Collections and Resources, Events, Exhibits, Literary, Rare Book Collection, Special Collections

Aubrey Beardsley Is Topic of Lecture and Print Display Nov. 10

Aubrey Beardsley and His Publishers
Lecture by Mark Samuels Lasner
Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011
Wilson Special Collections Library
5 p.m. Reception | Main Lobby
5:30 p.m. Program | Pleasants Family Assembly Room
Free and open to the public
Information: Liza TerllFriends of the Library, (919) 548-1203

The work of the English illustrator and author Aubrey Beardsley will be the topic of a free public lecture Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Wilson Special Collections Library. Known for his provocative black ink drawings that were reproduced as illustrations in avant-garde publications of the 1890s, Beardsley was an important figure in the development of the Art Nouveau style.

The lecture by University of Delaware Library Senior Research Fellow and noted Beardsley collector Mark Samuels Lasner will focus on the interaction between Beardsley and his publishers John Lane, J. M. Dent, and Leonard Smithers.

The Rare Book Collection in Wilson Library holds numerous original Beardsley publications. In addition to books illustrated by Beardsley, items on display for the evening will include annotated proofs of Beardsley prints for Leonard Smithers’s periodical The Savoy and rejected proofs of Beardsley illustrations for the 1894 English edition of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé.

Samuels Lasner is the author or co-author of many books, including The Bookplates of Aubrey Beardsley (Rivendale Press, 2008), The Yellow Book: A Checklist and Index (Eighteen Nineties Society, 1998), and A Selective Checklist of the Published Work of Aubrey Beardsley (Thomas G. Boss Fine Books, 1995).

He has curated or organized exhibitions at the Grolier Club; the University of Virginia Library; and the Houghton Library and Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University.

His life’s work has, however, been the amassing of what Samuels Lasner calls “A Period Library,” one of this country’s foremost private collections of books, manuscripts, letters, and artworks by British cultural figures who flourished between 1850 and 1900.

The collection, which is housed at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Department, contains more than 9,000 items, with an emphasis on the Pre-Raphaelites and on the writers and illustrators of the 1890s.

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