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Inventory of the W. Graham Robertson Papers
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Graham Robertson (1866-1948) was a wealthy English gentleman, well-known in art and theatrical circles of the 1880's and 90's as a rising artist. A bachelor, he lived with his mother till her death in 1907, and thenceforth as a country gentleman. His great charm, his quiet humor, and his ready sympathy with the actors, artists and collectors he admired, gave him numerous friendships. Among his correspondents were artists such as Burne-Jones and Whistler, playwrights such as Pinero, James Barrie and Terence Rattigan, actors and actresses such as Ellen Terry and Sarah Bernhardt in the old days, the Lunts and Laurence Oliviers later on, and collectors such as Mrs. (White) Emerson of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Although he painted and wrote surprisingly little after 1914, he maintained extensive correspondence with numerous literary or stage personalities during his long retirement, and many of them made the journey to Sandhills, his Surrey home, for the pleasure of a few hours of talk and companionship with him. As a collector he was best-known for the number and quality of his Blake water-colors, many of which he gave to the Tate Gallery on the outbreak of World War II in 1939, and the rest were widely dispersed to public and private collections after his death in 1948. He had no relatives or heirs; to his long-time friend and executor, Kerrison Preston, fell the task of distributing his books, pictures and estate among various charitable causes. Among these was set up the William Blake Trust, founded with Graham Robertson money, to publish the now well-known Trianon Press facsimiles of Blake's illuminated books.
In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the manuscripts or visual materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office of the Library Director. In most instances, permission is given by the Huntington as owner of the physical property rights only, and researchers must also obtain permission from the holder of the literary rights. In some instances, the Huntington owns the literary rights, as well as the physical property rights. Researchers may contact the appropriate curator for further information.
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