RBML Receives Gift of Sandburg Portraiture
When Kathlin Smith, daughter of the artist William A. Smith (1918-1989), read in the news about the recent RBML discovery of an unpublished poem by Carl Sandburg (“Revolver”), she called to ask if we might want some old files from her father.
William A. Smith was not only the artist who painted Sandburg’s portrait for the National Portrait Gallery, but also a close friend of the poet. We accepted the generous donation, of course, and received an interesting packet of letters, clippings, and programs, including a note in which Sandburg expressed some disdain for fellow author Sinclair Lewis!
About a month later, Ms. Smith called again to say that she had found three sketches by her father—two of Sandburg and one of Sandburg’s study in North Carolina. These, too, have now been donated to RBML.
The charcoal and pencil sketches are a wonderful, intimate view of the poet and his workplace.
“Bill” Smith served as President of the American Watercolor Society and President of the American delegation to the International Association of Art. His work won a variety of awards including the Winslow Homer Memorial Prize, the Postal Commemorative Society Prize and the American Watercolor Society's Gold, Silver, Bronze and Stuart prizes. His paintings hang in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the James Michener Art Museum in Texas.
We are so grateful to Ms. Smith for adding these important Sandburg papers and artwork to the Sandburg Archives at the University of Illinois.
No. 44 Society
Wednesday 8 May 2013
to 5:00 p.m.
RBML (346 Library)
In the early afternoon of January 10th, 1931, an itinerant man from Pinetown, North Carolina, shivering in the New York winter, walked up the long steps of the Fifth Avenue entrance to the New York Public Library. It was a trip he’d made a dozen times in as many days and his plan was the same: get warm, then request from the library’s rare book collection a few of its treasures.
But unlike his earlier visits, these books wouldn’t be returning to the stacks.
Join us Wednesday, May 8 at 3 p.m. in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library for the full story of brazen book thievery in Depression Era New York City as told by University of Illinois Law Library's Curator of Rare Law Books, Travis McDade. McDade’s second work of nonfiction, Thieves of Book Row (Oxford University Press, May 2013), recounts a time when east coast libraries suffered from organized looting.
However, the New York Public Library theft, and its subsequent investigation, brought down an entire gang.
Hot-off-the-press copies of McDade's book will be available for purchase at the talk. All are welcome!
16 June from 4-6 pm
Mike 'n Molly's
105 N Market St. Champaign
Bloomsday is an annual celebration of James Joyce and his legendary work, Ulysses. We will have music, poetry, readings from Joyce, Guinness, and more! Please come join us for our annual celebration hosted by the Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
If you would like to read some of your favorite Joyce or participate in some other way, please contact Marten Stromberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Summer Exhibition!
"Swann is 100"
Join us July 19 as RBML opens an exhibition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the publication of Marcel Proust's Du Côté de Chez Swann (Swann's Way,) the first volume in his magisterial;
À la recherche du temps perdu, (1913-1927.)