Graeme Moore collection of Ian Hamilton Finlay material
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Ian Hamilton Finlay (1925-2006) was a Scottish poet, artist, and landscape and garden designer, best known for his iconic garden Little Sparta, a collaboration with his second wife, Sue MacDonald-Lockhart. Born in Nassau in the Bahamas, Finlay's family returned to Scotland soon after. Finlay left school at thirteen and briefly attended the Glasgow School of Art before the outbreak of World War II. During the war, Finlay served in the Royal Army Service Corps, which inspired a lifelong artistic interest in military iconography. After the war, he worked as a shepherd in Orkney, and began work on poetry which was not well-received in Scotland, but earned admirers in America, especially among the Black Mountain School, who helped influence Finlay's interest in concrete poetry.
During the 1960s and 1970s, he produced postcards, poster poems, and pamphlets through his own Wild Hawthorn Press; and in 1966, he purchased a five-acre farm ın Lanarkshire called Stonypath (later renamed Little Sparta). While his wife, Sue, was the principal gardener, Finlay dotted the garden with sculptures, temples, and ponds that epitomized a style he called Neoclassical. In the 1980s, Finlay's use of military (and sometimes Nazi) imagery in his garden plans earned him criticism from art critics and, on one occasion, the French government; however, Finlay resolutely denied any Fascist sympathies, and pursued a successful defamation suit. In addition to Little Sparta, Finlay designed gardens in Stockwood Park in Luton and at the Serpentine Gallery in London. He received an honorary doctorate from Aberdeen University in 1987 and the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 2002. He died in Edinburgh on March 27, 2006.
Graeme Moore trained in horticulture at Cannington College, Somerset and Writtle College, Essex, and studied art history and literature at the University of Essex. After initiating a correspondence with Ian Hamilton Finlay and defending the artist during his battles with art critics and the National Trust, Moore became the head gardener of Finlay's garden Little Sparta for a brief period in 1990, before a falling-out with Finlay over terms of pay led to his termination. However, the two men repaired their relationship, and Moore later wrote pamphlets and scholarly articles on the garden and Finlay's work in general. In addition to his scholarly work, Moore is also a well-known landscape artist in his own right, producing works such as The New Orangery (1983, Dumbarton Oaks, Washington DC), Grass Snake (1987, Castle Park, Colchester, Essex), Lime Walk (1990, Hughson Gallery, Glasgow), and a permanent garden at Dunsyre, The Old School.
This collection contains material collected by Graeme Moore related to his relationship with Ian Hamilton Finlay. It is arranged in eight series: correspondence between Moore and various correspondents, including Finlay; Ian Hamilton Finlay material, including pamphlets, prints, and miscellanea, such as receipts for garden work and a tree tag from the garden at Little Sparta; Graeme Moore material, including his writings on Finlay's work and research material for these writings; articles and reviews of Finlay's work; exhibition catalogs and promotional material for Finlay's exhibitions; audiovisual material, including taped interviews with Finlay and slides of Little Sparta and other gardens designed by Finlay; scrapbooks collected by Moore that detail the history of Little Sparta, Finlay's print work, and his battle with art critics, the National Trust and the French Ministry of Culture; and tools and miscellaneous objects, including metal garden implements, a reed basket, and an olive oil bottle.
Sold by Graeme Moore, 2012.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Sam Allingham
- Finding Aid Date
- 2019 April 8
- Access Restrictions
This bulk of this collection is open for research use, however, access to original audio/visual materials (located in box 4, folders 8 and 9) and computer files is restricted. The Kislak Center will provide access to the information on these materials from duplicate master files. If the original does not already have a copy, it will be sent to an outside vendor for copying. Patrons are financially responsible for the cost. The turnaround time from request to delivery of digital items is about two weeks for up to five items and three to seven weeks for more than five items. Please contact Reprographic Services (email@example.com) for cost estimates and ordering. Once digital items are received, researchers will have access to the files on a dedicated computer in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. Researchers should be aware of specifics of copyright law and act accordingly.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.