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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3003 N. Charles Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-3843
Phone: (410) 516-7160
Fax (410) 516-5251

September 1, 1999
Carolyn Smith
(410) 659-8179, carolyn.smith@jhu.edu

Gift Enhances University's
20th Century Literature Holdings

Richard Frary, a 1969 graduate of The Johns Hopkins University, has given the university's Milton S. Eisenhower Library an extensive collection of rare works by literary figures John Dos Passos and Rockwell Kent, as well as rare publications by poet Dylan Thomas and novelists William Faulkner and John Barth.

Frary's gift, which has not yet been appraised, has greatly enriched the library's collection of 20th century literature, said James Neal, dean of university libraries at Johns Hopkins. The Kent and Dos Passos collections are firsts for the library's Special Collections Department, while the Thomas, Barth and Faulkner books reinforce existing holdings, he said.

Frary, president of Tallwood Associates, a real estate firm in New York, is an ardent book collector and has amassed an extraordinary collection of more than 1,000 volumes. In 1997, he and his wife Irene gave the library $100,000 to establish the Richard and Irene Frary Endowment for 19th and 20th Century American Literature, saying then, "Irene and I look forward to enriching the Hopkins libraries with gifts for many years to come."

Frary, a psychology major at Hopkins, has served as a member of the library's advisory council and similar boards for the university's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and for the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese-American Studies.

John Dos Passos (1896-1970) was well-known for his novels, and the collection of his works donated to Hopkins includes rare, first- or special-edition copies of his most famous books, Manhattan Transfer and USA, and other signed books. The collections also includes drama, poetry, history and controversial works from every stage of his career. Dos Passos was politically active, although throughout his life his political sympathies moved gradually from left to right. This shift is noted in the Frary collection by a 1927 pamphlet he wrote in support of condemned anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti and a 1959 book by conservative William F. Buckley Jr,. for which Dos Passos wrote an introduction. Also in the collection is a first edition of Airways Inc., his earliest play, together with the publisher's contract, signed by the author. Placed in one book are letters written by Dos Passos to two literary Baltimoreans: Betty Adler, Mencken's bibliographer; and C.P. Ives, former editorial writer for the Baltimore Sun. Dos Passos, a long-time Baltimore resident, often used the city's George Peabody Library and wrote much of USA there.

Rockwell Kent (1882-1971) was best known as a painter and illustrator but was also a talented author. He wrote and illustrated books on his travels to such faraway places as Newfoundland, Alaska, and Tierra del Fuego. The Frary collection includes reproductions of his paintings, a "catalogue raisonn‚" (a list of his artwork accompanied by descriptions), and book illustrations he created for writers as varied as Shakespeare, 1920s humorist George Chappell and Kent himself. Proofs of the pictures for one of his books, N by E, an account of a voyage to Greenland in 1929, are among the highlights of the collection. Other interesting inclusions are two volumes of woodcut bookplates for various clients (one of whom was Raymond Dexter Havens, a Hopkins English professor), a sheet of 1939 Christmas Seals designed by Kent and a 1938 advertising brochure for a paint company, which he wrote and illustrated.

Frary also donated several rare first or special edition copies of works by Dylan Thomas, John Barth (a retired Johns Hopkins faculty member) and William Faulkner, which will enhance the library's existing holdings of works by those authors.

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