Skip to main content
Folger Story

Neal T. Turtell

Part of our series spotlighting donors to The Wonder of Will: The Campaign for the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Gift: $1 million for the Capital Project

Neal T. Turtell’s support for the Folger extends in many directions. The former Executive Librarian of the National Gallery of Art, a position he held for more than 30 years, he serves as a member of the Collections Committee of the Folger Board of Governors and is a regular season sponsor of Folger Theatre.

Neal is supporting The Wonder of Will through both an outright gift made as a Qualified Charitable Distribution from his IRA, as well as through a testamentary commitment.

Inspiration for supporting the campaign

“My support originally was focused on the library. I was a librarian for basically all of my life, and the library is the part of the Folger that I knew most about. But then I became more and more involved with the theater program, which is phenomenal. The general public will benefit tremendously from being more exposed to it. This building project, The Wonder of Will, is a way to dramatically expand the availability of Shakespeare to the general public.”

Shakespeare up close and personal

“The Folger is so much more than just a Shakespeare library. It’s also a humanities library for the early modern period. I’ve been down in the Folger vaults and seen the collection stacks: row after row after row of incunables, which are books printed before 1500. It is so exciting to see those things up close and personal, and that’s what this building project and The Wonder of Will is going to achieve, by bringing Shakespeare and his times up close and personal.”