John Ruskin (1819–1900), art and architecture critic, artist and writer, geologist and minerologist, lecturer and tutor, philosopher and social reformer - Ruskin was a major British thinker of the Victorian era, whose ideas are still influential today. A symposium on Ruskin is taking place at the University of Salford on May 13th, 2006.
The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood of writers and artists was inspired by Ruskin, and they were in turn championed by Ruskin, particularly the artist William Holman Hunt (1827-1910), one of the Pre-Rapahelites' founders. The essayist, philosopher, and historian Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) was a major influence on Ruskin's political thinking, while William Morris (1834-1896), writer, designer, and social reformer, was influenced by both Ruskin's artistic and his social theories.
This month we highlight archival collections relating to Ruskin and his admirers, and there are links to related libraries, galleries, and museums, and to educational organisations engaging with Ruskin's ideas. John Ruskin has also appeared in previous features.
Right: Spray of Dead Oak Leaves, John Ruskin 1879, Collection of the Guild of St George, Sheffield Galleries & Museums Trust.
"... the form of a complete leaf is never seen; but a marvellous and quaint confusion, very definite, indeed, in its evidence of direction of growth, and unity of action, but wholly indefinable and inextricable, part by part, by any amount of patience." John Ruskin Elements of Drawing, 1857.
- John Ruskin Papers: manuscript collection comprising over 2,000 items relating to Ruskin, his work and his contemporaries
- Transcripts of Papers of John Ruskin: transcripts of letters and papers of Ruskin made for E.T. Cook and Alexander Wedderburn, editors of the 39-volume "Library Edition" of The works of John Ruskin, 1903-1912
- Ruskin Letters: letters on watercolour painting to the Reverend Walter Brown (fl 1844), Ruskin's tutor at Christ Church, Oxford
- John Ruskin letters to his father: written by Ruskin while on a European tour, to his father John James Ruskin (1785-1864)
- Lewis Hartley (fl 1863): letters from Ruskin on economic matters
- Miscellaneous correspondence of John Ruskin, including a letter to writer Elizabeth Gaskell (1810–1865)
- Albert Gray (1850-1928): brother of Effie (Euphemia Chalmers Gray, 1828-1897), who married Ruskin in 1848, and who later married artist John Everett Millais (1829-1896), a founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.
- William Hutton Marwick (1863-1940): Scottish missionary; organised the Ruskin Reading Guild and edited the Ruskin Journal
- Ruskin Society of Glasgow: Society of the Rose: founded in the 1870s to meet and discuss the works of Ruskin
- James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903): painter; the collection includes over 7,000 letters by Whistler
- Ruskin Library: includes Ruskin manuscript collections (Lancaster University)
- Brantwood: house in Coniston, the Lake District; Ruskin's home from 1872 until his death, now a museum.
- Ruskin Museum: set up in 1901 by Ruskin's former secretary, W.G. Collingwood (Coniston, Cumbria)
- Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery: John Ruskin Collection and the world's largest Pre-Raphaelite collection
- John Ruskin: paintings, photographs, and sculptures portraying Ruskin (National Portrait Gallery, London)
- John Ruskin: An Overview (Victorian Web)
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