Henry Clay Folger, Jr. (1857-1930) and Emily Jordan Folger (1858-1936), throughout their married life worked together to build the collection that became the foundation of the Folger Shakespeare Library. The Folgers took as their purview all things Shakespearean—the books, pamphlets, documents, and manuscripts for which they are best known and that constituted the principal part of their acquisitions, and also pictures and art objects. Their shared passion for collecting fulfilled the Folgers' need for a larger purpose in life. Inevitably, their vision of the collection evolved into that of an institution dedicated to the benefit of scholarly investigators and the nation.

A Shared Passion shows this pair of collectors, otherwise known only as extremely private personages, as they actually functioned, exercising the taste that guided them and employing the techniques at their command. Here, through their relations with dealers grand and modest and with other collectors antecedent and contemporary, and by their purchases large and small, magnificent and moderate, the Folgers emerge as sympathetic and admirable personalilties.

Exhibition Hours:
10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Closed federal holidays. Admission is free.

Children's Guides take young museumgoers on a scavenger hunt of the current exhibition and Shakespeare Gallery. Free at the visitor's desk.

Tours: Guided tours of the building and exhibition daily at 11 a.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Free.

Group tours: Please call (202) 675-0395 to arrange.


Exhibition Highlights

Rare Books:
The Shakespeare Folios
The Titus Andronicus Quarto

Paintings and Art Objects:
Fuseli's Macbeth Painting
Thomas Parr's Hamlet Figurine
Thomas Nast's Immortal Light

The Folgers as Collectors:
Dealers and Dealing
The Influence of Emerson
Mrs. Folger's Role
Building an Institution



Major support for this exhibition comes from The Winton and Carolyn Blount Exhibition Fund

This page updated October 11, 2002