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Beardsley Scholarship at His Centennial: Tethering or Untethering a Victorian Icon? Chris Snodgrass University of Florida Rodney Engen and Joichiro Kawamura, eds. Beautiful Decadence: Aubrey Beardsley, Charles Ricketts, Laurence Housman, Harry Clarke, Alastair, Sidney Herbert Sime, Willy Pogany, Arthur Rackham Tokyo: Isetan Museum of Art, 1997. 303 illus. (168 on Beardsley) 255 pp. George Melly (foreword) and Claire Nielson (text) The Spirit of Beardsley: A Celebration of his Art and Style. London: Parkgate, 1998. 355 illus. 224 pp. £12.99 Andrew Lambirth Aubrey Beardsley London: Brockingham, 1998. 126 illus 124 pp. £12.99 Gilles Néret Aubrey Beardsley Kohn, Lisboa, London, New York, Paris, Tokyo: Taschen, 1998. Ill illus. 96 pp. £5.99 Matthew Sturgis, ed. Aubrey Beardsley: Poems Arncott, UK: Eighteen Nineties Society, 1998. 5 illus. 47 pp. £15.00 Steven Halliwell and Matthew Sturgis, eds. The Death of Pierrot: A Beardsley Miscellany Arncott, UK: Eighteen Nineties Society, 1998. 19 illus. 77 pp. £15 00 363 ELT 42 : 4 1999 Matthew Sturgis Aubrey Beardsley: A Biography London Harper Collins, 1998. 70 illus. xii + 404 pp. £19.99 $29.95 Stephen Calloway Aubrey Beardsley London: V&A; New York: Abrams, 1998. 194 illus 224 pp. £25 00 $39.95 David Colvin Aubrey Beardsley: A Slave to Beauty London: Orion, 1998. 104 illus. 112 pp. £18 99 Peter Raby Aubrey Beardsley and the Nineties London: Collins Brown, 1998 73 illus 120 pp. £10.99 Linda Zatlin and Simon Wilson, eds. Aubrey Beardsley: A Centenary Tribute London. Tate Gallery, 1998 205 illus. 256 pp. £25 00 Linda Zatlin Beardsley Japonisme and the Perversion of the Victorian Ideal Cambridge, New York, and Melbourne: Cambridge Univerity Press, 1997. 124 illus. xiv + 304 pp. £45.00 $70 00 Jane Haville Desmarais The Beardsley Industry: The Critical Reception in England and France from 1893-1914 London: Ashgate/Scolar, 1998. 21 illus. xviii + 208 pp. £45 00 $84.95 FOR OVER A HUNDRED YEARS Aubrey Beardsley has been one of the two defining icons of the Victorian fin de siècle (the other being Oscar Wilde). He produced over a thousand pictures in only five illnessplagued years and generated a critical interest unique and unprecedented in British art. Early commentators Osbert Burdett and Bernard Muddiman called the 1890s the "Beardsley Period" and judged Beardsley (not Wilde) to have been "the age's real king." James Gibbons Huneker anointed Beardsley "the one 'genius' of the Eighteen-Nineties," a customary characterization dating from even before Arthur Symons's dazzling obituary essay in the Fortnightly Review (May 1898), which rei364 AFootnote TheSavoy2(April1896),185 ELT 42 : 4 1999 fied the view of Beardsley as a diseased decadent genius. But, of course, Beardsley has become much more than just a colorful icon of the narrow "yellow nineties," as would seem obvious from the fact that around 1998, the centennial year of his death, no fewer than thirteen books were published about him, several of them directed at a mainstream mass audience . In addition to having reshaped late-Victorian art and culture, Beardsley's impact on the current century—from art nouveau through Klimt and Picasso to the advertising art of today's popular culture—has been enormous. The noted art historian Julius Meier-Graefe proclaimed that when future generations look back over the artists of the modern era, Beardsley will be one of a select few who remain truly "indispensable " to not only understanding an age but also achieving a "true knowledge of our own life." Whereas the stature of a great many distinguished Victorian writers and artists has diminished over time, Beardsley's continues to grow. Indeed, during this last decade we have been participating in something like the third "resurgence" of Beardsley "mania" in the last hundred years. The first "resurgence" began soon after World War I and carried into the early 1930s. It was fueled by a number of factors, among them the efforts of American collectors such as A. E. Gallatin; the notoriety of numerous Beardsley forgeries, particularly several dozen that H. S. Nichols tried to pass off in New York in 1919 (a scam exposed by Gallatin and others); the scholarly detective work of R. A. Walker; C. Lewis Hind's Uncollected Works of Aubrey Beardsley (1925...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 363-399
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Will Be Archived 2021
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