John Ruskin collection
Scope and Contents
The John Ruskin Collection contains correspondence, writings, artwork, and other material relating to the life and career of the Victorian author and art critic John Ruskin. Major correspondents include his parents, John James Ruskin and Margaret Cox Ruskin; George Allen; Edward Clayton; William Graham; Henry Jowett; Robert C. Leslie; Frederic Maynard; Susanna Miller; Sir John Naesmyth and Lady Naesmyth; Edward B. Nicholson; William Roscoe Osler; Harriette Rigbye; and Mrs. Arthur Stannard (who published as John Strange Winter). Writings include notebooks of Ruskin's juvenilia and other poems by Ruskin; autograph manuscripts of "The Mysteries of Life and its Arts" and several of his lectures; the manuscript of his autobiography, "Praeterita;" and corrected page proofs of chapters from Modern Painters and page and galley proofs of Sesame and Lilies. Artwork includes fourteen watercolors and pen and ink sketches by Ruskin. The collection also contains photographs of Ruskin; notes taken by Alexander H. M. Wedderburn at Ruskin's 1874 lectures in Oxford; and a leather postbag stamped with Ruskin's name and address.
- 1826 - 1949
- Majority of material found within 1840 - 1885
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
The John Ruskln Collection is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Acquired by gift and purchase from various sources. Acquisition information about specific items has been included in this finding aid after the description of the item as available. For additional information, see the appropriate curator.
Organized into four series: I. Correspondence, 1829-1949; II. Manuscripts, 1826-1897; III. Artwork, 1846-1874; IV. Other Material, 1847-1874.
19.94 Linear Feet (40 boxes)
Language of Materials
John Ruskin (1819-1900)
John Ruskin (1819-1900), author, art critic, educator and social theorist of the Victorian period. Ruskin was educated primarily by his parents, John James Ruskin and Margaret Cox Ruskin, and then at Oxford University, where he received his degree in 1842. His multivolume Modern Painters (1843-1860) championed the work of J. M. W. Turner and the use of symbolism in art and was a major influence on the Pre-Raphaelite movement. The Stones of Venice (1851-1853) was an influential appreciation of Gothic art and architecture and a work of implicit social criticism. Other important writings included Unto this Last (1862); the lectures pubished as Sesame and Lilies (1865); and the pamphlet series published as Fors Clavigera (1871-1884).
Ruskin was the first Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford University and founded the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art (1871) in Oxford. In the same year, he established the Guild of St. George (1871). He spent his last years in retirement, suffering several mental breakdowns, at Brantwood, a small estate in the Lake District, and died there of influenza on January 20, 1900. Ruskin's only marriage, in 1848, was to Effie Gray Ruskin Millais (1828-1897); it was annulled in July of 1854.
Many items in the John Ruskin Collection were cataloged individually at the time of acquisition or later. The collection as a whole was assembled and received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization, in 2014.
Information included in the Description of Papers note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from from individual catalog cards. Other folder titles appearing in the contents list below were supplied by staff during basic processing.
Former call numbers: MS Vault.Shelves.Ruskin; MS Vault 14:1-2; Uncat.MS Vault.316; Uncat.MS Vault.538; Uncat.MSS.780, MS Vault.Ruskin; Uncat.MS Vault.Ruskin
- Allen, George, 1832-1907
- Artists -- Great Britain
- Artists -- Great Britain -- 19th century
- Authors -- Great Britain -- 19th century
- Authors, English -- 19th century
- Clayton, Edward, 1817-1895
- Drawings (visual works) -- Great Britain -- 19th century
- English literature -- 19th century
- English poetry -- 19th century
- English prose literature -- 19th century
- Graham, William, 1839-1911
- Jowett, Henry
- Leslie, Robert C. (Robert Charles), 1826-1901
- Maynard, Frederic W.
- Miller, Susanna
- Naesmyth, John, Sir
- Naesmyth, Lady
- Nicholson, Edward Williams Byron, 1849-1912
- Osler, W. Roscoe (William Roscoe)
- Rigbye, Harriette
- Ruskin, John James
- Ruskin, John, 1819-1900
- Ruskin, Margaret Cock, 1781-1871
- Watercolors (paintings) -- Great Britain -- 19th century
- Winter, John Strange, 1856-1911
- Guide to the John Ruskin Collection
- In Progress
- by Beinecke Staff
- June 2014
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
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