Belding, though he remained associated with the press and did designs for them. In 1950 he returned to the press full-time, and the firm (renamed Anderson, Ritchie & Simon) kept growing until Ritchie retired in 1972. … In his retirement, in Laguna Beach, he bought a hand press and began printing small editions himself under the name Laguna Verde Imprenta. He died early in 1996 [leaving behind two wives, two children, three step-children and his close friend, Gloria Stuart].

Douglas Aircraft Company was founded in 1921 and was headquartered in Santa Monica. It became McDonnell Douglas when it merged with McDonnell Aircraft in 1967.

For more information on the Ward Ritchie Library, search “Press coll. Ritchie Lib.” as a call number in the UCLA Library catalog. See also the online finding aid for his papers.

For more information about Douglas Aircraft, see the Museum of Flight’s website.

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