Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Miller Auction Cancelled, Items Bought by Institution

As you may have read elsewhere over the past few weeks, San Francisco's PBA Galleries were ready to receive all bidders on March 18, 2010, for an incredible auction of Henry Miller items, including his Paris notebooks. These important documents belonged to the personal library of Roger Wagner.
However, those who were salivating to get in on the action should grab a napkin and sit down: the auction will not happen. Yesterday, the entire Miller collection was purchased "by private treaty" with "a major American research institution." Details about the sale can be read at Auction Central News. ACN quotes Mr. Wagner's reaction to the news: ""I'm happy to know that this important archive will stay together and be accessible to the scholars and fans of Henry Miller."
Surely, this can't be such a bad thing to have happened. The name of the institution should be known relatively soon.
The remainder of Roger Wagner's auction items, including papers relating to Charles Darwin and John Steinbeck, will still be auctioned on March 18th at PBA Galleries.


Blogger Douglas Matus said...

This is wonderful news. While I was excited about the possibility of driving up and snagging something, Miller's archives need to be collected and saved. His materials are dispersed among such a wide array of institutions and private collections, that a comprehensive study of his work is well-nigh impossible. The first step toward Miller being taken seriously by academia is having his materials localized in one or two institutions, not in private hands, and not constantly appearing for auction and on eBay.

1:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As someone trying to write about Miller I can't agree more - the disappearance of the Paris notebooks and that early Capricorn draft into a private collection would have made for huge holes in Miller's story. Long live public research libraries and institutions!

10:50 am  
Blogger Eric D. Lehman said...

Thank goodness. Now, hopefully, it will be in a library that I can access and get my hands on those Paris diaries...if only for an hour.

3:16 pm  
Blogger C said...

Blown away by the volume and importance of the items in that auction. I fear I'm overdosing on Henry Miller, I keep reading, "one last book," etc. and I try to stay away from this blog as much as possible. The sheer volume of what Miller put out and then considering all these gems of little God, how can I ever escape this Miller whirlpool?

12:55 am  
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