Life Distilled: Ruskin and Still Life – catalogue

The catalogue for this exhibition is now available from Lancaster University Online Store –


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Ruskin Society Book Prize 2015 – update

The first annual Ruskin Society Book of the Year award was presented at the Society’s AGM on 6 February. It was presented to Ken and Jenny Jacobson, authors of ‘Carrying Off the Palaces: John Ruskin’s Lost Daguerreotypes’, published by Bernard Quaritch Ltd. The book brings together the 125 from the Whitehouse Collection, now housed at Lancaster University, and a collection of 188 which turned up at an auction in Penrith in 2006.

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Ruskin Review and Bulletin – Autumn 2015

The new edition – issue 11/2 – Autumn 2015 – is now available. The articles are on a variety of subjects, including Alan Davis (writing on artist Briony Carke) and Dinah Birch.

 To order this edition, and for subscription details see

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Life Distilled: Ruskin and Still Life

00006for webLife Distilled: Ruskin and Still Life

Until April 1 2016

    Still life – the arrangement of objects, especially flowers and fruit, in a careful composition – has never featured highly in the hierarchy of categories of art, yet it has always been popular, and remains so to this day.

This exhibition of works by Ruskin and his associates, includes items loaned by the Walker Gallery (National Museums Liverpool); the Whitworth Art Gallery (University of Manchester); Museums Sheffield (Guild of St George, Ruskin Collection); the Ruskin Museum, Coniston; the Brantwood Trust, and a private collector.

For further details see

1996P3069 for web

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Merry Christmas!

hollyMerry Christmas!

We hope to see you in the New Year for our Exhibitions and a new programme of Seminars. And, of course, we’ll continue to post details of other locations to see our drawings, new publications and other events.

Ruskin Library Staff



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Ruskin Society Book Prize, 2015

The Ruskin Society has announced the short list for the first annual Ruskin Society Book Prize. The Prize was established ‘to recognize one outstanding new book concerning the life and work of John Ruskin, the immediate contexts of his life and work or themes closely connected with his life and work’.

The short list comprises:

Andrew Ballantyne, John Ruskin (Reaktion Books)
Caroline Ings-Chambers, Louisa Waterford and John Ruskin ‘For you have not falsely praised’ (Legenda)
Ken and Jenny Jacobson, Carrying Off the Palaces: John Ruskin’s Lost Daguerrotypes (Quaritch)

The list was unanimously agreed by the judges – Professor Jeffrey Richards (President of the Ruskin Society), Professor Stephen Wildman (Director of the Ruskin Library and Research Centre, Lancaster University) and Dr. Austen Saunders.

The winner will be announced at the Annual John Ruskin Birthday Event which will take place at 3.30 p.m. on Saturday 6 February 2016 at the Artworkers Guild, Queen Square, London.

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Van Akin Burd (1914-2015)

Van Burd We have recently received the sad news of the death, on November 7th,  of Van Akin Burd.

In the history of Ruskin scholarship, Van Burd takes the palm for longevity, having published over six decades since his first article on Modern Painters in 1953.  His final piece, in the Spring 2014 Ruskin Review and Bulletin, is undoubtedly unique in the bibliography as the work of a centenarian.

Outstanding among Van’s achievements are the three great editions of letters which not only brought some of Ruskin’s most interesting correspondence to a wide audience but brilliantly illuminated three phases of his life: the young man of genius, in The Ruskin Family Letters, 1801-1843 (1973); the eccentric but passionate educator and nympholept, in The Winnington Letters (1969); and the saddened sage mourning for lost love, in Christmas Story: John Ruskin’s Venetian Letters of 1876-77 (1990).   Each edition is shot through with Van’s reverence for his subject combined with modesty, humanity and humour: precision with just a hint of mischief.

Ruskin once said of Americans that ‘as a nation, they are wholly undesirous of rest, and incapable of it.’  He could not have imagined how prophetic those words would be in describing one of the most dedicated not just of Ruskin scholars, but of true Ruskinians.  May he now rest in peace.

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