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Reading Group Outings: William Blake

BlakeWilliam Blake Resources

William Blake (1757–1827) is acclaimed for the visionary genius of both his poetry and painting. Intriguingly, for those of us interested in GLBT cultural history, he is sometimes identified as bisexual. As a resource for our outing to the Met's Blake Exhibit on June 22, 2001 (details below), I've collected links to the best online Blake resources.

If you are new to Blake, you will find introductions to his extraordinary achievements in literature and the visual arts. And if you want in-depth access to his work – such as a concordance to his complete poetry and prose – that's here too. Enjoy!

Blake Outing to the Met – June 22, 2001 at 5:30 PM
(second rendezvous 6:15 – details below)

BlakeJoin the Reading Group as we explore William Blake at the Met. We will meet by 5:30 PM on Friday, June 22, at the front entrance to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, New York, NY 10028. At 5:30 PM sharp we will proceed to the Blake Exhibit. If you are delayed but still want to join us, a second rendezvous will be at 6:15 PM sharp at the entrance to the exhibit (which occupies the Robert Lehman Wing). NOTE: There is no RSVP for this event (just show up); and if you are also in the Proust Group, we will leave the Blake exhibit with enough time to make the 8:00 PM Proust discussion.

In the Met's words, this is "the first major exhibition ever held in New York to address all aspects of the work of the important British Romantic painter, printmaker, and poet, William Blake. This exhibit presents more than 175 works drawn from public and private collections. The broad range of Blake's artistic and poetic vision is represented, with special attention to his innovative printmaking techniques, his visionary imagination, and the implications of his radical politics for his art." (This touring Blake exhibit, on loan from London's Tate Gallery, closes at the Met on June 24.)


Illustration"The Garden of Love"

(from Blake's Songs of Experience, 1789)

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And Thou shalt not. writ over the door;
So I turn'd to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be:
And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars, my joys & desires.


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