This exhibition celebrates the arrival of two magnificent collections at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Each of these collections adds significantly to an existing area of the library's collecting interest; each reflects the dedication and discrimination of its builders; and each comes to the library as a resplendent gift, bringing objects and artifacts of rare beauty and value to this institution and the lives of those who use and enjoy its treasures.
The Babette Craven collection of theatrical memorabilia is one of the finest compilations of early English porcelains and objects de vertu assembled by any private collector. Craven brought a finely attuned sensibility and a great love of the stage to her life as a collector.
The Lada-Mocarski collection of early decorated papers was built over a period of five decades, beginning with a chance purchase shortly after World War II. Over the years, during which Lada-Mocarski pursued her interest in bookbinding and conservation, she and her husband added judiciously to the collection. Now it has few rivals.
The Folger hopes that that as a result of the exhibition, the two splendid collections featured here will begin to receive the study and appreciation they richly deserve.