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Mark Samuel Lasner Symposium and Reception
The exhibition “Victorian Passions: Stories from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection” has been extended.

Through June 30: 'Victorian Passions'

Photo by Ambre Alexander Payne

‘Victorian Passions: Stories from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection’ extended

Currently on display in the second-floor Special Collections gallery in the University of Delaware’s Morris Library, the exhibition “Victorian Passions” has been widely appreciated by visitors from all over the world. To give others the opportunity to visit, the exhibition has been extended through June 30.

Love, desire, jealousy, ambition, hatred and friendship are among the many sentiments present in “Victorian Passions: Stories from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection.”

The exhibition brings together unique copies of rare books, manuscripts and artworks that tell stories about distinguished British writers and artists from the period 1850 to 1900, including Charles Dickens, Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, William Morris, George Eliot, Henry James, Christina Rossetti and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Alfred Tennyson, Aubrey Beardsley, W. B. Yeats, Rudyard Kipling and Oscar Wilde.

The exhibition is curated by Margaret D. Stetz, Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women’s Studies and professor of humanities at UD.

“Victorian Passions” highlights the subject of emotional connections — whether among the famous lovers, families, collaborators and friends represented here or between these creative figures and the items that they owned. At the same time, it celebrates the collecting passions of Mark Samuels Lasner himself and reveals the narratives that make these manuscripts, letters, graphics and “association copies” (books with inscriptions, annotations, and signatures) such important objects.

This exhibition is occasioned by the donation of the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection to the University in June 2015. To mark the largest and most important gift of its kind, UD hosted a two-day symposium, “Celebrating the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection: Rare Books and Manuscripts, Victorian Literature and Art,” on March 17-18. Audio recordings and presentations from the symposium can be found at this website.

“Mark has not only enriched our campus,” says L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin, head of the manuscripts and archives department at Morris Library and curator of the Joseph R. Biden Jr. Senatorial Papers, but as “a true bibliophile,” he has been “building bridges between people, between the university and other places, and between Delaware and the world.”

Special Collections Gallery hours are: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Wednesday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.

An online version of the exhibition is available.

Special Collections and Museums

Special Collections and Museums has a wide-ranging and interdisciplinary collection encompassing books, manuscripts, art, archival materials, minerals and much more. Subject strengths of Special Collections include history and Delawareana, science and technology, art and literature; political papers, family papers and ships’ logs are among the primary source material. The Mark Samuels Lasner Collection greatly enhances the collection’s strengths in British Literature of the 19th and early 20th century.  American art of the 20th century (especially prints, photographs and work by African American artists), European prints, Inuit art, Pre-Columbian art and minerals are among the strengths of the Museums’ collection.

The staff in Special Collections and Museums collaborates with students, faculty members and other scholars to make the treasures in these collections accessible for viewing, study and research. During the academic year exhibitions can be viewed in four campus venues: the Special Collections Gallery in Morris Library, Old College Gallery, Mechanical Hall Gallery and the Mineralogical Museum in Penny Hall. All exhibitions and accompanying programs are offered to the UD community and general public without charge.  

Visit current and past exhibitions or browse finding aids for unpublished materials.

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