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).
Pages from scrapbooks in Beinecke Library collections (some of these and other examples from Beinecke collections are featured in Scrapbooks: An American History by Jessica Helfand, Yale UP, 2008)
Glenway Wescott (YCAL MSS 134)
(featured page includes photos of Glenway Wescott and Yvor Winters)
Jane (Brakhage) Wodening (YCAL MSS 229)
(featured page includes photos of Jane and Stan Brakhage and their children, clippings, letters, and manuscripts)
H. D. (YCAL MSS 24)
(featured page includes photograph of H. D. and clippings)
Katherine Dreier / Societe Anonyme (YCAL MSS 101)
(featured page includes clipping from The Toronto Evening Telegram)
Howard K. Hollister (Gen MSS 317)
(featured page includes silhouette of Hollister and Rough Riders event program)
Hattie Pinckard (WA MSS S-1911)
(featured page includes “Seeing China Town (Los Angeles)” guide and balloon ride ticket)
Photographs of women named Jane in the Yale Collection of American Literature
Jane Bowles, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1951
Jane Heap, photographed in Paris by Berenice Abbott, 1927
Jane White, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1941
Jane DeLynn, photographed by Robert Giard, 1991
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.
Photographs by Robert Giard are used with permission of the copyright holder, Jonathan G. Silin; permission is required to publish Giard photographs in any format.
EXHIBITION CLOSING PARTY
How is a Book?
Multitudes: A Celebration of the Yale Collection of American Literature, 1911 – 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011 at 5:00
Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Yale University, 121 Wall Street, New Haven
Free and open to the public
Image: [Crowd gathered for a tug-of-war competition at the University of Montana, Missoula], [1911-12]
Research in Beinecke Library Collections:
Photographic Memory Workshop – Graduate Student Working Group 2011-2012
The Photographic Memory Workshop is pleased to invite graduate students, post-doctoral students and academic fellows of the Yale community to submit presentation proposals to its 2011-2012 Graduate Student Working Group. In addition to our usual calendar of visiting scholar lectures, our workshop series offers members of the Yale community working on photography an opportunity to present and discuss works in progress.
Our aim is to bring together people from a variety of disciplines to give feedback and to inspire productive critical conversation about the visual material.
At each meeting, the speaker will give a 20-30 minute informal presentation centered on a set of photographs, instruments, or materials. These presentations can be formal papers, works in progress, or curatorial projects. Electronic images of the subject being presented (but not the text of the presentation itself) will be pre-circulated to the group by email prior to each meeting. The presentation will be followed by critical conversation and feedback about the speaker’s research project/paper/exhibition.
We are open to any submission related to photography. This includes, but is not limited to, photography’s material processes and cultural history, scientific and applied photography, photographs in books, as well as conceptual, fine-art, and commercial photography. We especially welcome proposals relating to objects in any of the Yale University collections.
Photographic Memory Workshop Meetings:
The Workshop meets several times throughout the semester, generally at 6pm on Wednesdays. Specific dates and time TBA–contact the organizers for details or to receive announcements about meetings and related events.
Please send a 250-500 word proposal along with a selection of images relating to your research topic by October 1st, 2011 to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Photographic Memory Workshop:
This is the thirteenth year of the Photographic Memory Workshop under the mentorship of Professor Laura Wexler. The workshop, which brings together graduate students, faculty, and staff from a wide variety of disciplines, explores the myriad of possibilities inherent in the study of photographs and/or memory. Should you have any questions about the workshop or our activities, please email email@example.com or contact the graduate student fellows at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
About Photography in the American Literature and Modern Books and Manuscripts Collections:
Photographic materials in the Collections compliment the book and manuscript collections, with a close relationship to archival materials and other primary documentation. Holdings in the collections document the lives of writers and literary communities, cultural spaces, and significant events of various kinds and include everything from snapshots and passport photographs to fine art and portrait photography by some of the most important photographers of the 20th century. Materials in the Modern Books and Manuscripts Collection are primarily from Europe and Africa; photographic materials in the Yale Collection of American Literature document the lives and work of Americans at home and abroad. Brief overviews of the Collections can be found online: Photography in the Modern Books and Manuscripts Collection: http://photostest.odai.yale.edu/directory/dir_single_collection.php?collection_id=14; Photography in the Yale Collection of American Literature: http://photostest.odai.yale.edu/directory.
About Photography in Yale Collections:
A Directory of Yale Photographic Collections provides a portal through which to mine the breadth of the University’s images across repositories and disciplines. The interdisciplinary nature of these resources opens the possibility for endless discoveries of images illustrating sweeping applications of the medium and at the same time presents exciting avenues for the creative use of photographs in object-based learning. http://photostest.odai.yale.edu/directory/index.php
Jonathan Williams, [Polaroid photo of cat in window], undated. By Permission of Jargon Books/Jonathan Williams Estate.
“America’s Finest Femme- Mimics” publicity fan from the Jewel Box Lounge, The Most Talked About Nite Club in the Midwest (Kansas City, MO, undated).
The archival component of the Laura Bailey Collection of Gender and Transgender Materials (GEN MSS 787) is now available for research. One of the largest and most diverse collections of its kind, the Laura Bailey Collection of Gender and Transgender Materials consists of a broad range of printed and visual materials, including photographs, postcards, and many types of printed ephemera; manuscript materials, and audiovisual materials. The collection is organized largely as it was received from Bailey, with many materials in binders according to category of gender or transgender culture or performance as assigned by Bailey. Also included is a catalog for the collection compiled by Bailey and the hand-written index cards she used to catalog it. A primary description of the contents of the archival component of the collection is available online here: http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.lbailey. Cataloging and description of the printed material is ongoing.
Lawrence Langner, Fania Marinoff (Mrs. Carl Van Vechten), Eugene O’Neill , Armina Marshall (Mrs. Langner) (ZA Van Vechten)
Stieglitz family (YCAL MSS 85)
Natalie Paley (GEN MSS 574)
[Photograph of Anne [Gathorne-Hardy], Ruth [Gathorne-Hardy?], John Spencer Churchill, and unidentified woman on the beach near Snape] (GEN MSS 476)
[Photograph of Meschrabpom’s American Film Group on the beach] (JWJ MSS 26)
[Photograph of Henry Geldzahler and Marty Edelheit on the beach]. (UNCAT MSS 30)
Gerald and Sara Murphy (UNCAT MSS 101)
Do I contradict myself?
Very well then . . . . I contradict myself;
I am large . . . . I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman, from Leaves of Grass, 1855
Founded in 1911 when Yale College graduate Owen Franklin Aldis donated his distinguished library of first editions of American fiction, drama, and poetry to the Yale Library, the Collection of American Literature stands as one of the most important collections of its kind. In the century following Aldis’s gift, the Collection has continued to grow, building on core areas and expanding to include complementary materials, from individual manuscripts to expansive literary archives, from little magazines and lively ephemera to high-tech artists’ books. The highlights exhibited in Multitudes: A Celebration of the Yale Collection of American Literature, 1911–2011 reveal areas of bibliographic strength and new development while demonstrating the Collection’s extraordinary richness, eclecticism, and depth. From the colonial period to the present, the Collection celebrates American Literature as a living art form with a complex history. Its evolving and vibrant traditions are a subject worthy of both rigorous scholarly attention as well as leisurely pursuit for the general reader.
Image: Samuel Hollyer, lithograph from a daguerreotype of Walt Whitman by Gabriel Harrison, 1855. Title page, Leaves of Grass, first edition 1855. An example of the Yale Collection of American Literature’s great strength in printed, manuscript, and visual materials documenting American Poetry is its outstanding collection of materials relating to the life and writing of Walt Whitman. One of the most important works of American Literature, Whitman’s Leaves of Grass is a celebration of the democratic spirit, the emotional and intellectual power of literature and art, and of the poet himself. In this work, Whitman introduced a new mode of writing and of expression. In the 150 years since it was first published, Leaves of Grass and its author have played a crucial role in shaping American literature and America’s literary imagination. The Beinecke’s Whitman holdings contain copies of all major editions of Leaves of Grass, including five copies of the extraordinarily rare first edition, published in 1855, and several copies of the 1856 second edition, featuring a quotation from a letter Whitman received from Ralph Waldo Emerson in response to the first edition: “I greet you at the beginning of a great career…” In addition to printed works, the Library’s Walt Whitman Collection contains letters, manuscripts, photographs, art, and other material dating from 1842-1949, and features the Whitmania of Yale benefactors Owen Aldis, Louis Mayer Rabinowitz, Adrian Van Sinderen and others. Outstanding manuscripts include Whitman’s early 1850s text “Pictures,” often called a prototype for poems in the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass because its expansive energy predicts the experimental free verse that characterizes Whitman’s work. The Collection also includes numerous photographs of the poet. Whitman was quite conscious of his public persona and understood the powerful role that photography, still a new and developing technology, could play in helping him to reach his American audience. From the “rough” depicted in the portrait on the title page of the first edition of Leaves of Grass, to the respectable bard appearing in the edition published five years later, to the “Good Gray Poet” that emerged in the 1860s, Whitman’s photographic image evolved over the course of his career as a writer and public figure. The Whitman Collection also includes artworks and objects such as bronze medallions and Whitman’s own eyeglasses.
For more information about the Yale Collection of American Literature, contact Louise Bernard, Curator of Prose and Drama (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nancy Kuhl, Curator of Poetry (email@example.com). Multitudes: A Celebration of the Yale Collection American Literature was organized with the assistance of Charlotte Parker, Y’2013.
Detailed information about collection materials featured in the current exhibition, Psyche & Muse: Creative Entanglements with the Science of the Soul are now available online: Psyche & Muse online .
Books, manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, and objects described in the Exhibition Checklists & Object Descriptions may located by consulting the Library’s primary finding tools: Orbis, the catalog for books; Yale’s Finding Aid Database for manuscript materials; and the Beinecke Digital Library.
Psyche and Muse: Creative Entanglements with the Science of the Soul explores the influence of cultural, clinical, and scientific dialogues about human psychology on twentieth-century writers, artists, and thinkers. Tracing important themes in the lives and work of key figures and artistic communities represented in the Beinecke Library’s Modern European and American Literature collections, Psyche and Muse documents a range of imaginative encounters involving the arts and the study of the mind. On view from January 28 through June 13, 2011 at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University, 121 Wall Street, New Haven. Free and open to the public.
Image: Aldo Piromalli, Psychiatry, or Death of the Soul, Amsterdam: Vrije Vogel Pers, 1977. A tiny fold-out flier, this colorful comic strip expresses Piromalli’s personal frustration, exiled in Amsterdam on pain of incarceration in a mental asylum should he return to Italy. But it also echoes the broader revolt against psychiatric norms and inhuman treatment that ignited social protest across Europe in the sixties and seventies. Here Piromalli objects to the label “schizophrenic” and singles out “brain-slicing operations.” Other frames in the strip portray electroshocks and drug therapy in equally graphic ways.
Players on a basketball team, Havana, Cuba, 1931. (From the Langston Hughes Papers, JWJ MSS 26)
In honor of the third anniversary of the launch of the Room 26 Cabinet of Curiosities…
Photographs of the Villa Lewaro, A’Lelia Walker’s country estate in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, no date.
A’Lelia Walker was well known during the Harlem Renaissance for throwing lavish parties at her brownstone apartment in Harlem and at the Villa Lewaro; she was also the hostess of The Dark Tower, Harlem’s premier literary salon of the period. Walker’s mother, Madam C. J. Walker, said to be the the first African American millionaire, was an entrepreneur who created a wildly successful line of hair straightener, skin lightener, and other beauty products for African-American women.
Photographs and film stills used to illustrate the pioneering film magazine Close Up (1927-1933), edited and published by writers and filmamkers Kenneth Macpherson, Bryher (Annie Winifred Ellerman), and H. D. (Hilda Doolittle). A complete description of the collection can be found online: Close Up Magazine Photograph File YCAL MSS 337.
Tea with André Leon Talley, Editor-at-Large, Vogue magazine at Beinecke Library, 121 Wall Street, New Haven Wednesday, March 24, 2010, 4:00 p.m.Co-Sponsored by Ezra Stiles College.
André Leon Talley is Editor-at-Large for Vogue magazine. He is the author of A.L.T: A Memoir (2003) and A.L.T. 365+ (2005), a book of photographs, and he also writes the “Life with André” column for Vogue and “Talley Ho! More Life with André,” a blog on Style.com. Mr. Talley received a Master’s degree in French Studies from Brown and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he serves as a member of the Board of Trustees. Free and open to the public.
This event is in conjunction with the current Beinecke Library exhibition: Elements of Style: Fashion and Form at the Beinecke.January 19 through March 27, 2010
This exploration of fashion and literary culture pays playful homage to Strunk and White’s now classic grammar primer, The Elements of Style, first published in its current guise fifty years ago. The “little book,” as it has come to be called, has offered prosaic advice on all things prose to generations of college students. Yet its emphasis on “style,” on the ease, clarity, and distinctive flair of good writing, reveals, at the same time, how the component parts of composition similarly mirror the characteristic stamp of a signature look, be it Fitzgerald’s fictional Gatsby or the Jazz Age icon Josephine Baker. The exhibition considers, then, the idea of style as it relates to sartorial expression and prose/poetic form—the role of clothing and design in literature and everyday life, and the artful way in which words appear upon the page. We discover that clothing, and the meaning of dress, remains a compelling literary subject, just as fashion itself is highly dependent on written language, on the power of description and, in turn, of persuasion. With a focus on the concept of the modern, “Elements of Style” highlights literary artifacts such as Gertrude Stein’s embroidered waistcoats and Muriel Draper’s hats, while it also draws attention to the evocative relationship between text and texture, fabric and paper, as well as the book artist’s continued fascination with sewing and the decorative arts.