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[In 1879 it occurred to Professor Charles Eliot Norton that an exhibition of Ruskin's own drawings, such as had already interested the London public, would be equally appreciated by his numerous readers in America, “and of even greater value to large numbers of them who have not the opportunity of studying works of art in the old world, and who, for the most part, having at hand only the pirated edition of Mr. Ruskin's books with its disgraceful travesties of the noble and exquisite illustrations with which the author's edition of his own works were adorned, could have received only a most imperfect, if not altogether false impression of the quality and range of his artistic powers as therein displayed.”
Ruskin acceded to the suggestion, and sent a large number of his drawings, to which were added several in Professor Norton's collection. The exhibition was first held at Boston, and afterwards in New York, in the autumn of 1879, and a catalogue was prepared by Professor Norton.
Some remarks from Professor Norton's Prefatory Note may here be cited:—
“The character of this collection is unique. These drawings are not the work of an artist by profession; there is not a picture among them.