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Great Hall

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Great Hall


Great Hall

A spectacular setting for banquets, receptions, and ceremonies, the Folger's Great Hall--site of two to three exhibitions a year, drawn primarily from the Folger collection--evokes the gallery of a sixteenth-century house with its soaring plaster strapwork ceiling and oak-paneled walls lined with glass display cases. The terracotta floor incorporates masks of Comedy and Tragedy as well as the titles of Shakespeare's plays.


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.


One of the library's 82 First Folios 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.

  • 22 by 129 feet
  • 35-foot ceiling
  • Available evenings only
  • Maximum capacity:
    • Reception only, 250
    • Dinner only, 180
    • Reception and dinner, 100
  • Can be used in combination with adjoining Old Reading Room
  • Lighting and music restrictions may apply
  • Red wine permitted  

Contact the Office of Special Events by phone at 202.675.0375 or by e-mail at specialevents@folger.edu.

Great Hall

Great Hall

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