Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities

New Exhibition: By Hand

byhand

By Hand: A Celebration of the Manuscript Collections of Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

January 18 – April 29, 2013

By Hand celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript with an exploration of its manuscript collections. The exhibition begins where the Yale College Library collection of early manuscripts began, with a mirror of humanity, a copy of the Speculum humanae salvationis given by Elihu Yale. It ends with the manuscripts and drafts of “Miracle of the Black Leg,” a poem written by U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey while she was a research fellow at the Beinecke Library in 2009.

Manuscript, from the Latin term “by hand,” derives from the ablative case: locational, instrumental, situated always in relation to something or someone else. Like the term, this exhibition explores the reflections of humanity in the Beinecke’s manuscript collections, presenting them as markers of the social contracts of love, creativity, need, power, that bind us into historical record even as they bind us to one another.

The exhibition ranges across the Beinecke Library manuscript collections, in an extraordinary display of the Library’s manuscript holdings, from papyri of the 2nd century A.D. through working drafts by contemporary poets, from manuscripts in the original Yale Library to recent additions to the collections. On view are manuscripts, notes, and proof copies of works by Langston Hughes, Rachel Carson, Edith Wharton, Zora Neale Hurston, Terry Tempest Williams, James Joyce, F. T. Marinetti, Goethe, and others; the Voynich Manuscript, the Vinland Map, the Lewis and Clark expedition map and journals, the Martellus map; the last paragraphs of Thoreau’s manuscript of Walden; letters, postcards, poetry, and notes by Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Georgia O’Keeffe, Franz Kafka, Mark Twain, Erica Jong, and others; early manuscripts from a tenth-century Byzantine prayer roll, a fragment of lyric verse on papyri, the Rothschild Canticles, a fourteenth-century ivory writing tablet, and the first illuminated medieval manuscript known in a North American collection.

Fontana’s White Manifesto

Posted in Beinecke Library, General Modern Collection by beineckepoetry on January 22, 2013

An retrospective/homage to the work of Lucio Fontana, reproducing in full his original Manifiesto Blanco from 1946 in which he set forth the parameters for his art movement, “spatialism”. (Fontana, Lucio, Noci G. Le, and Ugo Mulas. Manifiesto Blanco. Milano: Galleria Apollinaire, 1966.)

Op Art Kalendar

Posted in Beinecke Library, General Modern Collection by beineckepoetry on January 14, 2013

A calendar for the year 1967 created by the artists Klaus Burkhardt and Luitpold Domberger.
Featuring 6 optical art silkscreen prints, this work was issued in 26 copies only.

New Student Research

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on January 2, 2013

Liana Epstein, Yale College Class of 2014
“The Great American Writers’ Cookbook”

written for Professor Stuart’s Fall 2012 English 121 class:
Writing About Food

cookbook

An excerpt: “The late 70s were politically tumultuous as scientific experimentation increased and the American public became wary of new technology following disasters such as the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident. By 1981, the nuclear arms race had intensified to a peak tension where Mutually Assured Destruction by the US and Soviet Union was generally accepted. These years also witnessed John Lennon’s assassination, the eruption of Mount St. Helens, and the tragedy of the space shuttle Columbia. The Great American Writers certainly had enough serious material to work with. This cookbook provided humor to diffuse some of the apprehension many Americans were likely feeling in response to these historical events.”

Read the essay: Liana Epstein, The Great American Writers’ Cookbook

About the book: The Great American Writers’ Cookbook, edited by Dean Faulkner Wells and with an introduction by Craig Claiborne, Oxford: Yoknapatawpha Press, c1981.

My Little Pony

Posted in Beinecke Library, Shirley Collection by beineckepoetry on December 19, 2012

[Baker, J.]. My Pony : A Poem. Philadelphia: Published and sold by Wm. Charles, 1818.

To sleep, perchance to dream . . . of bagpipes and tamarinds.

Posted in Beinecke Library, Modern General Collection by beineckepoetry on December 14, 2012

A dream dictionary too good not to post in its entirety.

The Universal Dreamer, Or, Dreams Realized: Being the Truest Guide to the Interpretation of Dreams Ever Published. London: R. Walwyn, ca. 1837 – 1845.

A Tale of Redemption

Posted in Beinecke Library, Shirley Collection by beineckepoetry on December 10, 2012

The Cross Boy Reformed (ALbany: G. J. Loomis & Co., 1822) in its entirety.

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New Research From Beinecke Collections

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on December 1, 2012

On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson
by William Souder
http://www.randomhouse.com/images/dyn/cover/?source=9780307462206&height=450&.jpghttp://

From the Publisher: Published on the fiftieth anniversary of her seminal book, Silent Spring, here is an indelible new portrait of Rachel Carson, founder of the environmental movement

She loved the ocean and wrote three books about its mysteries, including the international bestseller The Sea Around Us. But it was with her fourth book, Silent Spring, that this unassuming biologist transformed our relationship with the natural world.

Rachel Carson began work on Silent Spring in the late 1950s, when a dizzying array of synthetic pesticides had come into use. Leading this chemical onslaught was the insecticide DDT, whose inventor had won a Nobel Prize for its discovery. Effective against crop pests as well as insects that transmitted human diseases such as typhus and malaria, DDT had at first appeared safe. But as its use expanded, alarming reports surfaced of collateral damage to fish, birds, and other wildlife. Silent Spring was a chilling indictment of DDT and its effects, which were lasting, widespread, and lethal.

Published in 1962, Silent Spring shocked the public and forced the government to take action-despite a withering attack on Carson from the chemicals industry. The book awakened the world to the heedless contamination of the environment and eventually led to the establishment of the EPA and to the banning of DDT and a host of related pesticides. By drawing frightening parallels between dangerous chemicals and the then-pervasive fallout from nuclear testing, Carson opened a fault line between the gentle ideal of conservation and the more urgent new concept of environmentalism.

Elegantly written and meticulously researched, On a Farther Shore reveals a shy yet passionate woman more at home in the natural world than in the literary one that embraced her. William Souder also writes sensitively of Carson’s romantic friendship with Dorothy Freeman, and of her death from cancer in 1964. This extraordinary new biography captures the essence of one of the great reformers of the twentieth century.

A New York Times Notable Book of 2012.

Beinecke Collections: Rachel Carson Papers; David Martyn Smith Papers

Read more about On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson

Review by Amy Stewart in the Washington Post: William Souder’s ‘On a Farther Shore: The Life and Legacy of Rachel Carson’

Review by Elizabeth Royte in the New York Times: The Poisoned Earth ‘On a Farther Shore,’ by William Souder

New Research from Beinecke Collections

Posted in Beinecke Library, General Modern Collection, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on December 1, 2012

SAUL STEINBERG: A Biography

By Deirdre Bair

SAUL STEINBERG: A Biography By Deirdre Bair, Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, ISBN-13: 9780385524483

From the publisher: From National Book Award winner Deirdre Bair, the definitive biography of Saul Steinberg, one of The New Yorker’s most iconic artists.

The issue date was March 29, 1976. The New Yorker cost 75 cents. And on the cover unfolded Saul Steinberg’s vision of the world: New York City, the Hudson River, and then…well, it’s really just a bunch of stuff you needn’t concern yourself with. Steinberg’s brilliant depiction of the world according to self-satisfied New Yorkers placed him squarely in the pantheon of the magazine’s—and the era’s—most celebrated artists.

But if you look beyond the searing wit and stunning artistry, you’ll find one of the most fascinating lives of the twentieth century. Born in Romania, Steinberg was educated in Milan and was already famous for his satirical drawings when World War II forced him to immigrate to the United States. On a single day, Steinberg became a US citizen, a commissioned officer in the US Navy, and a member of the OSS, assigned to spy in China, North Africa, and Italy. After the war ended, he returned to America and to his art. He quickly gained entree into influential circles that included Saul Bellow, Vladimir Nabokov, Willem de Kooning, and Le Corbusier. His wife was the artist Hedda Sterne, from whom he separated in 1960 but never divorced and with whom he remained in daily contact for the rest of his life. This conveniently freed him up to amass a coterie of young mistresses and lovers. But his truly great love was the United States, where he traveled extensively by bus, train, and car, drawing, observing, and writing.

His body of work is staggering and influential in ways we may not yet even be able to fully grasp, quite possibly because there has not been a full-scale biography of him until now. Deirdre Bair had access to 177 boxes of documents and more than 400 drawings. In addition, she conducted several hundred personal interviews. Steinberg’s curious talent for creating myths about himself did not make her job an easy one, but the result is a stunning achievement to admire and enjoy.

Beinecke Collections:  Saul Steinberg Papers; John Hollander Papers; Katharine Kuh Papers

Read more about SAUL STEINBERG: A Biography By Deirdre Bair

Drawing the Line, and Crossing It: ‘Saul Steinberg: A Biography,’ by Deirdre Bair
By Deborah Solomon, New York Times

Bair writes bio of artist Saul Steinberg
By Ann Levin, Associated Press

Fabled Old Friends

Posted in Beinecke Library, Shirley Collection by beineckepoetry on November 26, 2012

Old Friends in a New Dress; or, Familiar Fables in Verse (New Haven, CT and Charleston, S.C. : Sidney’s Press, 1823)

A versified retelling of moral stories, two of which are shown here in full.

This copy bound with a lovely remnant of wallpaper.

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“It lies in the nature of man to leave records of his life and his thoughts.”

Posted in Beinecke Library, General Modern Collection by beineckepoetry on November 15, 2012

Pages from “English for All, Fortnightly for Germans”, a publication issued to German prisoners of war in England, intended to teach language skills, 1946 – 1948.

New From Beinecke Collections

Posted in Beinecke Library, General Modern Collection, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on November 10, 2012

All We Know: Three Lives by Lisa Cohen, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Esther Murphy was a brilliant New York intellectual who dazzled friends and strangers with an unstoppable flow of conversation. But she never finished the books she was contracted to write—a painful failure and yet a kind of achievement.

The quintessential fan, Mercedes de Acosta had intimate friendships with the legendary actresses and dancers of the twentieth century. Her ephemeral legacy lies in the thousands of objects she collected to preserve the memory of those performers and to honor the feelings they inspired.

An icon of haute couture and a fashion editor of British Vogue, Madge Garland held bracing views on dress that drew on her feminism, her ideas about modernity, and her love of women. Existing both vividly and invisibly at the center of cultural life, she—like Murphy and de Acosta—is now almost completely forgotten.

In All We Know, Lisa Cohen describes these women’s glamorous choices, complicated failures, and controversial personal lives with lyricism and empathy. At once a series of intimate portraits and a startling investigation into style, celebrity, sexuality, and the genre of biography itself, All We Know explores a hidden history of modernism and pays tribute to three compelling lives.

Beinecke Collections: Gerald and Sara Murphy Papers; Edmund Wilson Papers; Carl Van Vechten Photographs; Muriel Draper Papers; Max Ewing Papers; Rebecca West Papers

More about All We Know: Three Lives by Lisa Cohen

“Notes on Camp”: Review  by M. G. Lord in the New York Times

“You Better Not Tell Me You Forgot”: Review  by Terry Castle in the London Review of Books

Lisa Cohen Recognizes Trio of Women in ‘All We Know': Review by Lorna Koski in Women’s Wear Daily

New from Beinecke’s Collections

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on November 10, 2012

From the Mabel Dodge Luhan Papers in the Yale Collection of American Literature (YCAL MSS 196  & YCAL MSS 197)

The Suppressed Memoirs of Mabel Dodge Luhan: Sex, Syphilis, and Psychoanalysis in the Making of Modern American Culture Edited by Lois Palken Rudnick. Univ. of New Mexico, ISBN 978-0-8263-5119-7

Reviewed in Publisher’s Weekly, July 27, 2012:  “In this illuminating volume, comprising previously unpublished portions of Mabel Dodge Luhan’s memoirs, Rudnick analyzes the influential art patron’s confessions and places them in an enlivening historical context. Writing in the early part of the 20th century, the openly bisexual Luhan describes a life of pleasure characterized by numerous sexual partners (married men among them), yet confounded by consequent venereal diseases and the feeling of being “the prisoner of circumstances over which [she] had no control.” Rudnick explains how the rampant spread of syphilis through the population affected not only Luhan, but many of her contemporaries, who struggled to reconcile Victorian notions of VDs (‘the sins of the fathers’) with a modernist worldview less bound to religious dogma, but still subject to the actualities of disease that accompanied the nascent sexual liberation, courtesy in part of Freud, of the early 1900s. In an attempt to overcome the burden of syphilis and the mixed-blessing of sexual freedom, Luhan became heavily involved in psychoanalytic treatment with some of America’s most renowned practitioners, which experience she dutifully recounts in detail. Populated by such artistic, cultural, and literary luminaries as Picasso, O’Keeffe, and Gertrude Stein, Luhan’s diaries are thoroughly engaging in their own right. But combined with Rudnick’s enlightening analysis, they become an indispensable looking glass into life during a tumultuous transitional period.”

Posted in Beinecke Library by beineckepoetry on November 6, 2012

Navigating NYC in Children’s Books: A Whistle-Stop Tour”

A lecture by Pádraic Whyte, School of English, Trinity College Dublin

Thursday, November 8, 2012
5:15 PM – 6:15 PM

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
121 Wall St., New Haven, CT 06511

(Location is wheelchair accessible)

Free and Open to the Public

From Eloise by Kay Thompson. Illustration by Hilary Knight

New Research from Beinecke Collections

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on November 1, 2012

Thornton Wilder
A Life
By Penelope Niven

published by HarperCollins

Read Charles Isherwood’s review in the New York Times: A Life Captured With Luster Left Intact

About the book, from HarperCollins:

Art is confession; art is the secret told. . . . But art is not only the desire to tell one’s secret; it is the desire to tell it and hide it at the same time. And the secret is nothing more than the whole drama of the inner life.
—Thornton Wilder

Thornton Wilder: A Life, the first biography of the playwright and novelist since 1983, is also the first to be based on thousands of pages of letters, journals, manuscripts, and other documentary evidence of Wilder’s life, work, and times. For more than a decade, biographer Penelope Niven has worked with unprecedented access to Wilder’s papers, including his family’s private journals and records, searching for the secrets that illuminate Wilder’s public life and work, as well as the hidden inner self sometimes concealed and sometimes revealed in his art and in his papers.

Thornton Wilder was a multifaceted man: a teacher, novelist, playwright, lecturer, actor, musician, soldier, man of letters, outspoken citizen, and international public figure. He was also an enigmatic, intensely private man. He belonged to a close-knit, complicated family—two brilliant parents, four gifted siblings, and the specter of his twin brother lost at birth. His biography is also a compelling family saga, starring Thornton Wilder, with strong supporting roles played by his father, mother, brother, and sisters.

He was a gypsy, wandering the world, writing, he said, for and about everybody—a fact international audiences still embrace. The Bridge of San Luis Rey, The Eighth Day, and his other novels are still read in the United States and abroad. His plays, especially the iconic Our Town and the revolutionary Skin of Our Teeth, are still performed on stages around the globe.

Yet despite the international fame and visibility of Wilder the writer, far too little has been known or understood about Wilder the man—until now. Comprehensively researched and richly detailed, Thornton Wilder: A Life brings the private man center stage and sheds new light on his published and unpublished work.

More about Thornton Wilder: A Life: http://www.thorntonwilder.com/

Gertrude Gertrude Stein Stein

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on October 25, 2012

“Gertrude Gertrude Stein Stein: What are the Questions?”
by Joan Retallack, poet, essayist, critic, and professor at Bard College

Friday, October 26 at 5:00 pm

a lecture in honor of the exhibition

“Descriptions of Literature”:
Texts and Contexts in the Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers
on view October 8–December 14, 2012

and

the Gertrude Stein Society Meeting
at Beinecke Library, Friday October 26, 2012
Registration and Information

Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein with Pepe and Basket, [1932]

Gertrude Stein at Beinecke

Posted in Beinecke Library, General Modern Collection, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on October 19, 2012

“Descriptions of Literature”:
Texts and Contexts in the Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers
Exhibition on view October 8–December 14, 2012

Gertrude Gertrude Stein Stein: What are the Questions?
by Joan Retallack, poet, essayist, critic, and professor at Bard College
Exhibition opening lecture, Friday, October 26 at 5:00 pm

Gertrude Stein Society Meeting
Friday October 26, 2012
Registration and Information

“Descriptions of Literature”: Texts and Contexts in the Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers

Celebrating the recent publication of several new editions of Gertrude Stein’s work, “Descriptions of Literature” explores Stein’s creative process and writing life as documented in materials drawn from the extraordinarily rich Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas Papers housed in the Yale Collection of American Literature. The exhibition considers Stein’s work in various genres, including poetry, fiction, plays, essays, and writing for children, tracing the evolution of key works; additionally, the exhibition reveals something of the environment in which these works were created, from the domestic life Stein shared with Alice B. Toklas, her muse, publisher, companion, and caretaker to her creative interactions with fellow artists and writers Thornton Wilder, Carl Van Vechten, and others. The exhibition offers a portrait of Stein’s life and creative process represented in manuscript drafts, notebooks, typescripts, correspondence, photographs, books and printed materials, and personal effects.

This exhibition was organized with the assistance of Ariel Doctoroff, Y’2013, and Charlotte Parker, Y’2013.

“Descriptions of Literature” carefully considers three of Stein’s works, all recently reissued by the Yale University Press: To Do: A Book of Alphabets and Birthdays (introduced by Timothy Young and illustrated by Giselle PotterIda: A Novel (edited by Logan Esdale); and Stanzas in Meditation, The Corrected Edition (edited by Susannah Hollister and Emily Setina).

Poet and critic Joan Retallack will give the exhibition opening lecture, “Gertrude Gertrude Stein Stein: What are the Questions?”, at the Library on Friday, October 26 at 5:00 pm.

The Gertrude Stein Society will hold a one-day symposium at the Beinecke Library on Friday October 26th, 2012.  The event will include two plenary sessions, one on Stanzas in Meditation and the other on the topic of Stein and war, together with a round-table discussion on teaching Stein in the classroom.  Anyone wishing to attend the Symposium must reserve a spot in advance.  You can make your reservation by emailing Stein Society President Amy Moorman Robbins at Amy.Robbins@hunter.cuny.edu. Please put Symposium Reservation in the subject line and include in the email your name, affiliation if any, and contact information.  Additional information about the Stein Society Symposium can be found online: Gertrude Stein Symposium; for more information about the Stein Society, visit their website:   http://www.gertrudesteinsociety.org/index.html.

Image: Gertrude Stein, photographed by Man Ray in 1920.

Richard Bruce Nugent Papers

The James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection at the Beinecke Library is pleased to announce that the Richard Bruce Nugent Papers are now available for research. A detailed list of materials in the archive can be found here: Richard Bruce Nugent Papers (JWJ MSS 92).

Writer and artist Richard Bruce Nugent (1906-1987) was a member of the Harlem Renaissance arts community that included such luminaries as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Alain Locke, and Wallace Thurman. Nugent’s work appeared in little magazines, including Fire!!, Opportunity and Palms; he also appeared on Broadway in Porgy (1927) and Run, Little Chillun (1933). Nugent’s short story “Smoke, Lilies, and Jade,” which appeared in Fire!! in 1926, ranks him among the first African American writers to openly consider homosexuality in his work.

The Richard Bruce Nugent Papers consist of correspondence, writings, personal and financial papers, subject files, photographs, printed materials, and audiovisual materials. Bruce Nugent’s correspondence consists of family, professional, and personal correspondence, including letters from homosexual love interests. Writings include poetry, short non-fiction pieces, and various fiction pieces, including the novel Gentleman Jigger. Writings by others include drafts and papers relating to Gay Rebel of the Harlem Renaissance by Thomas H. Wirth. Photographs consist of portraits and snapshots of Nugent, his love interests, friends, and family. The bulk of the audiovisual materials consist of interviews with Nugent. Printed materials include books inscribed to Nugent as well as various clippings and ephemera.

Images: Opportunity: Journal of Negro Life, featuring cover drawing by Richard Bruce Nugent (Vol. 4, No. 39, 1926); Richard Bruce Nugent photographed by Carl Van Vechten, February 16, 1936 (Photographs by Carl Van Vechten are used with permission of the Van Vechten Trust; permission of the Trust is required to publish Van Vechten photographs in any format).

Happy Birthday, Aeon!

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on October 3, 2012

Room 26 congratulates Moira Fitzgerald and the Beinecke’s Access Services staff on the resounding success of Aeon, the Beinecke Library’s online registration and requesting service, now 1 year old! Since its launch last year, Aeon has processed 33,414 requests to view collection materials from patrons and staff and logged  8695 reading room visits.

For AEON info on the Beinecke home page: http://www.library.yale.edu/beinecke/brblinfo/brblvisi.html

For additional information on AEON: http://www.atlas-sys.com/products/aeon/

For questions about Aeon at Beinecke Library:  Moira.fitzgerald@yale.edu

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Thornton Wilder’s 52nd Birthday

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William Carlos Williams’s 68th Birthday Party

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Photograph of Bryher and Hilda Doolittle on H. D.’s 74th Birthday

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The Ninetieth Birthday Book of Alice B. Toklas

Unsophisticated Mary

Posted in Beinecke Library, Yale Collection of American Literature by beineckepoetry on September 28, 2012

Beatrice Wood, “A Nickellette, or Unsophisticated Mary” manuscript and painting, (YCAL MSS 219)

Otherwise known as the “Mama of Dada,” Beatrice Wood was an American artist influential in the first half of the 20th century. Interestingly, Wood was the inspiration for the character of Rose in James Cameron’s Titanic. Though she was primarily a potter and teacher, Wood also dabbled in the literary arts. Beinecke library has recently acquired one of her manuscripts, A Nickellette, or Unsophisticated Mary, adding to its already-extensive Beatrice Wood Papers (YCAL MSS 294).

The manuscript relates a story of Mary, a romantic woman who encounters a series of surreal adventures in contemporary New York City, which includes references to the Woolworth building and cobblestone streets, in a quest to find her lover. Written with pencil in a notebook, the heavily illustrated manuscript has increasingly decorative text that graphically represents action in the story, in addition to ink and pencil drawings and watercolors that depict situations and characters. In an inscription by Wood in 1978 on the front flyleaf, “I wrote this when I was twenty – I am now ashamed at its adolescent crudity.” The watercolor depicts the visage of the main character of the manuscript and had previously served as the cover for the notebook, August 1918.

–Ariel Doctoroff, Yale 2013

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