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Overview

Famous for his art criticism, paintings, and social theories, John Ruskin (1819-1900) also wrote essays, poems, and stories reflecting his appreciation for architecture and natural beauty. Many of his interests are revealed in this microfiche collection, Sale and Exhibition Catalogues Relating to John Ruskin and His Works, which also includes the Allen and Goodspeed Catalogs (compiled respectively by a Ruskin contemporary and a private collector).

Not only did Ruskin teach at Working Men's College at Red Lion Square, he also became the first Professor of Art at Oxford. In addition to his artistic achievements, his treatises on social and political issues became a major model in later years.

The Sale Catalogs Ruskin's collection of pictures and books was always shifting. At various points in his artistic career, Ruskin would produce catalogs in conjunction with the sale and exhibition of his various collections. Among the sale catalogs are three that he compiled, including the "Catalogue of Pictures, Drawings and Sketches," chiefly on J.M.W. Turner's work. Ten other catalogs of Ruskin's material, organized after his death in 1900, are included.

The Exhibition Catalogs Among the list of 36 exhibition catalogs are Ruskin's many notes, drawings, and photographs describing his exhibits in which he displayed many of his own paintings in addition to others.

For example, he arranged exhibits of art to accompany his lectures at the Royal Institute on "The Flamboyant Architecture of the Somme" and "Verona and its rivers." The first exhibit, held in 1869, contained 50 pictures from his collection, including his own works as well as those by Catena, Meissonier, Prout, and Frère.

In 1870, 50 more items were added to the exhibit--all, with the exception of one painting and a few photographs, from Ruskin's own hand or that of his assistants Arthur Severn and J.W. Bunney.

Following Ruskin's death the exhibits continued but organizers changed the orientation to focus solely on Ruskin's life and work. Two exhibits in 1919, in fact, celebrated the centenary of Ruskin's birth. These exhibits are cataloged in the collection.

The Allen and Goodspeed Catalogs Three catalogs, consisting of drawings, books, engravings, and other items, are from the collection of Ruskin's assistant George Allen. Allen was Ruskin's engraver and in 1871 became his publisher. A fourth catalog,

"An Exhibition and Sale of Drawings, Paintings And Manuscripts by John Ruskin," was issued by Charles Goodspeed, a private collector who took an early and enduring interest in Ruskin, selling his first collection of Ruskin's printed books, then rebuilding a collection of Ruskin first editions. These four catalogs are distinct from the others, for they only list items that were exhibited for sale, most likely after Ruskin's death, and may be the only existing records of some of Ruskin's works.

Sale and Exhibition Relating to John Ruskin and His Works is edited by James S. Dearden, Curator of the Ruskin Galleries at Isle of Wight and General Editor of the Ruskin Research Series.

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