Columbia Library columns (v.26(1976Nov-1977May))

(New York :  Friends of the Columbia Libraries.  )



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  v.26,no.1(1976:Nov): Page 35  


Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Gifts


I/" If ^HE twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding of the
Friends of the Columbia Libraries is being celebrated
during 1976. One of the Friends' major contributions to
the University during this quarter century has been the valuable
assistance given by the organization and its individual members in
developing the research collections of the Libraries. In carrying
on this tradition, the Friends organization, in honor of the anni¬
versary, has presented to the Libraries the complete series of 127
original pen and ink drawings done by Rockwell Kent for AValt
Whitman's Leaves of Grass, published in 1936 by the Heritage
Press in New York and the Nonesuch Press in London.

During the 1930s Kent produced some of his finest work as a
book illustrator in his editions of the literary classics of Whitman,
Shakespeare and Chaucer. The drawings for Whitman, in particu¬
lar, express with both strength and delicacy his sympathy for the
poet's celebration of America. Comprising vignettes, decorations
and full-page illustrations, the drawings in the anniversary gift are
all signed by Kent and contain his hand-written instructions to
the printer. When they were photographically reproduced in the
1936 edition, the drawings were considerably reduced in size; con¬
sequently, the originals are far more emphatic in statement and
impressive in impact. Accompanying the drawings is a copy of the
limited edition of the book signed and inscribed by Kent. This
splendid group has now become part of the Libraries' extensive
Rockwell Kent collection. Comprising more than five thousand
drawings and sketches, the Collection is a major resource for the
study of American book illustration during this century.

A number of individual Friends have honored the twenty-fifth
anniversary by presenting important books and manuscripts.
These gifts are described on the following pages.

  v.26,no.1(1976:Nov): Page 35