Maggs Bros Exhibit Opens Today

There are additional notices regarding the Maggs Bros. booksellers exhibit of Waugh’s graphic artwork. See previous posts. These appear on the Spectator Life and artdaily.org websites. The Spectator Life article also has several reproductions. The exhibit opens today, 18 July and runs through Friday, 28 July. The artdaily notice includes this  description of the exhibit’s highlights, revealing details not previously published:

• A manuscript of Waugh’s second novel Vile Bodies, 1930, accompanied by a colour proof of Waugh’s most famous design for the dust jacket and title page illustration. The proof is inscribed by Waugh to Bryan and Diana Guinness (née Mitford): “This is to be the cover. Do you like it? I do.” Part of the Elliott collection, the manuscript is being lent by the Brotherton Library of Leeds University.

• A painting of Napoleon by the invented artist “Bruno Hat,” a hoax that fooled many in British high society and was masterminded, in part, by Waugh, 1929.

• An original untitled pen and ink and wash drawing by Evelyn Waugh: Cocktail hour in a hotel lounge with cactus, modern literature, a cephalopod in a fish tank, a bare-bottomed statue and negro waiter. Signed and dated 1929. Possibly an unused illustration for Vile Bodies.

• The brilliant 1938 dust jacket design for Waugh’s celebrated journalism novel Scoop. Although not formally attributed to Waugh, it is understood that he played a major hand in its conception and design. It is one of the most well-known dustjackets of the period, and had to be revised after Lord Beaverbrook’s Daily Express (parodied as the “Daily Beast”) objected to the similarity of their title lettering…

Maggs Bros. bookshop is located in new premises at 48 Bedford Square in Bloomsbury, London WC1.

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