Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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South Windows

From the Outside In: A Visitor's Guide to the Windows



Engraving from De architectura libri dece, Vitruvius, 1521

Portrait of Katherine Mansfield, Mark Luca, 20th century

Portrait of William Butler Yeats, William Rothenstein, ca. 1897

Drawing, O. Henry, ca. 1905

Devil's Bridge, Spain, Charles Clifford, ca. 1858

Woodcut of initial letter "L" from The Four Gospels, Eric Gill, ca. 1931

Portrait of Christina Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, ca. 1847

Drawing from Italian architectural treatise, 17th century

Portrait of Lord Byron, William Edward West, ca. 1822

Duchamp Descending A Staircase, Eliot Elisofon, 1952

Woodcut from Johannes Regiomontanus's Kalendarius teutsch, 1512

Self-portrait, Edward Lear, ca. 1881

Caricature of Arthur Wing Pinero, Max Beerbohm, 1906

Title page of Igor Stravinsky's orchestration of Chopin's Grande valse brillante, 1909

Illustration for Maya Angelou's poem "Our Grandmothers," John Biggers, 1994

The New York Yankees As Seen in San Antonio, E. O. Goldbeck, 1922

Study for Dante's Dream, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1874

Study for Dante's Dream, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1874

Portrait of J. Frank Dobie, Tom Lea, 1953

Costume design for Il buffone (the fool) in the ballet Chout, Emanuele Luzzati, 1965

Kelmscott Press Chaucer, William Morris, 1896

Woodcut of initial letter "N" from The Four Gospels, Eric Gill, ca. 1931

Engraving from British Birds, Thomas Bewick, 1805

Title page drawing for The Marionettes, William Faulkner, 1920

Cover illustration for Le chiffre sept, Jean Cocteau, 1952

Manuscript of "Do not go gentle into that good night," Dylan Thomas, ca. 1951

Sketch of Ezra Pound, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, 1914

Binding for Charles Baudelaire's Les fleurs du mal, Charles Meunier, 1857

Doodle from Notebook II of Samuel Beckett's Watt, 1941

This playful doodle depicting a man in a hat in the south atrium of the Harry Ransom Center is from the second of seven Watt manuscript notebooks. The notebooks are remarkable artifacts that provide a window into a time of transition for the renowned writer Samuel Beckett.   Read more

Image courtesy of the Estate of Samuel Beckett.

Ruhr Miner, Fritz Henle, 1967

This photograph from the windows of the Harry Ransom Center shows a coal miner from the Ruhr Valley in Germany resting next to a window after a long shift. The sunlight from the window contrasts with the miner's face and clothes, still blackened by coal dust. The white container in his hand holds a quart of cold milk which each miner was required to drink after his shift was over. The image can be likened to Migrant Mother in the adjacent window, particularly in their rugged self-reliance and the excellent tonal reproduction on the faces.   Read more

Childhood drawings, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, ca. 1870–71

This scene in the window at the Harry Ransom Center shows one of the earliest known drawings by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec—a child's pencil drawing of animals and farmers and country life. The artist was six or seven years old when he drew it; his mother kept the sketch, and it was later found among a treasure trove of family papers that were brought to Austin by the former curator of the Ransom Center's French collection, Carlton Lake. The drawings are especially important because, before they were discovered, scholars had believed that young Henri began to draw around the age of 10.   Read more

Oscar Wilde, Napoleon Sarony, 1882

This image, one of a series of pictures of Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) taken by Napoleon Sarony, depicts the young Irishman in January 1882, shortly after he arrived in New York City to begin his 1882 tour of North America. During this year, the last year prior to his marriage to Constance Lloyd, Wilde strongly influenced the costume and style of the European Aesthetic movement, and his unique style quickly spread to the burgeoning Greenwich Village subculture.   Read more

Chinese character for "Make it New," Ezra Pound, 1947

Tailpiece for The Canterbury Tales, Eric Gill, 1929–31

Picasso's Eyes, David Douglas Duncan, 1957

When Pablo Picasso walked into a room of people, his intense gaze commanded attention. He could seduce, caress, or even frighten people with his piercing eyes. His gaze still attracts many Harry Ransom Center patrons, even young school children, when they walk into the south atrium. There they see the window etching of David Douglas Duncan's photograph of Picasso's eyes, which calls attention to the Center's archive of Duncan's work and to his connection with the artist.   Read more

Silhouette of Oliver Twist, Sir Francis Carruthers Gould, 1890s

Rooster device, Golden Cockerel Press, ca. 1923

Horse in Motion, Eadweard Muybridge, ca. 1886

It may come as a surprise in the twenty-first century to discover that in the 1880s, details of how objects move were unknown. The human eye, unaided, cannot resolve the details of fast motion. Eadweard Muybridge and his experiments with motion photography, such as this series of pictures of a horse's gait helped solve this mystery.   Read more

Photography collection, Harry Ransom Center.

Portrait of Lytton Strachey, unidentified artist, not dated

Milk Drop Coronet, Harold Edgerton, 1936

This simple image captures a milk drop as it strikes a thin layer of milk. The photographer, Harold Edgerton, maintained that he was a scientist rather than an artist, but he and his colleagues nonetheless produced many stunning pictures, of which Milk Drop is but one. National Geographic called him "the man who made time stand still."   Read more

© Harold Edgerton, 2013
Courtesy of Palm Press, Inc.

Joyce at Midnight, Desmond Harmsworth, ca. 1930

The windows of the Harry Ransom Center show two drawings of James Joyce, one by Desmond Harmsworth and one by Wyndham Lewis, depicting very different sides of the famous writer. The Lewis drawing, dated 1920, shows a portrait of Joyce from the outside: head down, identifiable by the thick eyeglasses and small beard. Lewis was one of Joyce's Modernist contemporaries—a novelist, experimental artist, and founder of the abstract art movement Vorticism. He was also a well-known curmudgeon and critic, and his sketch hints at the distance from which he approached his fellow artist. Harmsworth, in contrast, was one of Joyce's publishers and enjoyed long evenings talking and drinking with the writer. His drawing expresses more of Joyce's personal character.   Read more

Allie Mae Burroughs, Walker Evans, 1936

The haunting eyes of Allie Mae Burroughs look straight at us in this photograph taken by Walker Evans in the summer of 1936. Her gaze has a certain resignation, and her mouth doesn't quite smile. This is the face of a woman old before her time, who has known not only hard work but the realization that her children have gone to bed hungry. Allie Mae Burroughs was 27, a mother of four and the wife of Alabama sharecropper Floyd Burroughs, when Walker Evans photographed her for what would become an iconic image of the Great Depression in the United States. The Burroughs family's life was chronicled in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men by James Agee and Walker Evans.   Read more

Engraving of Lunardi's balloon ascent, ca. 1785

Gloria Swanson, Edward Steichen, 1924

Samuel Beckett in Piccadilly Square, ca. 1954