Shop  |  Calendar  |  Join  |  Buy Tickets  |  Hamnet  |  Site Rental  |  Press Room  
About UsWhat's OnUse the CollectionDiscover ShakespeareTeach & LearnFolger InstituteSupport Us
Building and Grounds
• Main Building
The Great Hall

   Sign up for E-news!
   Printer Friendly

The Great Hall

Great Hall

The site of two to three exhibitions a year, drawn primarily from the Folger collection, the Folger's Great Hall evokes the gallery of a sixteenth-century house with its soaring plaster strapwork ceiling and oak-paneled walls. The terracotta floor incorporates masks of Comedy and Tragedy as well as the titles of Shakespeare's plays. The First Folio of Shakespeare is on permanent display, as is a white marble memorial bust of Henry Folger produced by John Gregory, the same artist who created the Folger's exterior bas-reliefs.


The shield and great eagle of the United States grace the west end of the hall, nearest the Capitol. The coat of arms of Elizabeth I, Shakespeare's queen, represents Great Britain at the east end. Each heraldic device is accompanied by a quotation from a theatrical giant—respectively, the American drama critic William Winter and the British thespian David Garrick.


Just off the hall is an additional space, the Shakespeare Gallery, established in the 1990s with the help of the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund. The Shakespeare Gallery offers a visitor orientation video and a multimedia exhibition of highlights from the Folger collection.

Comedy mask

Great Hall

First Folio

Related Items

Take a Virtual Tour
(High Bandwidth)

Take a Virtual Tour
(Low Bandwidth)

Bookmark and Share   
     Copyright & Policies   |   Sitemap   |   Contact Us   |   About This Site
201 East Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003
Get directions »

Federal Tax ID #04-2103542
PublicReading Room
10am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday8:45am to 4:45pm, Monday through Friday
12pm to 5pm, Sunday9am to noon and 1pm to 4:30pm, Saturday
Main: 202 544 4600
Box Office: 202 544 7077
Fax: 202 544 4623