• Ground Floor Gallery
    • "Poet of the Body": New York's Walt Whitman
      May 15 - July 27, 2019

      How did a carpenter’s son, grammar school dropout and sometime hack writer become America’s greatest poet? To commemorate Whitman’s 200th birthday, this landmark exhibition showcases New York’s role in the extraordinary transformation of Walter Whitman Jr. to “Walt Whitman, a kosmos, of Manhattan the son.” Whitman is now universally acclaimed as the "Good Gray Poet" and for his Civil War writings, though less is known of his early years. The exhibition presents the story of his coming of age as a poet through a unique assemblage of rare books, manuscripts, and artifacts—many never before on public display.

      Highlights include every American edition of Leaves of Grass published during Whitman's life, the longest Whitman manuscript in private hands, photographs and artifacts from the collections of the descendants of Whitman’s printer Tom Rome and patron John Johnston, Whitman's pen, cane, and locks of his hair encased in exquisite Victorian rings.

      For a sneak peek at some of the exhibition’s treasures, visit:

      Curated by collector Susan Jaffe Tane and Whitman scholar Karen Karbiener, the exhibition is accompanied by a book, Poet of the Body: New York’s Walt Whitman (Grolier Club, 2019), with a preface by Ms. Tane and text by Dr. Karbiener. A commemorative bronze medallion honoring Whitman’s 200th birthday has been specially commissioned from sculptor Marc Mellon as part of the exhibition. Medallion and book are available for purchase at the Grolier Club; book also available at


      Free guided tours of the exhibition, led by co-curator Karen Karbiener, will be held on:
      Wednesday, May 15, 12:00 - 1:00 pm
      Wednesday, May 22, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
      Thursday, May 30, 6:30 - 7:30 pm
      Thursday, June 20, 4:30 - 5:30 pm
      Monday, July 1, 5:30 - 6:30 pm. WorldPride New York 2019 curatorial tour
      Tuesday, July 23, 5:30 - 6:30 pm

      No reservations required.

      Wednesday, May 22, 12:00 - 1:00 pm
      “Printing Walt Whitman’s Faces,” presentation by letterpress artist and master printer Barbara Henry (Harsimus Press). No charge; no reservations required; open to all.
      Thursday, May 30, 5:30 - 6:30 pm
      “ ‘This is the city, and I am one of the citizens’: Walt Whitman, The Body, and the City,” presentation by Whitman scholar Ed Folsom (University of Iowa). No charge; no reservations required; open to all.
      Tuesday, June 18, 12:00 - 1:00 pm
      “I Sing the Exhibition Digital,” presentation by Dr. Jesse Merandy and the Bard Graduate Center’s Digital Media Lab (designers of the exhibition’s digital components). No charge; no reservations required; open to all.
      Thursday, June 20, 5:30 - 6:30 pm
      “A Year in the Basement with Walt Whitman,” presentation by illustrator Allen Crawford (Whitman Illuminated: Song of Myself). No charge; no reservations required; open to all.

      Saturday, June 1, from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
      All-day Whitman Symposium featuring presentations by Whitman scholars Betsy Erkkila and Kenneth Price, two panel discussions, a PechaKucha session, and a performance of Whitman song settings by the Dessoff Choirs (see Admission is free, but reservations are required by e-mailing

  • Second Floor Gallery
    • New Members Collect
      June 13 – July 27, 2019

      This exhibition showcases items from the personal collections of 20 individuals elected to Grolier Club membership within the past year. 

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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