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.
Please join us next Wednesday, February 15, at 4:30 pm on the Beinecke Library mezzanine for the opening of the Beinecke’s spring exhibition, “Remembering Shakespeare.”
Wednesday, February 1 – Monday, June 4, 2012
Remembering Shakespeare tells the story of how a playwright and poet in late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century England came to be remembered as the world’s most venerated author. Curated by David Scott Kastan, George M. Bodman Professor of English at Yale, and Kathryn James, Beinecke Library Curator, the exhibition brings together works from the holdings of Yale University’s Elizabethan Club, Irving S. Gilmore Music Library, Lewis Walpole Library, Yale Center for British Art, and Beinecke Library, in an unprecedented display of one of North America’s finest collections on Shakespeare. Drawing on these extraordinary resources, Remembering Shakespeare offers a unique visual history of how the “Booke” of Shakespeare was made and read, written and remembered, from his lifetime through the present.
Image: Paul Robeson in the role of Othello, photographed by Carl Van Vechten, 1944. 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. To learn more, contact the Curator, Yale Collection of American Literature.
This exhibition is part of Shakespeare at Yale, a multi-venued celebration for the spring of 2012 that will display the extraordinary resources that exist at the University for the study and enjoyment of Shakespeare. For more information, visit: Shakespeare at Yale.
Multitudes: A Celebration of the Yale Collection of American Literature, 1911 – 2011
EXHIBITION CLOSING PARTY
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
Tuesday, April 5 at 4:00, Yale University Art Gallery (YUAG), The Schlesinger Visiting Writer Series presents:
Kevin Young, the Atticus Haygood Professor of English and Creative Writing, and Curator of Literary Collections and the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library, Emory University.
A reading in conjunction with the Yale University Art Gallery’s current exhibition, Embodied: Black Identities in American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery. The exhibition, a collaboration among a team of students from Yale and the University of Maryland, College Park, features works that address, question, and complicate the paradigms that have mapped meanings onto African American bodies throughout history. The 54 works selected for the exhibition, representing the Gallery’s commitment during the past decade to growing this area of the collection, include paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, prints, drawings, and photographs.
Sponsored by the Yale University Art Gallery, the Schlesinger Visiting Writer Series, and the Departments of African American Studies and English, and the Beinecke Library.
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.
The Beinecke Library is pleased to announce an iPad installation of film clips highlighting writers, artists, and works featured in the current exhibition Psyche & Muse: Creative Entanglements with the Science of the Soul. Located on the ground floor of the Library, the installation includes archive materials from the Beinecke collections such as: home movie footage of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas from the Stein-Toklas Papers; Richard Wright screen tests for the role of Bigger in Native Son from the Richard Wright Papers; and a recently discovered silent film, Monkey’s Moon, produced in 1929 by Pool Films, the film production company of writers Kenneth Macpherson, Bryher, and poet H. D. (Hilda Doolittle).
Addition film clips include Freud family home movies from the Library of Congress and an interview with C. G. Jung. Examples of exhibition-related popular films are also included, such as the 1962 film of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night and the film version of Moss Hart’s musical about psychoanalysis, Lady in the Dark, starring Ginger Rogers.
Audio clips related to writers and works featured in Psyche & Muse can be accessed via cell phone. To hear the following brief audio files, dial 203.672.4380 followed by the designated number:
F. Scott Fitzgerald reading John Keats’s “Ode to a Nightingale” (1:45 minutes). Press 21 #
F. Scott Fitzgerald reading from John Masefield’s “On Growing Old” (ca. 1 minute). Press 23 #
F. Scott Fitzgerald reading from William Shakespeare’s Othello (2:45 minutes). Press 22 #
Sigmund Freud, BBC Interview, 1938 (ca. 2:00 minutes). Press 18 #
H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), reading from, Helen in Egypt (1:25 minutes). Press 20 #
Eugene O’Neill, reading from Long Day’s Journey into Night (0:25 seconds). Press 17 #
Jack Spicer, reading “Psychoanalysis, an Elegy” (2:50 minutes). Press 19 #
Gertrude Stein, reading from The Making of Americans (ca. 5:30 minutes). Press 24 #
Excerpt from The Theatre Guild on Air production of Lady in the Dark, by Moss Hart, adapted for radio by Philip Lewis, 1947. Press 25 #
Psyche and Muse: Creative Entanglements with the Science of the Soul
An exhibition at the Beinecke Library, January 28 – June 13, 2011
“Psyche and Muse” 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, the exhibition documents a range of imaginative encounters involving the arts and the study of the mind. The books, manuscripts, and visual works in “Psyche and Muse” represent aesthetic and philosophic lineages from the late nineteenth century to the post-war era; the exhibited materials reveal ways in which the study of psychology and core concepts of psychoanalysis were both intertwined with and opposed to artistic production throughout the 20th century.
“Psyche and Muse: Creative Entanglements with the Science of the Soul” features materials from the Beinecke Library’s twentieth century collections, including the Modern European Books and Manuscripts Collection, the Yale Collection of American Literature, and the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of African American Arts and Letters; figures represented in the exhibition include: Lou Andreas-Salomé, Antonin Artaud, James Baldwin, Andre Breton, A.A. Brill, Herman Broch, H.D., Mable Dodge Luhan, Max Ernst, Michel Foucault, Sigmund Freud, George Ivanovich Gurdjieff, Moss Hart, Carl Jung, Jacques Lacan, George Platt Lynes, Eugene O’Neill, Jean Toomer, Glenway Wescott, Richard Wright, and Gregory Zilboorg.
Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition and the Instructional Technology Group, have launched a web portal designed to help researchers and Yale students find primary source material related to slavery and its legacies within the University’s many libraries and galleries: Yale Slavery and Abolition Portal (http://slavery.yale.edu).
Users can browse a small catalog of noteworthy collections, learn how to search for additional material, or explore a growing list of external resources. Resources from the Beiencke Library collections, including the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection, can be found at at the following link: http://slavery.yale.edu/collections/beinecke.
New Exhibition: Elements of Style: Fashion and Form at the Beinecke
on view January 19 through March 27, 201. Exhibition Opening Event: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 4:00 pm
“My Soul Finds Comfort in This False Hope” a talk by Maira Kalman.
About the Exhibition
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.
Materials exhibited from the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of African American Arts and Letters include photographs by James VanderZee and Roy DeCarava, artworks by Aaron Douglas, manuscripts by Zora Neale Hurston, personal objects such as Langston Hughes’s cigarette case, theater programs and promotional materials featuring Josephine Baker, important early and special editions of key texts by African American writers from the colonial period to the present. Exhibition news release: http://www.library.yale.edu/beinecke/images/style_news_release.pdf
About Maira Kalman
Maira Kalman was born in Tel Aviv and moved to New York with her family at the age of four. She has worked as a designer, author, illustrator and artist for more than thirty years without formal training. Her work is a narrative journal of her life and all its absurdities. She has written and illustrated twelve children’s books including Ooh-la-la- Max in Love, What Pete Ate, and Swami on Rye. She often illustrates for The New Yorker magazine, and is well known for her collaboration with Rick Meyerowitz on the NewYorkistan cover in 2001. Recent projects include The Elements of Style (illustrated), and a monthly on-line column entitled Principles of Uncertainty for The New York Times. She teaches a graduate seminar in design at the School of Visual Arts and is represented by the Julie Saul Gallery in NYC.
Event posting: http://calendar.yale.edu/cal/beinecke/month/20100226/All/CALemail@example.com/
More information on Maira Kalman: http://www.mairakalman.com
Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Yale University, 121 Wall Street, New Haven, CT
Free and open to the public
Images: Langston Hughes photographed by Carl Van Vechten; Josephine Baker. Photographs by Carl Van Vechten are used with permission of the Van Vechten Trust; the permission of the Trust is required to publish Van Vechten photographs in any format. To contact the Trust email: Van Vechten Trust.
The January issue of Poetry Magazine includes poems by Langston Hughes, recently discovered in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The poems were uncovered by Penny Welbourne, a rare book cataloger at the Beinecke Library, where the Langston Hughes Papers are housed.The poems are written in pencil on the flyleaves of Hughes’s copy of An Anthology of Revolutionary Poetry. Welbourne easily recognized Hughes’s distinctive handwriting, which is well known to the staff at the Beinecke where his archive is among the most frequently consulted modern collections.
From Poetry Magazine:
The text of the poems is available online at the Poetry Foundation website: