Item of the Week: Gill's Mulier

Published: December 1, 2010

The Clark recently acquired a letter written from Eric Gill to curator Frank Rutter regarding Gill’s statue Mulier [Mother] BVM, which has been on display in front of UCLA’s Young Research Library since the 1960s.  At the time (February 1914), Gill was writing to decline lending Mulier to the Leeds City Art Gallery on the grounds that he has decided “not to exhibit it further at present.”  The previous month, the sculpture had been on display as a part of Gill’s solo show at the Goupil Gallery.

Mulier was originally commissioned as a garden piece for Roger Fry, but after seeing the finished work, Fry rejected it, worried that his (and his sister’s) visitors would be offended by its overt sexuality.

This letter is relatively unusual among Gill’s correspondence because of the fact that it is entirely handwritten — he often used a typewriter, particularly for business-related letters.  Check out our finding aid to the Eric Gill Archive via the Online Archive of California, for this new acquisition and for a listing of other letters, papers and documents in our collection!

Mulier, onsite at UCLA (photograph by Jennifer Bastian)

Eric Gill, Letter to Frank Rutter, 1914 February 5.  In the Eric Gill Archive, Box 99, folder 30 (accession no. MS.2010.028).  William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles.

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Carol on

Absolutely beautiful! It gives me pause every time I see it. One of the many reasons I can’t stop coming back to UCLA.

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