In our Gallery room, users will have access to digital images of art works mentioned by Melville, the art prints he collected, modern illustrations of his writings, and family photographs.
MEL’s Art Group editors use MELCat to upload images and enter metadata for artworks referenced in Moby-Dick. With Juxta Editions, editors can link to MELCat artwork entries in their contextual annotations for MEL’s Versions of Moby-Dick edition.
Melville as Art Print Collector
Melville’s father, Allan Melvill, purchased books and art prints on his travels to Europe before Melville was born. Herman adopted his father’s habit and added to the family collection of art print items that he, too, purchased abroad. He also collected art prints late in life. The Melville art print collection was dispersed among family members after Melville and his wife Elizabeth Shaw Melville died. Most of the 400 items are located at the Berkshire Athenaeum; others are in the Osborne Collection at Southwestern (TX) University and the Reese Collection of the Melville Society Archive at the New Bedford Whaling Museum’s Research Library. MEL has acquired digital images of Osborne and Reese Collections (almost seventy objects), and is negotiating with the Berkshire Athenaeum to add its collection as well. MEL research associates use MELCat to enter metadata for each image so that editors in Juxta Editions can link MELCat images to their contextual annotations.
The images on view are from the Osborne and Reese Collections.