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Chester Page Collection

Abstract

Title:
Chester Page Collection
Author/Creator:
Page, Chester
Collection number:
2003-60
Size:
0.25 linear feet
Bulk dates:
1970-1973
Inclusive dates:
1933-1992
Collection Area:
Literature and Rare Books
Repository:
Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library, College Park, MD 20742. Tel: 301-405-9212, Fax: 301-314-2709, Email: askhornbake@umd.edu
Abstract:

Pianist and art connoisseur, Chester Page (1929-) was a close confidant to Modernist American author, Djuna Barnes (1892-1982) during the final decade of her life, as well as a friend to several other major literary figures such as Marianne Moore (1887-1972), Bryher (1894-1983), and Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979). Barnes and Page shared a mutual friendship with Moore. In the spring of 1970 Page wrote to Barnes to introduce himself and to offer his assistance. He was invited to tea at Barnes's apartment at 5 Patchin Place in New York City on 19 May 1970, and from that moment forward, enjoyed a close friendship with the author until her death. After Barnes's death on 18 June 1982, Page became an invaluable source of information on the reclusive author during her final days. He had managed a closeness which Barnes bestowed on a select few. The Chester Page Collection contains correspondence between Barnes and several friends and literary figures and some epemera collected by Page. The collection spans the period 1933 to 1992. Correspondence with Louise Crane (1913-1997) dating between 1970 and 1973 constitutes the bulk of the collection.

Important Information for Users of the Collection

Restrictions:

Processed

Preferred citation:

Chester Page Collection, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1903.1/1542
Publication rights:

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.

Status:

This collection is PROCESSED.

Historical Note

Pianist and art connoisseur, Chester Page (1929 - ) studied music at the Mannes School in New York City with Hans Neumann and Frank Sheridan and has performed in numerous broadcasts and recital venues including the Mannes School, the New School (also in New York City), and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. Page was a close confidant to Modernist American author, Djuna Barnes (1892-1982) during the final decade of her life, as well as a friend to several other major literary figures such as Marianne Moore (1887-1972), Bryher (1894-1983), and Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979). Barnes and Page also shared a mutual friendship with Moore. In the spring of 1970, Page wrote to Barnes to introduce himself and to offer his assistance. He was invited to tea at Barnes's apartment at 5 Patchin Place in New York City on May 19, 1970, and from that moment forward, enjoyed a close friendship with the author until her death.

In a reminiscence of their relationship, published in Mary Lynn Broe's edition Silence and Power: A Reevaluation of Djuna Barnes, Page remembers how impressive Barnes was, even toward the end of her life.

Our friendship . . . Became, to our mutual surprise, rather close. Among memorable outings together were a shopping trip to Altman's on Fifth Avenue, where she was an awe-inspiring figure with her cape and cane and regal posture; a nearly disastrous afternoon at an Ingmar Bergman film, two hours of unrelenting gloom, from which we were rescued by having tea at the Palm Court of the Plaza. There a violinist played melodies from the 1920s and 1930s and ladies in cloche hats appeared as if on cue. I never dreamed such things still existed,' said Miss Barnes. (Broe, 363)

When Barnes's vision began to fail due to cataracts, and she was unable to secure a satisfactory prognosis and treatment, Page suggested an eminent eye surgeon, who was able to restore much of her sight. After Barnes's death on June 18, 1982, Page became an invaluable source of information on the reclusive author during her final days. He had managed a closeness which Barnes bestowed on a select few.

To Page, "Djuna Barnes was incomparable. I consider all those afternoons spent with her in her gloomy little apartment, listening to her fabulous wit, or commiserating with her on the state of the world, feeling her affection and concern, one of the great privileges of my life." (Broe, 364)

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Chester Page Collection contains correspondence between Djuna Barnes and several friends and literary figures as well as one newspaper clipping. The collection spans the period 1933 to 1982. Correspondence with Louise Crane (1913-1997), dating between 1970 and 1973, constitutes the bulk of the collection.

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Chester Page donated the collection to the University of Maryland Libraries in November 2002 and January 2012.

Processing Information

Processed by:

Processed and guide completed by Jason Stieber, July 2003. Revised and updated by Ruth M. Alvarez, February 2012.

Processing note:

When donated in November 2002, the collection had no particular arrangement. During processing letters were arranged alphabetically by correspondent, and the clipping separated into its own series. Envelopes were retained and appear after their corresponding letter. A clipping duplicated an item in the Papers of Djuna Barnes, but it was nevertheless retained. All materials were placed in acid-free folders and housed in an acid-free box. None of the items contained metal staples or paper clips. The additional items Page donated in 2012 were incorporated into series 2 of the collection, which was renamed "Ephemera." A new series "Photographs" was also created at this time.

Encoded by:

EAD markup created using EAD database in Microsoft Access. Markup completed by Michael Yates, February 2006.

Arrangement of Collection

The collection is divided into three series.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Correspondence, 1933-1982 (29 Items)

The Chester Page Collection contains correspondence between Djuna Barnes and such individuals as Peggy Guggenheim (1898-1979), Anita Loos (1893-1981), Louise Crane, and Chester Page himself. Also included is a letter to Page from the poet W. H. Auden (1907-1973) regarding the disposition of Barnes's papers and her general well-being. Letters are arranged alphabetically by correspondent, and, where postmark dates are legible, envelopes have been matched to their original letters. Several envelopes in the Louise Crane correspondence file lack discernable postmarks. These have been placed after the dated material at the back of the folder.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Auden, W.H., 1970 series 1box 1folder 1
Crane, Louise, 1970-1973, 1979, and undated series 1box 1folder 2
Guggenheim, Peggy, 1958 series 1box 1folder 3
Hanfstaengl, Ernst "Putzi", 1969 series 1box 1folder 4
Loos, Anita, 1958 series 1box 1folder 5
[MacDougall, Allan Ross], "Dougie", 1933 series 1box 1folder 6
Monteith, Charles, 1981 series 1box 1folder 7
Page, Chester, 1971, 1982 series 1box 1folder 8

Series 2: Ephemera, 1980-1992 and undated ( 7 Items)

This series contains a copy of a legal document, newspaper clippings about Barnes, a book sellers's catalog, a flier announcing a conference, and periodicals containing articles by and about Barnes. The items are arranged alphabetically by author, title, or subject.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Barnes, Djuna, "The Dear Dead Days" -- (Theatre Guild Magazine), February 1929 series 2box 1folder 9
Broyard, Anatole, "Aged Unconventionality" [review of Selected Works of Djuna Barnes] -- (New York Times), 28 June 1980 series 2box 1folder 10
Call for Papers and Panels, Djuna Barnes Centennial Conference, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 2-3 October 1992 series 2box 1folder 11
Field, Andrew, "Minor Works of a Major Writer" -- (New York Times Book Review), 9 January 1983 series 2box 1folder 12
James Cummins Bookseller, catalogue 108, Literature, undated series 2box 1folder 13
Notice of Probate, Will of Djuna Barnes, State of New York, Surrogate's Court, County of New York, 2 August1982 series 2box 1folder 14
"Patchin Place" and "Stable Denizen" -- (New York Observer), undated series 2box 1folder 15

Series 3: Photographs, 1981-1983 (17 items)

This series contains photographs of subjects related to Djuna Barnes by Chester Page. The photographs are arranged chronologically.

DescriptionSeriesBox / ReelFolder / Frame
Interior view of 5 Patchin Place, residence of Djuna Barnes from 1940 to 1982, Greenwich Village, New York, NY; Photograph taken by Chester Page; (color slide; 2" x 2"), circa November 1981 series 3box 1folder 16
Site of disposition of the ashes of Djuna Barnes, Storm King Mountain, south of Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY; Photograph taken by Chester Page; (color print; 3.25" x 5"), November 28, 1982 series 3box 1folder 17
Site of disposition of the ashes of Djuna Barnes, Storm King Mountain, south of Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY; Photograph taken by Chester Page; (color print; 3.25" x 5"), November 28, 1982 series 3box 1folder 18
Jussi Korzeniowski, site of disposition of the ashes of Djuna Barnes, Storm King Mountain, south of Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY; Photograph taken by Chester Page; Back inscription: "Jussi scattering the ashes of Djuna Barnes 11-28-82"; (color print; 3.25" x 5"), November 28, 1982 series 3box 1folder 19
Jussi Korzeniowski, site of disposition of the ashes of Djuna Barnes, Storm King Mountain, south of Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY; Photograph taken by Chester Page; Back inscription: "Jussi Korzeniowski"; (color print; 3.25" x 5"), November 28, 1982 series 3box 1folder 20
Storm King Mountain, south of Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY; Photograph taken by Chester Page; (color print; 3.25" x 5"), November 28, 1982 series 3box 1folder 21
Plaque recognizing donors of "these lovely wooded acres" to the Storm King School, site of disposition of the ashes of Djuna Barnes, Storm King Mountain, south of Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY; Photograph taken by Chester Page; (color print; 3.25" x 5"), November 28, 1982 series 3box 1folder 22
Headmaster's house, Storm King School, Storm King Mountain, south of Cornwall-on-Hudson, NY; Photograph taken by Chester Page; Back inscription: "Headmaster's house, Storm King School. Behind this house a path goes up the mountain, to the right of which were scattered the ashes of Djuna Barnes - Nov. 28, 1982"; (color print; 3.25" x 5"), November 28, 1982 series 3box 1folder 23
View of gate to Patchin Place, residence of Djuna Barnes from 1940 to 1982, from 10th Street, Greenwich Village, New York, NY; Photograph taken by Chester Page; (color slide; 2" x 2") [See folder 23 above.], circa January 1983 series 3box 1folder 24
Exterior view of 5 Patchin Place, residence of Djuna Barnes from 1940 to 1982, Greenwich Village, New York, NY; Photograph taken by Chester Page; (color slide; 2" x 2") [See folder 24 above.], circa January 1983 series 3box 1folder 25
Exterior view of 5 Patchin Place, residence of Djuna Barnes from 1940 to 1982, Greenwich Village, New York, NY; Photograph taken by Chester Page; (color slide; 2" x 2") [See folder 25 above.], circa January 1983 series 3box 1folder 26
Exterior view of 5 Patchin Place, residence of Djuna Barnes from 1940 to 1982, Greenwich Village, New York, NY; Photograph taken by Chester Page; (color slide; 2" x 2") [See folder 26 above.], circa January 1983 series 3box 1folder 27
View of gate to Patchin Place, residence of Djuna Barnes from 1940 to 1982, from 10th Street, Greenwich Village, New York, NY; Photograph taken by Chester Page; (color print; 3.25" x 5"), circa March 1983 series 3box 1folder 28
Exterior view of 5 Patchin Place, residence of Djuna Barnes from 1940 to 1982, Greenwich Village, New York, NY; Photograph taken by Chester Page; (color print; 3.25" x 5"), circa March 1983 series 3box 1folder 29
Exterior view of 5 Patchin Place, residence of Djuna Barnes from 1940 to 1982, Greenwich Village, New York, NY; Photograph taken by Chester Page; (color print; 3.25" x 5"), circa March 1983 series 3box 1folder 30
Exterior view of 5 Patchin Place, residence of Djuna Barnes from 1940 to 1982, Greenwich Village, New York, NY; Photograph taken by Chester Page; (color print; 3.25" x 5"), circa March 1983 series 3box 1folder 31
Detail of tile on exterior of 5 Patchin Place, residence of Djuna Barnes from 1940 to 1982, Greenwich Village, New York, NY; Photograph taken by Chester Page; (color print; 3.25" x 5"), circa March 1983 series 3box 1folder 32

Related Material

The Papers of Djuna Barnes, of which this collection is a satellite, contain much information on the life and work of Barnes. They include correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, artwork, page proofs, and personal records as well as ephemera and clippings collected by Barnes.

In addition to the Papers of Djuna Barnes, the University of Maryland Libraries' literary manuscripts holdings include the Barnes Family Papers, the Papers of Saxon Barnes, the Papers of James Stern, the Papers of Phillip Herring, and the Irwin Cohen Collection. Important correspondence between Djuna Barnes and Emily Coleman (1899-1974) can also be found in the Emily Holmes Coleman Papers at the University of Delaware Library, in Newark, Delaware.

For other related archival and manuscript collections, please see the following subject guides.

Selected Search Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Maryland Libraries' Catalog. Researchers desiring related materials about these topics, names, or places may search the Catalog using these headings.

Subjects

Names (Added Entries)