Last month Houghton Library acquired a small group of letters and postcards from Charles Ricketts (1866-1931) & Charles Shannon (1863-1937) to the Irish artist and collector Cecil French (1879-1953). These letters were acquired with the Louis Appell Jr. Fund for British Civilization because they are full of current affairs, news and gossip in the world of British art. These letters are now Houghton Library MS Eng 1738.
Ricketts and Shannon were artists and designers and founders of the Vale Press, one of the English private presses inspired by William Morris’s Kelmscott Press; Shannon’s portrait of William Butler Yeats hangs in the Houghton Library Reading Room.
|Charles Ricketts, letter to Cecil French, 1923 (MS Eng 1738, © Houghton Library, Harvard University)|
|Portrait of Cecil French by William Shackleton, 1923 (from Beyond Burne-Jones, The Cecil French Bequest Gallery)|