Events | March 5, 2012

Women Bookmakers & the Aesthetic Page at Mills College

"The Angel Leaves the House: Women Bookmakers & the Aesthetic Page"

March 28-May 11, 2012
Exhibition at Mills College
F.W. Olin Library, Oakland, CA

During the Aesthetic Movement women not only inspired art, they also made it. That women were active participants in the Cult of Beauty is sometimes overlooked, but women wrote, drew, painted, photographed, engraved, sculpted, printed, bound and sewed, often toiling unnoticed in the background. This exhibition highlights a few of the many contributions British women made to the art of the book between 1860 and 1920.

Exhibition curated by Mills College Book Art students Rob Borges, Chloe Brubaker, Kat Howard, Mirabelle Jones, Margaret Seelie, and Alexandra Shepperd under the direction of Kathleen Walkup.


Wednesday, March 28
"The Aesthetic Woman"
Talk by Margaret D. Stetz
Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women's Studies and Professor of Humanities, University of Delaware
3 pm
F.W. Olin Library, Mills College

Thursday, March 29
"Aubrey Beardsley and His Publishers"
Talk by Mark Samuels Lasner
Senior Research Fellow, University of Delaware Library
5-7 pm
Book Club of California, 312 Sutter St., Suite 500, San Francisco, CA

Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898) was, without question, the most provocative, famous, and influential British illustrator at the fin de siecle. Indeed the time of his brief career--from 1892 to his death in 1898--is often referred to as "the Beardsley period." This illustrated talk explores the artist's often overlooked relations with the three publishers who brought his work before the public--J. M. Dent, who virtually discovered Beardsley and commissioned the great edition of Malory's Le Morte Darthur; John Lane, of the Bodley Head, who hired (and then fired) Beardsley as editor of the Yellow Book, the quintessential magazine of the 1890s; and Leonard Smithers, seller of pornography and maker of beautiful books, for whom Beardsley was the key to his efforts to publish the decadents. Many of the illustrations will be drawn from Mr. Samuels Lasner's own collection.