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The Collation

Folger Exhibition Hall, circa 1935

With the Exhibition Hall closed for needed repairs this summer, I got to thinking about the various displays it has held over the years.

Long room with wooden paneling and decorative plaster ceiling

Folger Shakespeare Library Exhibition Hall, circa 1935 in 1931, before the library opened (click to enlarge in Luna)

It’s almost impossible to pick out any specific books or manuscripts in this photo from around 1935, but many of the objects and paintings are recognizable [UPDATE: the photo was taken in 1931, before the library opened]. The case in the center of the room holds what are probably the two most valuable three-dimensional objects at the Folger, a 16th-century lute and an 18th-century terracotta sculpture. The lute is signed “In Padova, Michielle Harton, 1598,” making it one of the few surviving examples of Harton’s work. (Note: clicking on the image will let you enlarge it to see the detail of the 1935 exhibit; clicking on the link in the call number in the caption will take you to an enlargeable image in Luna.) 


What a splendid idea to focus in on early objects displayed in the Folger Exhibition Hall. and expand their stories!

I’ll never forget that a curatorial tour you led of the Library in 2007 led to my becoming the Folgers’ first biographer.


stephen grant — August 13, 2013