May 12 - July 31, 2004
Lasting Impressions: The Grolier Club Library
Curated by Eric Holzenberg & J. Fernando Peña
In the first comprehensive overview since 1978 of the Grolier Club's world-renowned Library on the art and history of the book, over 150 rare books, manuscripts, prints, and sculpture will be on display illustrating bibliography, printing and the graphic arts, bookbinding, the antiquarian book trade, and book collecting. Put together over the course of twelve decades with care, discretion, and scholarly effort, the Library has nurtured the bibliophile interests of some 3,000 Grolier members, supported the businesses of uncounted antiquarian bookdealers, and aided the research of generations of bibliographers, typographers, designers, and students in the history of the book.
The Library is the mission of the Grolier Club made visible, an attempt, in paper and vellum, cloth and morocco, ink and paint, to promote "the literary study of the arts pertaining to the production of books" among as wide and varied cross-section of the book-loving public as possible. A long-overdue survey of the Grolier Club Library, Lasting Impressions is also a celebration of the beauty and permanence of print, and an offering by the Grolier Club to all who share an appreciation for "the art preservative of all arts." But few Grolier members and other book lovers, even those who use the collections intensively, have any real notion of the resources offered by the Library. Each item in the show has been chosen to illustrate some particular aspect of the history of printing and graphic arts as represented in the Library. Among the treasures on display will be
- A twelfth-century illuminated manuscript of St. Gregory's Moralia in Job
- the 1467 Subiaco edition of St. Augustine's City of God, and other early printing, from Estienne to Benjamin Franklin
- a handwritten inventory of Madame de Pompadour's library, from the collection of Adolf Hitler
- a 16th-century gilt binding commissioned by Jean Grolier, as well as other examples of the binder's art, in leather and cloth, silver and tortoise-shell
- works on type design and letterforms by Albrecht Dürer, Geoffroy Tory, and others
- the earliest English book auction catalogue, the 1676 Lazarus Seaman sale
- three centuries of printers' medals in silver and bronze
- a case of miniature books, dating from the seventeenth century to the present
- original drawings by B. G. Goodhue for the 1896 Merrymount Press Altar Book, and other artwork relating to books and printing
This exhibition marks the 120th birthday of the Grolier Club and its collections, and 2004 finds the Library with much to celebrate, including its first-ever online catalogue, a newly-established fellowship program providing grants to researchers in the art and history of the book, and a comprehensive illustrated survey of the collections, to be published in May 2004. Lasting Impressions: The Grolier Club Library, a fully-illustrated 208-page color catalogue published by The Grolier Club and Winterhouse Editions, will be for sale at the Grolier Club and from The University Press of New England (UPNE) at a cost of $50.00.