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Eric Gill Collection


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Eric Gill Collection, 1906-2011 | RB Rare Books

By Washington University Rare Books

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Collection Overview

Title: Eric Gill Collection, 1906-2011Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:(bulk 1910-1940)

ID: RB/RB003

Primary Creator: Gould, Charles P.

Other Creators: Gill, Eric

Extent: 442.0 Items

Arrangement: The Eric Gill Collection has been arranged into six series: Books, Ephemera, Prints, Drawings, Correspondence, and Reference Materials.

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Eric Gill Collection contains over 400 items surrounding Eric Gill’s work and life. This collection consists of many of Eric Gill’s own books along with those for which he was the artist. Additionally, the collection includes drawings, printings, and ephemera, such as his daughter’s wedding invitation he created a wood engraving for and the materials towards his works, such as woodblocks for the Golden Cockerel Press’s The Canterbury Tales (1929-1931). The highlights of this collection feature original drawings, including several for the wood engravings of the Golden Cockerel edition of The Constant Mistress (1934), and drawings for their edition of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. Famous for his typefaces, another item of interest is a 1906 alphabet written by Gill that exhibits the influence of designer Edward Johnson on Gill’s work. This collection provides a deep and substantial overview of Eric Gill’s work and processes. The items are divided into six series. Series 01: Books by Gill, Series 02: Ephemera, Series 03: Prints, Series 04: Drawings, Series 05: Correspondence, and Series 06: Reference Materials.

Collection Historical Note

The Library purchased this collection in 2005. The Eric Gill Collection was built over nearly 70 years since the 1930s by Charles P. Gould, a book collector from Pasadena, California, and includes over 400 items of Gill’s books, printings, drawings, correspondence, and engraved woodblocks for printing. Previously, in 2001, the Library purchased the Triple Crown Collection, a collection of books and printing ephemera from the legendary English Arts and Crafts presses, the Kelmscott, Doves, and Ashendene, which Charles P. Gould also collected and includes over 1,000 items, including items connected to Eric Gill, such as a woodblock of Gill’s Utopia type for the Ashendene Press and a Doves Press edition of Shakespeare’s Sonnets for which Eric Gill was an engraver.

Administrative Information

Repository: RB Rare Books

Access Restrictions: Open

Use Restrictions:

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or spec@wumail.wustl.edu. (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Books],
[Series 2: Ephemera],
[Series 3: Prints],
[Series 4: Drawings],
[Series 5: Correspondence],
[Series 6: Reference Materials],

Series 5: CorrespondenceAdd to your cart.
Item 1: Letter from Eric Gill to P.J.L., 1915Add to your cart.

Autograph letter, signed, from Eric Gill to "P.J.L." (probably his former schoolmate Percy Lucas), mentioning the Southern Weekly 'graphic' and wishing that P.J.L. could have joined Gill, Everard and Francis [Meynell] the previous afternoon. Hand-dated "D. Common, 19.6.15.

NE642.G5 A3 1915


Item 2: Practical Correspondence College collection, 1917., 1917Add to your cart.

This collection centers on Eric Gill's drawing of a woman in a hat, which he submitted to the Practical Correspondence College as a "test sketch" in response to their advertisement. The advertisement featured an unfinished picture of a woman and invited prospective students to fill in the facial features as a test of their artistic aptitude. Duly impressed, Charles E. Dawson replied two days later, stating that while Gill's work showed "unusual promise," he would, of course, require "a regular, methodical system of instruction" in order to actually sell any of his art. To this end, Dawson enclosed a scholarship certificate offering Gill one half off the regular tuition fee. Presumably Gill sent no reply, so a few weeks later the College principal, Vincent Lockwood, wrote to encourage him to apply, hoping that Gill might be swayed by testimonials from former students who were now successfully putting their new artistic skills to work. Lockwood sent his last letter the following month, offering further financial incentives in the form of tuition coupons. However, Gill did not enroll. By 1917, he was already well-established as a sculptor, engraver, and calligrapher, leading one to suspect that the original submission was an elaborate joke on Gill's part, perhaps to demonstrate the nature of art instruction for profit.

NE642.G5 A3 1917 4o


Item 3: Postcards from Eric Gill to his family, 1922-1926Add to your cart.

A set of postcards written chiefly by Eric Gill to his adopted son Gordian and other children. The first two postcards are written from vacation in Paris. In the first, Mary Gill hopes that Gordian is "being a good boy" and "Joan is getting to bed by 10 o'clock," and that "all are having a nice time with Agnes & the little ones." The second, with a picture of a stone dog statue, is a note to 8-year-old Gordian; his sister Betty inquires after the cats and assures Gordian that although the card depicts a stone dog, "there are lots of real ones" in Paris as well. The third card, also addressed to Gordian, was "found among your great aunt's things" and Gill "thought you wd like it"--the picture shows four shaggy horses under caption "A merry Christmas." The fourth card appears to be a personal note by Gill with a short description of an Egyptian ewer; "I have seen it & held it! EG."

NE642.G5 A3 1922


Item 4: Letters from Eric Gill to Douglas Cleverdon, 1928-1933., 1928-1933Add to your cart.

This collection consists of five letters and an envelope, all sent from Eric Gill at Pigotts, High Wycombe, to the publisher and bookseller Douglas Cleverdon. The correspondence between the two friends addresses various aspects of publishing and bookselling, including Cleverdon's publication of Gill's engravings in 1929.

NE642.G5 A3 1928 4o


Item 5: Letter from Eric Gill to Phillips Temple., 1935Add to your cart.

Typed letter, signed, on Pigotts, High Wycombe letterhead, to Phillips Temple, thanking him for his praise of Gill's article in the Colosseum of June 1934 and discussing the Catholic clergy's reluctance to preach on issues of social justice and inequality for fear of alienating wealthier Catholics. Typed on a single ring-bound sheet, with three manuscript corrections in Gill's hand.

NE642.G5 A3 1935 4o


Item 6: Letters from Eric Gill to Leslie Staples, 1936-1937., 1936-1937Add to your cart.

This collection consists of three letters from Eric Gill to Leslie Staples, Dickens scholar and proprietor of the George Inn in London. The correspondence concerns Gill's 1922 woodcut 'St. George and the dragon' (D182), which Gill had given to the George Inn's previous proprietor but then forgotten.

NE642.G5 A3 1936 4o


Item 7: Letters from Eric Gill to Ronald Armstrong, 1937-1938., 1937-1938Add to your cart.

This collection consists of four letters from Eric Gill to Ronald Armstrong at the British Consulate in Geneva, concerning a commission to provide a large carved stone relief for the League of Nations Building in Geneva. Gill designed a three-panel relief depicting the creation of man, with inscriptions from the Book of Genesis and the beginning of a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins. This correspondence spanned the sculpture's creation, providing insight into the details of the commission.

NE642.G5 A3 1937 4o


Item 8: Letter from Eric Gill to Gordian Gill, February 23, 1939, 1939Add to your cart.

An autograph letter from Gill to his adopted son, Gordian, written on Pigotts, High Wycombe stationery. In the letter, Gill offers 21-year-old Gordian detailed advice on his handwriting and inquires about some bills that have come to the house in Gordian's absence. He also mentions an upcoming lecture at Edinburgh University and the laying of a foundation stone he had carved for St. Peter's Church, Gorleston-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth. The letter is signed "Your daddy, E.G."

NE642.G5 A3 1939


Item 9: Letter from Eric Gill to Dr. Herman T. Radin., 1940Add to your cart.

Typed letter on Pigotts stationery dated October 20, 1940, signed and with handwritten note at end. Possibly the last letter written by Eric Gill before his death on November 18, 1940. Dr. Radin was a New York City physician known for having examined the kidnapper of Charles Lindbergh's baby, also a collector of press books. Gill writes that "we are well and safe so far, although bombs drop around at intervals," referring to the German blitzkrieg. He also refers to some forthcoming publications and mentions that he is "booked to go to hospital to have what I believe you call a lobectomy." At the very bottom of the page, Radin[?] notes that the letter arrived November 21st, three days after Gill's death.

NE642.G5 A3 1940


Item 10: Letters of Eric Gill, 1948Add to your cart.

Letters of Eric Gill / edited by Walter Shewring.

New York : Devin-Adair, 1948.

PR6013.I343 Z48 1948


Item 11: Letter and annotated list from David Jones to Evan Gill, 1961.Add to your cart.

This collection comprises a typed "list of apprentices, pupils or assistants" which Evan Gill planned to include in a bibliography of his brother's inscriptional work, and a letter written in response by David Jones. Apparently Evan Gill had sent the list to Jones requesting the latter's input before including it in his upcoming book (published in 1964). Jones replied with a three-page letter recalling his relationship with Eric Gill and his family. Jones also marked up the list of apprentices with his own corrections and marginal notes before returning it to Evan Gill.

PR6019.O53 Z48 1961 4o


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Books],
[Series 2: Ephemera],
[Series 3: Prints],
[Series 4: Drawings],
[Series 5: Correspondence],
[Series 6: Reference Materials],

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