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Margaret Stetz, Aubrey Beardsley, 150 Years Young

Aubrey Beardsley, 150 Years Young
Margaret Stetz

Aubrey Beardsley, 150 Years Young charts the meteoric rise of Aubrey Beardsley (1872–1898), a monumental figure in book and magazine illustration, graphic arts and poster design, as well as the history of gender and sexuality. During Beardsley’s brief career, which was cut short by his death from tuberculosis, he was a brilliant innovator in the British art nouveau and decadent movements, creating daring black-and-white images for periodicals such as  The Yellow Book and The Savoy, and for books published by the Bodley Head and Leonard Smithers. He was equally famous as the consummate bad boy, using his images to satirize Victorian norms of conduct and to push gender and sexual boundaries. This book highlights the rebellious and insouciant quality of his art and writing, celebrating the eternally young Beardsley. Featuring letters and drawings, rarely seen posters, periodicals, books, photographs, and ephemera, Aubrey Beardsley, 150 Years Young includes original designs for The Yellow Book and The Savoy, illustrations for Oscar Wilde’s Salome, and a recently discovered Beardsley drawing of a key that would be featured on the the back cover and spine of Keynotes, a notable 1893 volume of bold feminist stories by George Egerton. All the items are drawn from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press.

Margaret D. Stetz is the Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women’s Studies at the University of Delaware.

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