- Visualizing Camelot: An Introduction
- Visualizing Camelot in Everyday Life
- Visualizing Camelot at the Movies
- Visualizing Camelot in Popular Culture
- Visualizing Camelot: Major Authors
- Illustrated Malory Editions
- Ashendene Press Malory and "The Barge to Avalon"
- Retellings of Malory
- Illustrated Tennyson Editions
- Tennyson's Influence on Popular Art and Culture
- Tennyson, Watts, and the Strength of Ten
- Art Based on Malory and Tennyson
- Illustrating Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
- Reworking Twain's Connecticut Yankee
- T. H. White
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
- Children's Books
- Visualizing Camelot through Iconic Images
- Women Illustrators
- Credits and Acknowledgments
- 2024 Events and Programming for Visualizing Camelot
Edwin Austin Abbey's Grail Murals
In the Reading Room (originally the Book Delivery Room) of the Boston Public Library at Copley Square is an exceptional interpretation of the Grail: a series of murals, “The Quest and Achievement of the Holy Grail” (1895-1902), by Edwin Austin Abbey (1852-1911), one of the foremost painters, muralists, and illustrators of his day. Abbey’s interpretation of the Grail story combines elements from the medieval accounts of both Galahad and Perceval.
The frieze consists of fifteen panels, beginning with “The Vision, or The Infancy of Galahad,” in which Galahad’s mother is visited by a dove carrying a golden censer and an angel carrying the Grail. The subsequent panels depict Galahad’s quest to achieve the Grail, which, after many adventures, he does. In the final panels, he passes from the land onto Solomon’s Ship, which bears him to Sarras, where he is made King. After Joseph of Arimathea appears, Galahad’s kingly trappings fall away, and his spirit—along with the Grail—ascends to Heaven.
Abbey’s murals achieved great popularity, and the images from them were frequently reproduced. They also inspired literary works such as Linwood Taft’s Galahad: A Pageant of the Holy Grail (1924), which exhibits some of the same blending of the stories of Galahad and Perceval that the murals do, as well as Sara Teasdale’s poem “Galahad in the Castle of the Maidens” (1911), which is addressed “To the maiden with the hidden face in Abbey’s painting.” And the renowned early filmmaker D. W. Griffith planned a silent short film The Quest of the Holy Grail, based on the Abbey murals—though the film was never actually produced.
Featured is a poster advertising a publication by R. H. Russell & Son of reproductions of and commentary on the Edwin Austen Abbey Grail murals as well as reproductions of eight of Abbey’s Grail mural panels for the Boston Public Library.