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Austin Osman Spare:

A Preliminary Inventory of His Art Collection at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator: Spare, Austin Osman, 1886-1956
Title: Austin Osman Spare Art Collection
Dates: circa 1909-1955
Extent: 32 items (30 drawings, one painting, one handwritten letter signed)
Abstract: Thirty artworks and one handwritten letter signed by the British artist Austin Osman Spare, and one portrait of Spare by W. W. (William Watson) Peploe. Included are sketches, drawings and one painting dating from circa 1909 to 1955. Subjects include portraits and self- portraits and both “automatic” and figure drawings.
Call Number: Art Collection AR-00260
Language: English
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

Acquisition: Purchases, 1964-1980
Processed by: Chelsea Weathers, 2013

The University of Texas at Austin, Harry Ransom Center

The collection consists of 30 drawings, one painting, and one handwritten letter signed by or related to Austin Osman Spare (British, 1888-1956). All artworks are by Spare except for one portrait of Spare by W. W. (William Watson) Peploe (British, 1869-1933). Included are Spare’s portraits of Richard Church, Henry Miller, and Igor Stravinsky, as well as three self-portraits. Among the drawings are a number of “automatic” drawings, as well as illustrations for Spare’s The Book of Pleasure (Self-Love): The Psychology of Ecstacy (1913). Dated works are arranged chronologically; undated works are listed by accession number. When possible, titles were transcribed from the items and appear in single quotes; all other information supplied by the cataloger.

The Harry Ransom Center has other works by and related to Spare.
The Frederick Carter Art Collection (AR-00039) contains articles by Spare on “The Grotesque” and “Automatic Drawing,” which were published in Form: A Quarterly of the Arts, a periodical of which Spare was an editor.
The Vernon Hill Art Collection (AR-00363) contains a drawn portrait of Spare by Hill (79.330).
Spare correspondence is located in the following Ransom Center Manuscripts holdings: the Clifford Bax Collection (MS-00271), the Oswell Blakeston Papers (MS-00405), the Alistair Crowley Collection (MS-01002), the John Lane Company Records (MS-02195), and the W. B.Yeats Collection (MS-04619).
Additional Spare materials are also held in the Center’s in the Richard Church Literary File Photography Collection (PH-02725) and in the Center's Library.