Marianne Moore: Poetry

November 12, 2010

“When I Buy Pictures” and Blake

Filed under: Marianne Moore,Poem Sources — by moore123 @ 12:55 pm
Tags: , ,

“Michael taking Adam by the wrist” (l. 11)

Blake's "Paradise Lost" No. 12

From the Rosenbach website we learn that Moore purchased three Blake prints “in Boston during a 1918 visit to see John Warner Moore and Constance Eustis Moore just after they married. These ‘Copley prints of Blake’s’ were sent to Marianne on approval after she arrived home. [Her mother said Marianne] had been considering buying such prints for 9 years (since graduating from Bryn Mawr) and approved their purchase. See MWM to JWM, Oct. 18, 1918.” One of those prints was “The Expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden.”

The Copley Prints of Messers Curtis and Cameron of Boston, began  in 1895 as an educational project to provide Americans with access to some of the great art held by museums and collectors in the country.  In their history of the project, The Copley Prints (Boston:  Curtis and Cameron, 1915), the company’s owners explained that they would take mail orders and send prints on approval. The catalog lists prints of Blake’s illustrations to Paradise Lost from the set of watercolor drawings at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (the “Butts set”). They were priced at $4.50 each. Moore’s prints are not in color.

When Moore obtained the prints, she framed them and hung them in her apartment. They stayed with her throughout her life, hanging above her livingroom desk in her last apartment, now on view at the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia. Photographs of these prints are available on Rosenbach’s website by searching for research/objects catalog/blake Copley.


  1. Thank you for this post! I have been searching for this image reference for some time now. By chance do you know where I could find an image of the “silver fence,” my google search has not yielded anything fruitful. Thanks again.

    Comment by Nicole De Leon — October 19, 2012 @ 6:37 pm |Reply

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