News & Notes

Eclectic selections from the Clarence John Laughlin Book Collection on display

Posted in Exhibitions, Special Collections Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Seeing and “The Eye of the Imagination”: Fantasy, Surrealism, and Horror in the Clarence John Laughlin Book Collection

July 2 – September 21, 2018

in Upper and Lower Main Galleries









LSU Libraries Special Collections presents  the exhibition, Seeing and “The Eye of the Imagination”: Fantasy, Surrealism and Horror in the Clarence John Laughlin Book Collection. On view from July 2 – September 21, 2018 at Hill Memorial Library at LSU, the exhibition features a broad selection of highly visual printed works which represent the range and depth of the Laughlin Book Collection.

Clarence John Laughlin (1905-1985) was a New Orleans writer, photographer, and book collector.  His consistent preoccupation with the metaphysical fueled his imagination and creativity.  His works always included both words and images, one informing the other.  Laughlin often wrote about his personal creative process, driven to share the transformative and heightened sense of reality he experienced.  He took great interest in exploring the inner reality of subconscious thought, especially in relation to his work.

Best known for the surreal photographs of architectural decay in his seminal work, “Ghosts Along the Mississippi,” Clarence John Laughlin considered himself, first and foremost, to be a book collector. Laughlin eventually amassed an extensive library of over 32,000 books meant to inform and enhance the creation of art.  Acquired in 1985 with support from the Friends of the LSU Libraries, the Clarence John Laughlin Book Collection mirrors the eclectic interests of its creator, measuring equal parts fine art, fantasy, the occult and science fiction. Books pertaining to his particular interest and ideas about “seeing” and alternative realities are well represented in the collection and are explored within the exhibition.

Seeing and “The Eye of the Imagination” is free and open to the public. Visit or call (225) 578-6544 for hours of operation and directions.

Images: Selections from the Clarence John Laughlin Book Collection. Top row: Zombie by Rose London; The Colour Out of Space written by H. P. Lovecraft, illustrated by Virgil Finlay; Zoom Magazine, Paris edition. Middle row: Laughlin’s annotated copy of The Checklist of Fantastic Literature. Bottom row: Dark Carnival by Ray Bradbury; pouchoir illustration by Yan B. Dyl from Henri de Regnier’s Le Miracle du Fil; cover of the 1948 edition of Laughlin’s Ghosts Along the Mississippi.








from to
Exhibitions Special Collections

Exhibitions Coordinator, LSU Libraries Special Collections

Posted in Exhibitions, Special Collections Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


On Display

Made in New Orleans: The Past in Print  –  Main Gallery

John Earle Uhler Papers  –  Reading Room

In the News

Made in New Orleans
“Hill Memorial Library showcases ‘Made in New Orleans: The Past in Print’,” The Daily Reveille

Made in New Orleans
On exhibit: ‘Made in New Orleans’ at LSU Hill Memorial Library, March 19-June 8,” inRegister

Letterform Characters
“Hill Memorial Library exhibit explores history of typeface,”  The Daily Reveille

Through the Valley of Death
“Hill Memorial Library debuts WWI exhibit,” The Daily Reveille

Investigating Sherlock
“LSU’s Hill Memorial hosts Sherlock Holmes exhibit,” The Daily Reveille

Jazz Fest 101: A Showcase of Student Oral History Research
“Hill Memorial Library displays ‘Jazz Fest 101,’ explores festival’s past,” The Daily Reveille

A Voyage to the Floating World: Japanese Illustrated Books and East-West Cultural Exchange in the Nineteenth Century
“On Exhibit: A Voyage to the Floating World,” inRegister

Advancing Scholarship & Learning for 80 Years: LSU Press and The Southern Review
“Hill Memorial Library Displays History of LSU Press, Southern Review,” The Daily Reveille

A la Militaire” – The Battle of New Orleans
“Hill Memorial opens ‘A la Militaire,'” The Daily Reveille

Cooperative Extension at LSU
“AgCenter: Louisiana resource for 100 years,”
The Advertiser

I Remember: An Art Show of Environmental Significance
“Time for oil and gas industry to come to the table on coastal restoration,” BR Business Report

The Relentless Pursuit of “Equal”
“Integration Exhibit Opens,” LSU Daily Reveille

Centuries of Style
“Style Stories,” The Advocate

“Clothing as Social History,”

Of Kin & Cane
LSU Daily Reveille

Blacks in the Red Stick
LSU Daily Reveille

Louisiana for Bibliophiles
The Advocate

Change(less): Photography and the Ephemeral Made Permanent
DIG Magazine

Special Collections Hours

Contact Special Collections

Public Services Desk: (225) 578-6544

Reference Desk: (225) 578-6568

Fax: (225) 578-9425


Submit a reference question

RSS Feed RSS - Special Collections Posts