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1864 Sketchbook: Animals and Watercoloured Landscapes

Green cloth-bound notebook featuring preliminary sketches of farm animals--including sheep, cows, horses, a dog (defecating), and a chicken. Extensively illustrated, the sketchbook includes landscapes of farmland and topographical sketches with notes on colouring as well as landscapes in watercolour. It includes portraits of a child and of a man, and details of a gate and a branch. The visual content includes a folded sheet of paper featuring profile and frontal portraits of the same man.

Crane’s handwriting notes include excerpts, quotes, and marginalia. Excerpts come from the art section from the The Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science and Art and the Westminster Review. Located on the sketchbook’s endpapers, Crane’s quotes Ralph Waldo on the use of the artist’s tools. Crane’s notation includes music notes with laughter “ha, ha, ha.”

Used by Crane in the summer and fall of 1864, the sketchbook corresponds with the period when Crane was beginning to illustrate a number of book covers and toybooks in partnership with the printer Edmund Evans. There is a possible connection between the animals and music notice in these sketches with farm animals and songs that feature in Crane’s early toybooks.

The medium is pencil, ink, and watercolour on paper.

Crane, Walter, 1845-1915

1864 Sketchbook: Political Leanings

This sketchbook points to Crane's political leanings, his view of the world, and his thoughts on labour and leisure. Bound in green cloth with gold embossed letters, the visual content tends towards the bucolic––featuring landscapes, sunsets, and a countryside cottage and imagery of animals. The pencil sketches include studies of birds––a solan geese, a black cock, and a cormorant. The absence of detail in the line drawings of cows and a horse rider on horseback contrast with the detailed studies of a cottage and rocks and shrubs.

Located near the end pages, the textual content includes hand-copied sections of written works by Charles Kingsley, John Ruskin, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Copied in part, Kingsley poem titled Palinodia, 1841, which begins as an ode to nature, and continues as a commentary on mankind’s place in “sunless cities, and the weary haunts of smoke-grimed labour.” Crane also copied out sections of Ruskin’s essay, Unto the Last, 1860, which attacks aspects of classic economic theory associated with Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill. Excerpts from Ruskin are followed by Emerson’s History, from Essays: First Series, 1841.

The medium is pencil and ink on paper.

Crane, Walter, 1845-1915

1897 Sketchbook: Bases of Design

Dark blue leather notebook containing drawing techniques and sketching types. The sketchbook's date parallels Walter Crane's ideas on good design.

The sketchbook includes preliminary sketches, line drawings, perspective views drawings, and gesture drawing, as well as cartoons and portraiture. The subject matter varies from studies of flowers, such as the iris, to floral patterning. It includes preliminary sketches for his book design--roughly indicating how Crane saw double page spread as a basic design unit. The sketches also include a pram, a house exterior, and furniture.

One of the cartoon sketches shows a man at pulpit with flag (possibly William Morris: see illustration of Speech of William Morris Speaking from a Wagon in Hyde Park, Artist Remininance, p.440)

Some of the legible words in Crane’s rough writing refer to artistic media such as “gesso” and techniques “silverwork,” “relief,” “wood carving,” and “stencils.” One page in particular is dedicated to the scribbled letters which make the words Bases of Design. This sketchbook notably predates Crane’s publication titled The Bases of Design, by one year.

Medium: pencil on paper

Crane, Walter, 1845-1915

1901 Sketchbook: Ireland Travels

Brown leather notebook with clasp containing extensive drawings of Walter Crane’s travels in Ireland in the summer of 1901. These drawings of landscapes, shores-capes, and townscapes depict scenes from Crane’s time in Killiney, Killarney, Dublin, Bray, Cork, Glengarriff, Kenmare, and Cashel. Serving the function of a travel journal, most of the drawings are signed with dates and locations.

The sketchbook also includes drawings of building exteriors, such as Muckross Abbey and Hore Abbey, as well as a sketch of a dog, plants, and people. Within Crane’s seemingly apolitical journey he includes a drawing of the monument to the Irish political leader Daniel O’Connell located in Dublin. There are two pages of textual notes.

The medium is pencil on paper.

Crane, Walter, 1845-1915

1903 Sketchbook: Honorable Artillery Company

Black leather-bound sketchbook containing visual content of an architectural nature as well as plans for a panel painting.
Architectural sketches include a building interior of a staircase, and a building exterior of of Weaponness Park in Scarborough England. The sketchbook includes a sleeping cat, a still life ink drawing of dried seaweed, soldiers, and a throne.

A mid-section of the sketchbook indicates Crane’s preliminary work for a commission. It includes a centralized composition of an enthroned figure followed by a processional figures on horseback, a floor plan, pages of notes with the repeated letters H.A.C., and costumed soldiers. These pages may have been part of the preliminary work that Crane did for his early twentieth-century commission to commemorate the soldiers of the Honorable Artillery Company (H.A.C.) who lost their lives during the Boer War.

Much of the textual content includes architectural and artistic terminology, such as cornices, wood carving, modelled panel. The notes contain information on measurements, on materials, and colours, types of clothing, and weapons. Numbers appear as dimensions, sums of money in British pounds, and time tables for the train. Evaluative language of student work appear under the headings “Reading College - Examination.”

The medium pencil on paper and ink on paper. The sketchbook includes a dried flower.

Crane, Walter, 1845-1915

1905 Scrap Book, Galahad School

The file contains a scrapbook from 1905-1917 about the Galahad School. It includes lists of students, a history of the school, events, newspaper clippings, poetry, short essays, recitals, copies of the Galahad Signet newsletter and postcards and photographs. Wilder Penfield is listed as a student between 1905 and 1909, when he graduated. A note at the end states that the Galahad School was closed in 1917 and the teachers went to training camps.

Penfield, Wilder, 1891-1976

1905 Sketchbook

Black leather-bound notebook combines Crane’s work and leisure interests.

The portraits of a woman, of a man with the initials L.F.C., and the table of diners are possible representations of Crane’s friends and family––many of whom are mentioned in his autobiography. The sketch of the seascape Llangrannog suggests a trip to Wales, otherwise undocumented in his autobiography.

The sketchbook's varied visual content also includes pigs, building exteriors, architectural details (cornices and panels), Greco-Roman figures, and action scenes where human figures engage with the land; they fish, farm, and gather hay. Additionally, the sketchbook contains a folded sheet of a heraldic lion design, and one page of notes.

The medium is pencil and ink on paper.

Crane, Walter, 1845-1915

19th century McGill ephemera

This file contains programmes, invitations, and other ephemera related to McGill. Includes: two copies of McGill Annual University dinner songbook (1890), programme for meetings of the McGill Medical Society of Undergraduates (1898-1899), McGill Annual University Dinner programme (20 November 1890), invitation to a reception with the Principal in the University Library (26 October 1895), McGill College Faculty of Arts certificate of matriculation for A.W. Atwater (winner of Governor's Scholarship) (1873-1874), McGill College Faculty of Arts Department of Practical Science certificate of matriculation for A.W. Atwater (1873-1874), invitation to the Founder's Festival addressed to Miss Macdonald (1865), invitation to the Founder's Festival (1864), schedule for McGill University Athletic Association Annual Field Meeting (23 October, 1891), programme for Founder's Festival (ca. 1880), programme for the Annual Dinner of the Undergraduates of the Law Faculty (19 March 1883), programme for McGill Faculty of Law Annual Dinner belonging to Mr. Fair (22 March 1881), "Royal Institution" republished from "The Quebec Official Gazette" (ca. 1826), programme for Faculty of Applied Science Undergraduate 10th Annual Dinner (21 January 1892), programme for Faculty of Applied Science Undergraduate 11th Annual Dinner (3 February 1893), programme for McGill University Athletic Sports (28 October 1880), English text of "Hymn to Apollo" sung at the Academy of Music (19-20 February 1897), programme for British Medical Association Annual Dinner (2 September 1897).

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