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Aubrey Beardsley:

An Inventory of His Art Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Beardsley, Aubrey, 1872-1898
Title: Aubrey Beardsley Art Collection
Dates: 1890-1960 (bulk 1890-1898).
Extent: 124 items
Abstract: The Beardsley Collection consists of drawings, illustrations, lithographs, and reproductions of Beardsley’s work. Beardsley’s illustrations are found in Salome by Oscar Wilde, Lucian’s True History and Tales of Edgar Allan Poe. Many of the drawings are scenes of women and many of the works are initialed and inscribed.
Call Number: Art Collection AR-00018
Language: English and French
Access: Open for research. Please note that a minimum of 24 hours notice is required to pull art materials to the Ransom Center's Reading and Viewing Room. Some materials may be restricted from viewing. To make an appointment or to reserve art materials, please contact the Center's staff at art@hrc.utexas.edu.



Acquisition: Purchase, 1965-1978
Jill Morena, 2017
Repository:

The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center


Aubrey Vincent Beardsley was born in Brighton, England, on 21 August 1872 and showed early artistic ability, acting and playing in concerts with his sister Mabel and producing drawings of recognized merit. The Beardsley family's means were modest, and by 1888 Aubrey had quit school to work as a clerk. At the age of nineteen Beardsley embarked on a career as an illustrator, and with the encouragement of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes in France and Joseph Pennell in England he quickly made a name for himself. His fame was ensured with the publication of the Dent edition of Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur in 1892, and by the following year the "Beardsley boom" was in full flower.
In 1894 Beardsley became the art editor of The Yellow Book under the general editorship of Oscar Wilde, but his advancing tuberculosis and Wilde's arrest put an end to that satirical periodical before 1895 was out. Beardsley's increasingly poor health forced his move across several health resorts, but under the patronage of André Raffalovich he continued, despite severe difficulties, to produce his drawings. In 1896 alone he created numerous illustrations for The Savoy, The Rape of the Lock, and Lysistrata
During 1897 Aubrey Beardsley's health continued to decline as serious work became increasingly difficult and his creative output dwindled. He died at Menton, France, on 16 March 1898.

The Beardsley Collection consists of drawings, illustrations, lithographs, and reproductions of Beardsley’s work. Beardsley’s illustrations are found in Salome by Oscar Wilde, Lucian’s True History, and Tales of Edgar Allan Poe. A handful of items are either copies, or of questionable attribution (65.190; 65.275.1-7). The collection was formed by Dr. Severn and purchased by the University in the 1960s from Bertram Rota.

There is a collection of letters in the Aubrey Beardsley Collection (MS-00287), two proof photolithographs by Beardsley for Lucian's True History, one sketch, and one print in the James F. Drake, Inc. Art Collection. The materials located in the Drake collection are described in this finding aid (65.520.1587; 65.520.1588.1-16; 65.520.1589).

There are three items--a pocket knife, a paper cutter, and an agate seal--present in the Personal Effects collection.

People

Clark, J.B.
Strang, William, 1859-1921.

Organizations

James F. Drake, Inc.

Subjects

Monsters.
Supernatural beings.
Women.