Word & Image:
The Trevelyon Miscellany of 1608

on exhibit January 23 - May 22, 2004


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

Admission is free.

Monday - Friday at 11 a.m.
Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Free.

Groups, call (202) 675-0395 to arrange.

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

Visiting the Folger

The Trevelyon Miscellany is not a book to be read from beginning to end.Start anywhere and savor the vibrant patterns, moralizing rhymes, historical and scriptural texts, and colorful pictures-the dialogue between word and image that makes it a unique mixture of many familiar genres.

Thomas Trevelyon's 600-page manuscript can best be described as a prototype coffee table book, created for the entertainment, education, and edification of his friends and family. The subject matter leaps from mundane to mythical, poetic to practical. Familiar scenes of domesticity and husbandry are intertwined with epic religious and political epitomes.

Trevelyon trawled chronicles, almanacs, broadsides, emblem books, and the Bible for his source material, appropriating texts and images from an unknown number of books, woodcuts, and engravings. But one could hardly accuse him of lacking an imagination. While most of the drawings are amusingly primitive, the overall effect is extraordinary. Viewing the pages individually, one loses the impact of his use of repeated visual imagery and ornamental borders. The manuscript is an attempt to create order and calm out of a disorderly and chaotic world.

Beginning in 1995, Folger conservators restored the entire manuscript, reversing earlier repairs, removing patches, and strengthening the pages. As well as offering a rare snapshot of the concerns and interests of a well-read London craftsman in Shakespeare's England, the exhibition celebrates the completion of this ambitious project.

Exhibition Highlights


Exhibition Curators

Heather Wolfe, Curator of Manuscripts

Erin Blake, Curator of Art

Rachel Doggett, Curator of Books

Frank Mowery, Head of Conservation

Major support for Folger exhibitions comes from
The Winton and Carolyn Blount Exhibition Fund

This page updated January 27, 2004