Ray, Gordon Norton, 1915-1986

Alternative names
Birth 1915-09-08
Death 1986-12-15

Biographical notes:

Gordon N. Ray, a graduate of Indiana University, was closely associated with the life and work of William Makepeace Thackeray. His four volume edition of the Letters and private papers appeared in 1945-1946 and his two volume biography in 1954-1955. From 1963 to 1985 Ray was president of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Ray was also an outstanding collector of English and French illustrated books. His collections formed the bases of two exhibitions held at the Pierpont Morgan Library that were accompanied by extensively illustrated catalogs: The illustrated book in England (1976) and The art of the French illustrated book, 1700-1914 (1982). The lecture "The art deco book in France" took his interest in French illustrated books through the 1930s.

From the description of The art deco book in France : the Lyall lectures [typescript], 1985 May. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122377192

Gordon Norton Ray (1915-1986) was a noted Victorian scholar, professor, and author. He was professor of English, specializing in Victorian literature, at Harvard (1940-1942) and then, after a brief period in the U.S. Navy during World War II, at the University of Illinois (1946-1957), where he also served as vice president and provost (1957-1960). He was also President of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1963-1985). His two-volume biography of William Makepeace Thackeray and a four-volume edition of Thackeray's letters were critically acclaimed, and his accomplishments as a major book collector led to the publication of three volumes on English and French book illustration. He also wrote extensively on H. G. Wells.

From the guide to the Gordon N. Ray Collection of Victorian Autographs, 1721-1926, (Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries)

Educator, foundation executive.

From the description of Reminiscences of Gordon Norton Ray : oral history, 1968. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122512714

Scholar and book collector.

From the description of Gordon N. Ray papers, 1940s-1987. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270921360


Loading Relationships

Constellation Information

Ark ID:


  • Diplomats
  • Statesmen
  • Autographs--Collections
  • Artists
  • Illustration of books--20th century
  • Politics, government and public administration
  • Educator--Interviews
  • Authors, English
  • Diplomatic and consular service, American
  • Authors, American
  • Art deco--20th century
  • Literature--British


  • Authors--20th century.--New York (State)--New York
  • Collector
  • Book collectors--20th century.--New York (State)--New York


  • England (as recorded)
  • France (as recorded)
  • New York (State)--New York (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • France (as recorded)