John Ruskin, 1960-2002

Scope and Content

Research notes and cuttings. Includes a photocopy of Barbara Gnosspelius' replies to Helen Viljoen's research questions regarding the Severn family and the Brantwood diary. Brantwood guidebooks.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Ruskin was born on February 8, 1819 in London at Hunter Street, Brunswick Square. He was the only child of John James Ruskin and Margaret Cox. He was a critic of art, architecture, and society who was a gifted painter, a distinctive prose stylist, and an important example of the Victorian Sage, or Prophet: a writer of polemical prose who seeks to cause widespread cultural and social change. His marriage to Euphemia "Effie" Chalmers Gray on 10 April 1848 was dissolved on the grounds of non-consummation in 1854, a topic that has continued to generate interest. He was close friends with W. G. Collingwood after meeting at University College Oxford following W. G. Collingwood began his studies there in 1872. During the summer of 1873 Collingwood visited Ruskin at Brantwood, Coniston. Two years later Collingwood was working at Brantwood with Ruskin and his associates, where Ruskin came to admire Collingwood’s draftmanship, and so Collingwood studied at the Slade School of Art, where Ruskin taught, between 1876 and 1878. He exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1880. For many years Collingwood dedicated himself to helping Ruskin, staying at Brantwood as Ruskin's assistant and travelling with him to Switzerland. In 1883 he married Edith Mary Isaac (1857-1928) and settled near to Ruskin in the Lake District. Collingwood edited a number of Ruskin's texts and published a biography of Ruskin in 1893. Ruskin died on January 20, 1900 in Coniston, Lancashire.