February 24 - April 17, 1999
Treasures from the Libraries of National Trust Country Houses
Curated by Nicolas Barker
Under the gracious patronage of His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, a major exhibition, the first of its kind, will open in New York at the Grolier Club on February 24, 1999. Treasures from the Libraries of National Trust Country Houses, with related lectures and activities, will be jointly sponsored by the Royal Oak Foundation and the Grolier Club of New York.
The National Trust, well known for its buildings, gardens, and collections of art, furniture and furnishings, is perhaps less well known for the extraordinary and historic collections of books and manuscripts in its care.
Treasures from the Libraries of National Trust Country Houses will introduce visitors to the magnificent collections amassed by the owners of British stately homes, such as Blickling, Anglesey Abbey, Ickworth, Kingston Lacy, Stourhead, Kedleston, and Charlecote.
Among the highlights of the exhibition, which will gather together seven centuries of manuscripts, incunabula, fine bindings and beautifully illustrated books, will be extraordinary copies of landmark works such as the Book of Common Prayer, the Haggadah, the Nuremberg Chronicle, and a number of Shakespeare folios. A presentation copy to Bennett Langton of Boswell's Life of Johnson will be featured, as will Queen Victoria's Leaves from the Journal of Our Life in the Highlands from 1848 to 1861, Descartes Discours de la Methode, a stunning copy of Gould's Birds of Great Britain, and first editions of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, as well as works by Lawrence, Walpole , Kipling, and Shaw.
Treasures from the Libraries of National Trust Country Houses is curated by Nicolas Barker, former Keeper of Books at the British Museum. A major illustrated catalogue is available, which will stand as a permanent record of the exhibition as well as a substantial contribution to book scholarship.
This exhibition will be a unique opportunity for the public to see at first hand the beauty and variety of the National Trust holdings. The Grolier Club is joint sponsor with The Royal Oak Foundation, the American membership affiliate of the National Trust of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. For further information, please call Ms. Damaris Horan at 212/966-6565, ext 202, or visit the Royal Oak website.
Treasures from the Libraries of the National Trust will be on view at the Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, 24 February-17 April 1999, except 2 and 3 April when the Club is closed. The exhibition is open to the public, Monday-Saturday, 10-5, free of charge.