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John Ruskin Collection: Finding Aid
mssHM 6097-6129, etc.  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Administrative Information
  • Access
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Related materials in the Huntington Library
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: John Ruskin Collection
    Dates (inclusive): 1833-1888
    Collection Number: mssHM 6097-6129, etc.
    Additional Collection Numbers: mssHM 6097-6129; mssHM 7586-7622; mssHM 12881; mssHM 18908; mssHM 21655-21664; mssHM 24179; mssHM 25801-25861; mssHM 26320; mssHM 26353; mssHM 30341-30369; mssHM 30653-30658; mssHM 30883-30885; mssHM 31088-31098; and mssHM 32002-32014.
    Creator: Ruskin, John, 1819-1900.
    Extent: Approximately 175 items in 2 boxes and 8 loose volumes
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains approximately 175 pieces of correspondence and manuscripts related to English author John Ruskin (1819-1900) and his career as a writer, professor, and art critic.
    Language: English.
    Finding aid last updated on November 5, 2015.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. John Ruskin Collection, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    The collection was assembled from various sources, including:
    • Sotheby's, June 1-2, 1959 (Countess of Abingdon), Lot 385 (HM 25801)
    • W.S. Allen, 1925 (HM 7586-7589, 7591)
    • Sotheby's, March 14, 1967, Lot 225 (HM 30344-30369)
    • Sotheby's, December 12, 1967, Lot 514 (HM 30657-30657)
    • Sotheby's, December 10, 1968, Lot 796 (HM 31088-31098)
    • Hofmann & Freeman, Catalog 31: 126, June 1970 (HM 32003-32014)
    Specific provenance information is written on the item folder.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Biographical Note

    John Ruskin (1819-1900), an English critic of art, architecture, and society, as well as an artist and a teacher, was born February 8, 1819, in London, England. He graduated from the University of Oxford in 1843. After gaining wide recognition as an author, artist, and social reformer, he moved from London to Brantwood, Coniston Water, in 1872, where he remained until his death. In 1873, Ruskin met Susan Beever (1805-1893), and they became close friends, writing each other almost every day about their shared interests in nature, art and a love for animals; and in 1887, Albert Fleming edited and published a selection of these letters. Their voluminous correspondence was carried on until Beever's death in 1893.
    He was elected first Slade Professor of Art at Oxford in 1870 and held the post until 1878 and then again from 1883 to 1884. From 1878 until his death, Ruskin was plagued with recurring brain attacks. He made many trips abroad, several in an attempt to cure himself of these brain fevers.
    However, by 1889 his literary career was at an end. He died January 20, 1900, and was buried at Coniston beside Beever.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains approximately 175 pieces of correspondence and manuscripts related to English author John Ruskin (1819-1900) that deal chiefly with his career as a writer, professor, and art critic. The earliest item in the collection is a volume titled Practical Geometry, containing problems and exercises, with some additional sketches and notes by Ruskin, dated 1833 (HM 6103).
    The correspondence series includes:
    • 61 letters, dated 1858-1873, to Louisa Anne De La Poer Beresford, Marchioness of Waterford, a Pre-Raphaelite watercolorist.
    • 11 letters to Sarah Corlass (circa 1850-1865)
    • 12 letters to actor Norman Forbes in 1888
    • 26 letters to novelist Margaret Raine Hunt, from 1867 to 1887
    • 6 letters to John Henry Larkin
    For a detailed list of Ruskin's artwork within the collection, see "A Checklist of Pre-Raphaelite Works of Art in the Huntington Library and Art Collections," Huntington Library Quarterly Vol. 55, No. 1 (Winter, 1992), pp. 225-251.

    Related materials in the Huntington Library


    The collection is arranged in the following 2 series:
    • Manuscripts arranged by title
    • Correspondence and manuscripts arranged by author

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Ruskin, John, 1819-1900 -- Archives.
    University of Oxford.
    Art critics -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
    Authors, English -- 19th century -- Archives.


    Drawings -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
    Letters (correspondence) -- Great Britain -- 19th century.
    Manuscripts -- Great Britain -- 19th century.


    Allen, George, 1832-1907, recipient.
    Appleton, Charles Edward Cutts Birch, 1841-1879, recipient.
    Corlass, Sarah, recipient.
    Crawley, Frederick, recipient.
    Forbes, Norman, 1858-1932, recipient.
    Hunt, Alfred William, Mrs., 1831-1912, recipient.
    Larkin, Henry, 1820-1899, recipient.
    Louisa Anne, Marchioness of Waterford, 1818-1891, recipient.