• Ground Floor Gallery
    • Opening Wednesday, December 11:

      Five Hundred Years of Women’s Work: The Lisa Unger Baskin Collection
      December 11, 2019 - February 8, 2020

      The phrase “women’s work” usually conjures up domestic duties or occupations associated mainly with women (teaching, nursing, housekeeping), but Lisa Unger Baskin’s collection upends those assumptions by revealing that Western women have long pursued a startling range of careers and vocations. By bringing together materials from across the centuries, Ms. Baskin shows that through their work women have supported themselves, their families, and the causes in which they believed.

      In 2015, Grolier member Lisa Baskin placed her collection with Duke University’s Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture in the Rubenstein Library. Comprising more than 10,000 rare books and thousands of manuscripts, journals, ephemera, and artifacts, it was the most significant collection on women’s history still in private hands.  The exhibition provides a first glimpse into the diversity and depth of the collection, uncovering the lives of women both famous and forgotten and recognizing their accomplishments. It has been co-curated by Naomi L. Nelson, Lauren Reno, and Lisa Unger Baskin.

      “I began forming my women’s collection at a time when there was little interest in the historical record of the achievements of women. My politics informed my collecting. In the 1960s I was involved in the ongoing struggle for civil rights and an end to the war in Vietnam. My response to the women’s movement, alongside my activism, was to collect and document the history that was hidden, not taught, and little written about. I had begun prying out evidence that women were working—indeed, had always been working—but the tracks marking their achievements were largely erased or obscured,” states Ms. Baskin.

      Furthermore, “Over time my vision expanded, as did the parameters of my collection. My activism continued to inform my collecting. I sought particularly to document the lives of women of color.  My interests led me to the political poetry of Phillis Wheatley, to African American women’s settlement houses in Cleveland, to Ida B. Wells’ self-published anti-lynching pamphlets, and to Lizelia Augusta Jenkins Moorer’s writings on prejudice and Jim Crow.  Printing and bookselling, as well as women’s relationships to books, became vital interests. I sought books printed and sold by women, from incunables on.”

      Lisa Unger Baskin’s words and passion resonate in the exhibition and the fully illustrated catalogue. Of special note, Women’s Work also extends to the contributions made by women to the catalogue: the essays, typefaces, and the design and production of the catalogue are all the work of women. 
  • Second Floor Gallery
    • Alexander Anderson's America
      November 14 – December 28, 2019

      Alexander Anderson (1775-1870) was America’s first wood engraver. He illustrated books in every category from children’s books to Bibles as well as diverse print media. His engravings appeared in such popular works as Thomson’s Seasons, Washington Irving’s Salmagundi, and Thomas Bewick’s A General History of Quadrupeds. The selection on view is from the collection of Jane R. Pomeroy, author of the three volume Alexander Anderson (1775-1870) Wood Engraver and Illustrator Annotated Bibliography.

Visiting the Grolier Club

47 East 60th Street
New York, NY 10022

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm
Admission: Exhibitions are open to the public free of charge


Celebrating the Art & History of the Book Since 1884

For further information, please contact:
Susan Flamm
Public Relations Consultant to the Grolier Club
Jennifer Sheehan
Exhibitions and Communications Manager
212-838-6690 x 2

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