First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare – Georgia

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First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare was a touring exhibition from the Folger Shakespeare Library that visited one location in all 50 United States, Puerto Rico, and Washington DC in 2016 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

This article provides highlights from the exhibition’s visit to Georgia.

Exhibition Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Exhibition Venue: Emory University

Exhibition Dates: November 5, 2016 – December 11, 2016

Partner Organizations:

  • Barnes and Noble
  • British Council, Georgia
  • Center for Faculty Development and Excellence, Emory University
  • The Claus M. Halle Institute for Global Learning, Emory University
  • Decatur Book Festival
  • Delta Kappa Gamma
  • The Dwight Andrews Quartet
  • Emory Autism Center
  • Emory Center for Digital Scholarship
  • Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta
  • Emory Cinematheque
  • Emory University Chorus and Concert Choir
  • English Speaking Union
  • International Opera Theater
  • Lefont Theater, Atlanta
  • Milton High School, Atlanta
  • National Council of Teachers of English
  • Oxford College of Emory University
  • Redwall Studio and Gallery, Atlanta
  • Shakespeare and Autism Project, Ohio State University
  • Shakespeare Tavern, Atlanta
  • Tapestry School, Doraville, GA
  • Theater Emory
  • Westminster Schools, Atlanta
  • World Shakespeare Project

Complementary Exhibitions:

  • Dispatched in Post: The Bard on Cards, March 16, 2016 – June 26, 2016
    • Showcased some of Emory English Professor Dr. Harry Rusche’s extensive collection of postcards depicting iconic Shakespearean characters and scenes. Focused on late 19th to early 20th century postcards related to Hamlet.

  • Plants Are Set Before Us: Shakespeare’s Natural Worlds, March 16, 2016 – June 26, 2016
    • Library Plants play a vital role in William Shakespeare’s works, both as physical devices and as symbols. This exhibit cited references from a variety of scenes and included specimens from the Emory University Herbarium.

  • All the World’s a Stage: Shakespeare Postcards in a Digital Age, April 22, 2016 – May 15, 2017
    • Showcased the newly re-designed website, Shakespeare & the Players, featuring nearly 1,000 images of late 19th to early 20th century theatrical postcards of legendary actors in some of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. The original website, begun in the 1990s by Emory English Professor Harry Rusche, went on to become an outstanding example of early digital scholarship.

  • A Goodly Commodity: Shakespeare in Popular Culture, June 29, 2016 – February 26, 2017
    • At the height of his career, William Shakespeare was popular culture. His world was tailored both to the Queen and to the commoner. Yet today, Shakespeare’s work has become a symbol of the literary elite. It has been stripped in the public eye of the universal truths and wicked wit it possesses. This exhibit displayed artifacts that aim to restore Shakespeare to his rightful place in popular culture. They make Shakespeare’s work accessible to all. This exhibit explored Shakespeare’s relationship with pop culture through various artifacts from the collections of Dr. Harry Rusche and Dr. Shelia Cavanagh.

  • A Shakespeare Sampler, July 27, 2016 – December 15, 2016
    • Highlighted elements from the other Shakespeare exhibits created as part of Emory’s commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Included materials related to Shakespeare and plants, Shakespeare postcards, Shakespeare in popular culture, Shakespeare artists’ books and the play Othello.

  • To the Great Variety of Readers: Publishing Shakespeare in Popular Culture, August 29, 2016 – October 28, 2016
    • In anticipation of the arrival of an original First Folio on campus in November, copies of the Second, Third, and Fourth Folios were on display in the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library. This rare opportunity to view all but the earliest version of the Folio was made possible by a loan of the Second and Third Folios from Rose Library benefactor Stuart A. Rose. Examples of early English printing as well as the works of several of Shakespeare’s contemporaries provided historical and cultural context while materials from throughout Rose Library’s collections documented the ongoing popularity and significance of Shakespeare’s works.

  • Othello: The Moor Speaks, October 20, 2016 – February 26, 2017
    • One of Shakespeare’s most important works, Othello provides commentary on the “rise of colonialism and imperialism,” as well as the ongoing struggle to define the qualities related to quintessential manhood and masculinity. Through archival materials found in the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, this exhibition will explored the development of the play as a vehicle for African American actors such as Ira Aldridge, Paul Robeson, and Lawrence Fishburne to claim the role of the “Black Moor” from white men in black face. Through the exhibition and associated programming, we will explore the complexity of being a black man in a white world, and the meaning associated with Shakespeare’s provocative representation of race and racism.

  • Shakespeare Artists’ Books, October 20, 2016 – February 26, 2017
    • Showcased artists’ books inspired by Shakespeare and in the collections of the Stuart A. Rose manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library. These works use the book form as a medium of artistic expression and also tell the history of bookmaking. Some focus placed on the materials and practices of present-day bookmaking, with especial focus on works created by inmates at Phillips State prison in Buford, GA.

  • Desire and Consumption: The New World in the Age of Shakespeare, January 14, 2017 – April 9, 2017
    • Although Shakespeare set The Tempest on a small island off the coast of Italy, many scholars argue that he drew inspiration for the setting, several narrative themes, and the figure of Caliban from the newly encountered Americas. In spring 2017, the Carlos Museum will mount an exhibition entitled The New World in the Age of Shakespeare, which will explore this argument by pairing the Rose Library’s Fourth Folio with several engravings from Theodor de Bry’s Americae volumes, a series devoted to Columbus’s travels in the Americas, the customs of myriad American inhabitants, and the mistreatment of the native population by Catholic Spaniards. The exhibition will also feature a number of complementary objects from the Museum’s vast American collection.

Event List:

  • March 29, 2016 – Lecture: Secrets of the First Folio by Dr. Tiffany Stern
  • March 31, 2016 – April 10, 2016 – As You Like It performed by Theater Emory
  • April 23, 2016 – Shakespeare Anniversary Celebration
  • September 12, 2016 – Carlos Reads: Titus Andronicus
  • September 22, 2016 – October 2, 2016 – The Boys from Syracuse performed by Theater Emory
  • October 3, 2016 – Carlos Reads: Julius Caesar
  • October 15, 2016 – Emory Choral Concert: The Music of Shakespeare
  • October 16, 2016 – Emory Cinematheque presents Shakespeare in Film: Much Ado About Nothing
  • October 19, 2016 – Lecture: What’s in a Page? Re-Reading Shakespeare’s Four Folios by Justin Shaw
  • October 20, 2016 – Shakespeare and Book Arts: A Panel Discussion on Shakespeare’s Impact on Fine Press and Artists’ Books with Sujata Iyengar, Sarah Higinbotham, William Taft, and Kate Doubler
  • October 21, 2016 – Emory Cinematheque presents Shakespeare in Film: Falstaff, aka Chimes at Midnight
  • October 24, 2016 – Andrea Mays talk on The Millionaire and the Bard
  • October 24, 2016 – Carlos Reads: Troilus and Cressida
  • October 30, 2016 – Emory Cinematheque presents Shakespeare in Film: Ran
  • October 31, 2016 – Dooley’s Players present Bloody Shakespeare
  • November 1, 2016 – The Bard in Bollywood: Maqbool
  • November 3-13, 2016 – Romeo and Juliet performed by Theater Emory
  • November 4, 2016 – Emory Cinematheque presents Shakespeare in Film: Titus
  • November 7, 2016 – Carlos Reads: Antony and Cleopatra
  • November 7, 2016 – Staged Reading: Castelvines y Monteses by Theater Emory
  • November 8, 2016 – The Bard in Bollywood: Omkara
  • November 9, 2016 – Homeschool Day: Shakespeare’s First Folio
  • November 9, 2016 – Staged Reading: Fortunes of the Moor by Theater Emory
  • November 10, 2016 – Opening Reception with panel: Dwight Andrews, Nicholas Grene, Tom Magill, and Dr. Ayanna Thompson on Will of the People: Shakespeare’s Folios and their Meaning in our World
  • November 11, 2016 – The Soul of ‘Wit’: An Evening for Educators
  • November 12, 2016 – Family Storytelling Event: All the World’s a Stage
  • November 13, 2016 – Stage Reading: The Book of Will
  • November 14, 2016 – Shakespeare’s Words and Works: A Creativity Conversation between Lauren Gunderson and Dan Wechsler
  • November 14, 2016 – Carlos Reads: Coriolanus
  • November 15, 2016 – The Bard in Bollywood: Haider
  • November 16, 2016 – Shakespeare and Accessibility Symposium
  • November 17, 2016 – NCTE Teacher’s Workshop
  • November 17-19, 2016 – King Lear performed by Oxford Ensemble of Shakespearean
  • November 18, 2016 – Carlos Reads Shakespeare YA: Romeo and Juliet by Gareth Hind
  • November 20, 2016 – Children’s Workshop: Shakespeare Bookmaking
  • November 28, 2016 – Carlos Reads: Timon of Athens
  • December 5, 2016 – Closing Reception: Lecture The Wonder of Will by Dr. Michael Witmore and The Bard and Poetry with Jericho Brown, Natasha Trethewey, and Kevin Young
  • December 12, 2016 – Carlos Reads: Pericles, Prince of Tyre
  • February 10-12, 2017 – Staged Reading: Une Tempête
  • March 27, 2017 – Carlos Reads: The Tempest
  • March 30 – April 9, 2017 – Ravished performed by Theater Emory
  • April 11, 2017 – The Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta presents Shakespeare and Beethoven

Click here to learn about the First Folio that visited Georgia.