The Ephemera Society News
The Ephemerist Autumn 2014
The Autumn issue of the society's journal is scheduled to be posted to members the second week of November and contains the following articles:
- Tom Topol | The world is flat: collecting historical passports
- Amoret Tanner | Book tokens
- Rebecca Anderson | Annis Pett, the beloved wife of Henry Pett
- Plus regular favourites | Mrs Pepys' Diary and Notes & Queries
Cover image: Detail from an advertisement for Wright's "Eureka"gas cooker which
opens out to reveal a table laid for dinner and the contents of the oven. Bought at
the Ephemera Society
special summer fair, 109 x 154 mm fully opened.
2015 Fairs & Special Fairs Dates
Please make a note of these forthcoming dates in your diaries now to avoid disappointment. Full details on our Events page.
Marie Duval: The woman behind Ally Sloper
She was a jobbing actress, with absolutely no art training, who developed arguably one of the UKs first comic strip superstars, yet very little is known about Marie Duval, the 19th-century melodrama performer who drew more than 500 pages of London life, featuring the hugely popular character Ally Sloper, becoming Britains first serialised comic strip, in the magazine Judy, a Victorian rival to Punch.
Thanks to an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) grant of almost £200,000, a new project led by the University of Chester will shed light on this enigmatic artist.
Project lead, Dr Simon Grennan, Postdoctoral Research Fellow with Chesters Art and Design Department, explained:
The production of 19th-century English comics in humour periodicals was an exclusively male activity, with the one exception of Marie Duval.
She was so completely untrained and critics would deride her for this, but the speed and vigour of her drawings became a great comedic device, communicating the exciting, disposable and even daring character of Slopers world of physical comedy, and the general public absolutely loved this new style of delivery. In fact, many of the devices that she used to tell Slopers stories are now completely commonplace in comic strips and graphic novels.
As well as this, Duval acted in popular melodrama plays, famously subverting gender expectations in the role of the leading man and her narrative drawing was hugely influenced by this. Given how much she developed the art form and how influential her work was on what came afterwards, its hard to believe there have been few attempts to study or present her activity as a draughtswoman and female actor in the male environment of periodical publishing.
Working with Dr Grennan on the project will be the Performing Arts Lecturer Dr Julian Waite, and English Lecturer Professor Deborah Wynne, from the University of Chester, and Professor Roger Sabin, an expert on subcultures, comics and graphic novels, from The University of the Arts London Central Saint Martins.
The two-year research project will culminate in the creation of an online image catalogue of Duvals work, and a touring exhibition which will visit a major gallery in London, Illustrative Berlin and the Festival de la Bande Dessinée d'Angoulême as well as venues across Britain. There will also be an academic publication and journal articles during the project.
Read more in Jonathan Jones On Art Blog: www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2014/oct/27/marie-duval-victorian-cartoonist-ally-sloper
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle portrait to make public debut
at the Museum of London
Until 12 April 2015
The world of the greatest fictional detective of all time will be illuminated at the Museum of London this autumn, in the Sherlock Holmes exhibition. It will be the largest of its kind for over 60 years, drawing on the museums fabulous Victorian and Edwardian collection and bringing together Sherlock Holmes material from across the globe, including several key world class loans. The rarities will be on show in the city that inspired the stories and is - in all its fogs, populous streets, criminal underworld and celebrated landmarks like another character in Sir Arthur Conan Doyles prolific canon.
Visitors will re-trace the literary beginnings of Sherlock Holmes, from original manuscripts to the first copies of The Strand Magazine in 1891, examining how the consulting detective has evolved from Conan Doyles early concepts.
Original drawings by Sidney Paget, who illustrated the stories in The Strand Magazine, will appear alongside a unique oil on canvas painting by the same artist, which is being displayed to the UK public for the first time. The painting, which is kindly on loan from the Conan Doyle Foundation and is currently undergoing conservation in Switzerland, conveys a compelling psychological portrait of the author at the height of his literary fame in 1897. Painted by his friend and illustrator, we are able to see close up the man who created Sherlock Holmes.
Paintings, drawings, illustrations and photographs will examine how Victorian London and the cultural climate of the day informed Conan Doyles stories and characters, interpreting renowned artists and photographers through the prism of Sherlock Holmes and identifying key locations. The stories and images reinforce each other to create the seminal views of Holmess London embedded in our cultural memory.