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Oscar Wilde exhibit and croquet @ William Clark Library 7/8/11 FREE

OK, I'm pretty sure that I'm the only one that will go to this but I am posting because some of us just went to see his play done on Broadway via HD--'The Importance of Being Earnest" and thoroughly enjoyed it.  While it might seem like I'm some kind of Wilde freak, I'd actually never read any of his writing until recently.  Hey, I was on a Rembrandt kick last year but I swear it's all really by chance!  The nerd stars are just all aligned sometimes that's all.

The William Andrews Clark rare books library is owned by UCLA despite it's proximity to USC.  Apparently UCLA used to be over in that direction.  ANYWAY, they have one of the largest collections of original Oscar Wilde materials in the world that some prescient collector grabbed up when Wilde was still out of favor.  I love savvy investors (esp. when they have $$).

I toured this unique, lovely library last year as part of a tour done by another friend of mine.  He learned about it from this article:

"But those who know the library say it is unmatched and unforgettable. "The Clark Library is the greatest unknown literary treasure in Los Angeles," said Kathleen Thompson, who with her husband owns Michael R. Thompson Booksellers, a rare bookshop that works closely with the institution. "The minute we saw it 40 years ago we fell in love with it, and our love has only grown."

The library was built in 1924 for the personal collection of Los Angeles philanthropist and bibliophile Williams Andrews Clark Jr. He named it for his father, a wealthy Montana banker and copper baron who served a term in the U.S. Senate.

Many details of the library reflect the younger Clark's personal style and history. The bookcases in the reading rooms include copper mined by his family. Clark, who loved chamber music and founded the L.A. Philharmonic, had the drawing room designed to hold concerts.

Clark's taste gave the building and its five-acre grounds a unique charm that remains today. Original furniture manufactured in 1920s Pasadena stands in the reading rooms, and a grand piano occupies the drawing room. Throughout the building, paintings personally commissioned by Clark hang on the walls. Outside, carefully trimmed gardens and statues invite readers to pause in their studies.'

This picture is from the music room in the back.  I also attended a piano recital there last December.


I follow this library on Facebook and got the following invite:

"Please join us for an opening reception for our newest exhibit, Oscar Wilde and the Visual Art(ist)s of the Fin-de-Siecle. Gathering together original artwork and archival materials from the Clark's collections, this exhibit will provide a survey of Wilde's relationships with his contemporaries working in the fine arts, design and art criticism.

The exhibit will be on display through September, but we hope you can join us on July 8th for refreshments and a game of croquet!"

I work not too far from there so I thought I'd pop over for a look-see and a little croquet.  It starts at 4 but I'm not sure my ticker can take that much excitement so I'll get there closer to 5.  They really do have a lovely little parcel of land that much of the library runs under (to meet the need for expansion v. the desires of Mr. Clark's endowment) so it sounds like a perfect spot.

This is just off Adams on Cimarron and the entrance is through a narrow gate so proceed on through it and park. 

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