Index of Selected Artists in the Collection

Dante Gabriel Rossetti (English, 1828-1882) with John R. Parsons (English, active late 19th century)
Jane Morris Standing, in Marquee, 1865
Albumen Photograph with gilded wood frame
Gift of Professor Delbert L. Gibson in memory of
Madame Marie-Jeanne Lahaurine Johnston (1898-1938), Directrice of La Maison Francaise (est. 1927), Oberlin College
AMAM 2000.14

The acquisition of an 1865 albumen photograph with gilded wood frame, titled Jane Morris Standing, in Marquee, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and John R. Parsons, was made possible by a generous gift from Oberlin alumnus Delbert L. Gibson. Professor Gibson taught at Oberlin College and his gift is in memory of Madame Marie-Jeanne Lehaurine Johnston, Directrice of la Maison Française, Oberlin College.

The Allen's new photograph, Jane Morris Standing, in Marquee, has an interesting history. On July 7, 1865, the English painter and poet Dante Gabrielle Rossetti commissioned the photographer John R. Parsons to create a series of photographs featuring his then-lover and favorite model, Jane Morris. These photographs, which were taken at Rossetti's residence in London, depicted Morris (who was the wife of the well-known Aesthetic Movementartist William Morris) in a variety of poses.

The AMAM's photograph depicts Jane Morris leaning against a support pole in a large outdoor tent in Rossetti1s garden. Rossetti, who was known to add paint to photographs to enhance their appearance, most likely did the slight re-touching that is evident in Morris' face. The image is enclosed in a frame, the style of which recalls a 15th century Venetian tabernacle. Both the photograph and the frame exemplify the tastes of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, a group of English artists (led by Rossetti) who wanted to recapture the simplicity and realism of early Italian art.

The Rossetti and Parsons images of Jane Morris are now recognized as some of the most important photographs of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Photographs from this series are exceedingly rare and only three other prints of this photograph are known to exist: two in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and one in The Birmingham (England) City Museum and Art Gallery.

Additional history on this Photograph:
On July 7, 1865, the English painter and poet Dante Gabrielle Rossetti commissioned the photographer John R. Parsons to create a series of photographs featuring his then-lover and favorite model, Jane Morris. These photographs, which were taken at Rossetti's residence in London, depicted Morris (who was the wife of the well-known Aesthetic Movement artist William Morris) in a variety of poses both indoors and in the garden.

The AMAM's photograph, Jane Morris Standing, in Marquee, depicts Morris leaning against a support pole in a large outdoor tent in Rossetti's garden. The slight re-touching that is evident in Morris' face was most likely done by Rossetti, who was known to add paint to photographs to enhance their appearance. The image is enclosed in a frame, the style of which recalls a 15th century Venetian tabernacle. Both the photograph and the frame exemplify the tastes of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, a group of English artists (led by Rossetti) who wanted to recapture the simplicity and realism of early Italian art.

The Rossetti and Parsons images of Jane Morris are now recognized as some of the most important photographs of the Pre-Raphaelite movement. Photographs from this series are exceedingly rare and only three other prints of this photograph are known to exist: two in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and one in The Birmingham (England) City Museum and Art Gallery.

Dante Gabrielle Rossetti used Jane Morris Standing, in Marquee as the basis for a famous set of paintings and drawings illustrating the story of Pandora. In Greek mythology, Pandora (meaning, "all gifted") was the first woman on Earth, created by Zeus to plague mankind. The gods gave on her such gifts as beauty and charm but also great curiosity. Zeus, seeking to punish man for accepting the gift of fire that Prometheus stole from heaven, gave Pandora a box containing all the troubles that the world now knows. She was warned not to open the box, but her curiosity overcame her. Only Hope remained inside the box as she quickly closed the lid again. In 1870 Rossetti also wrote a poem (below) that complemented his images of Pandora.

What of the end, Pandora? Was it thine,
The Deed that set these fiery pinions free?
Ah! Wherefore did the Olympian consistory
In its own likeness make thee half divine?
Was it that Juno's brow might stand a sign
For ever? And the mien of Pallas be
A deadly thing? And that all men might see
In Venus' eyes the gaze of Proserpine?

What of the end? These beat their wings at will,
The ill-born things, the good things turned to ill,-
Powers of the impassioned hours prohibited.
Aye, clench the casket now! Whither they go
Thou mayst not dare to think: nor canst thou know
If Hope still pent there be alive or dead.

- Dante Gabrielle Rossetti