John Russell Bartlett Society

Drawing of John Russell Bartlett.
Collection of the John Carter Brown Library.

For John Russell Bartlett Society
Past Events 2012 / 2013
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For John Russell Bartlett Society
Past Events 2013.


Winter/Spring 2014

We start the season with two programs celebrating French bibliophile and author Octave Uzanne, co-sponsored by the Providence Athenaeum and the The Charles H. Watts II History and Culture of the Book Program at the John Carter Brown Library:

Friday, 28 February, 5:00 PM:
"Octave Uzanne: La Mode & La Femme in Fin-de-siecle Paris," a Lecture by Valerie Steele.
Providence Athenaeum 251 Benefit St., Providence

Octave Uzanne (1851-1931) was a French writer and bibliophile, who is known today (if at all) primarily as the creator of luxurious illustrated books. Yet he was a strange and interesting individual whose life intersected with an array of literary, artistic, and bohemian figures, from the poet Mallarme to the pornographer Felicien Rops. When Marcel Proust fought a duel with the louche gay journalist Jean Lorrain, Uzanne was Lorrain's second. Uzanne was also extremely interested in women's fashion, especially as it related to the image of the Parisienne. He wrote a number of books on this subject, including La Femme a Paris and Les Modes a Paris, which associated the history of fashion with women's changing lives. A pioneering fashion historian, he believed himself to be an expert in female psychology, and his work reveals much about the culture of fin-de-siecle Paris.

Thursday, 6 March, 6:00 PM: "The New Bibliopolis: Octave Uzanne and Bibliophilia in Fin-De-Siecle France— a Lecture by Willa Silverman."
John Carter Brown Library 94 George St., Providence

Willa Silverman will discuss the bibliophilic career of Octave Uzanne, a book collector known for his influence on fin-de-siecle French print culture. The late-nineteenth century in Europe was a period of profound political, social, and technological change. One result of these changes was the rise of an upper-bourgeois bohemian class, of which many members stimulated interest in unique forms of artistic expression in the form of illustrated books. In the wake of the invention or recorded sound and the increased mass production of cheap, flimsy books, these reactionary bibliophiles sought to resurrect the printed book as a cherished work of art. As collectors, publishers, authors, designers, and directors of bibliophile societies, reviews, and small presses, Uzanne and his contemporaries became passionate and prolific interlocutors of the printed word in a uniquely artistic epoch.

Monday, April 14, 5:30 PM:
The Stillwell Prize Cermony & Lecture by Nicholas Basbanes
John Carter Brown Library 94 George St., Providence

We'll award our annual prize to the most creative collection of books assembled by a Rhode Island undergraduate student. Nicholas Basbanes author of numerous works (all modern classics) on the topic of libraries, collectors and bibliomania will discuss his most recent book, On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History. Copies will be available for purchase and signing.

Tuesday, May 20, 5:30 PM:
Annual Meeting & Lecture by Thomas Horrocks
John Carter Brown Library 94 George St., Providence

Thomas Horrocks, Director of Special Collections at Brown University, will discuss his book Lincoln's Campaign Biographies, scheduled to be published in April. Horrocks, a Bartlett Society member, is a Lincolniana enthusiast and author of a number of books on the Civil War and American history. "During the 1860 and 1864 presidential campaigns Abraham Lincoln was the subject of more than twenty campaign biographies. In this innovative study Thomas A. Horrocks not only examines the role these publications played in shaping an image of Lincoln that would resonate with voters but also explores the vision of Lincoln that the biographies crafted, the changes in this vision over the course of four years, and the impact of these works on the outcome of the elections."

Saturday, May 31, 2:00 PM:
A vist to the home of George & Nannette Herrick
Bowery Street, Newport

The Herricks have kindly agreed to open their home to a Bartlett Society visit. We'll have a chance to view their extensive and wide-ranging collections, which include commonplace books, diaries and letters, Christmas books and more.

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The John Russell Bartlett Society partners with the Watts Program at the John Carter Brown Library to offer other events of mutual interest to bibliophiles. See the Watts Program Events Calendar for upcoming Watts events.

Email the Bartlett Society.