December 9, 2015 - February 6, 2016. "The Grolier Club Collects II." Curated by Arthur L. Schwarz and Eric J. Holzenberg
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December 9, 2015 - February 6, 2016
The Grolier Club Collects II: Books, Manuscripts, & Works on Paper from the Collections of Grolier Club Members
Curated by Arthur L. Schwarz and Eric J. Holzenberg


Behind every great collection lies a great story. That was the premise of the first Grolier Club Collects show in 2002/2003, and a dozen years later it remains the central idea of The Grolier Club Collects II, a gathering of books, manuscripts and works on paper drawnfrom the international membership of the Grolier Club. Reflecting the breadth and quality of those members’ varied collecting interests, the exhibition encompasses medieval manuscripts and early printed books as well as contemporary literature; rarities ranging from Old Master drawings and prints, to nineteenth- and twentieth-century posters, cartoons and ephemera to livres d’artiste, children’s books, book objects, and photographs. Each object comes with a tale, written by the collector, describing how and when the book, manuscript, or print was acquired, under what circumstances, how it fits (or does NOT fit) into an overall collecting scheme and—most importantly—why it is precious to the collector. These unique objects illuminate the remarkable range of subjects pursued by bibliophiles on an international stage and provide proof that the collecting of books and prints in the age of the internet is not only alive and well, but thriving.

The Grolier Club Collects II is a survey of collecting today, as reflected in the interests of current Grolier members. It is not a ‘treasures’ show of jewel-encrusted and gilt-edged rarities, but rather a collection of objects chosen for their power to inspire. Included in this diverse assemblage: 

• Book artifacts, ranging from an 8th-century Japanese Buddhist scroll, to a manuscript fragment in Greek of the Testamentum Domini (The Last Will and Testament of Jesus), to a modern miniature book (Robin Llywelyn’s Portmeirion). 

• Historical works, from a copy of the 1483 Chronicon of Eusebius, to the first book printed in New Jersey (1723), to a copy of Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television; 

• Autographs, letters and annotations by figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Madame de Sévigné, Carl Sandburg, J. K. Rowling, and King George I of England; 

• Literature of all places and ages, including Marguerite de Navarre’s Heptameron, Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote, Herman Melville’s Typee, Oscar Wilde’s The Sphinx … and an alphabet by Edward Gorey! 

• Examples of the book arts, including Mughal Indian miniatures, illuminated manuscripts, the 1904 Doves Press Bible, and fine bindings by Michael Wilcox, George Kirkpatrick, Pierre-Lucien Martin and others; 

• Works on paper in all forms, from an elaborate hand-made nineteenth-century valentine, to prints by Dali and Ben Shahn, to photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron and Candida Höfer. 

A FULLY ILLUSTRATED CATALOGUE will accompany the exhibition, designed by Jerry Kelly, with an introduction by curators Arthur L. Schwarz and Eric Holzenberg, and a preface in verse by Terry Belanger. The 184-page catalogue will be available on or about 1 December from Oak Knoll Books: 310 Delaware St. New Castle, DE 19720; tel. 302.328.7232; orders@oakknoll.com; www.oakknoll.com. 

PUBLIC EVENTS scheduled in connection with the exhibition: Tuesday, January 26, 2016, 1:00 PM-6:00 PM: A Symposium to celebrate the book-collecting legacy of Grolier Club member Carl H. Pforzheimer (Registration is $75 per person, $25 for students); and Wednesday, January 27, 2016 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM, a free public lecture by co-curator Arthur L. Schwarz, offering us his “Curator’s Choice” of the objects on view. 

LOCATION AND TIMES: The Grolier Club Collects II will be on view at the Grolier Club from December 9 2015-February 6 2016, with the exception of holiday closures on December 24, 25, 28, 31 , January 1, and January 18. Hours: Monday-Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM. Open to the public free of charge.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION please contact Jennifer Sheehan, Grolier Club Exhibitions Manager: jsheehan@grolierclub.org; 212-838-6690 OR Susan Flamm, PR Consultant to The Grolier Club, sflamm212@gmail.com; 212-289-2999.
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