Established by the family of Jack May on the occasion of this 90th birthday, The Joseph L. May History of Prints Fund was created to enrich the history of prints and graphics in the Vanderbilt libraries and fine arts gallery. Through acquisitions and programs, the libraries and gallery build upon this focus in our book and art collections, bringing recognition and new life to a strong area of the university’s holdings. We launched the fund at Vanderbilt University Special Collections with a 90th birthday celebration for Jack. Jack (who, Like Cornelius Vanderbilt, was born on May 27) was joined by his family and library staff to celebrate the date and the fund.
In its inaugural year, interest from the fund was used to purchase two items:
- Margaret Walker, For my People. Illustrated by Elizabeth Catlett with six full-page color lithographs. Folio. Original publisher’s red cloth housed in black cloth box. New York: Limited Editions Club, 1992. Walker’s best-known poem is illustrated by artist Elizabeth Catlett (American and Mexican Artist, 1915-2012), whose work honors the cultural identity of diverse communities. The book will be housed in Vanderbilt’s Special Collections.
- Hale Aspacio Woodruff, Relics 1935, linoleum cut, Artist’s Proof. Woodruff’s print supports the Gallery’s need for works from the 1930s, particularly works by African American artists, and speaks to a small collection of African sculptures in the Gallery that originated in Woodruff’s private collection. [shown above]