The Curatorial Eye: Discoveries from the Folger Vault
The Curatorial Eye: Discoveries from the Folger Vault, one of the Exhibitions at the Folger opened on June 13, 2009 and closed on August 29, 2009. The Curatorial Eye was an exhibition about discovery and interaction—discovery of items new, hidden, or underused in the collection, and interaction between these objects and the staff that works with them. The Curatorial Eye explored a variety of different collections at the Folger and shows how the staff members who curated the exhibition came to choose these items for exhibit. Topics including magic, censorship, juvenile drama, pamphlets, manuals, letters, Victorian bindings, and the ethics of conservation and librarianship connected a staff with diverse interests and backgrounds to a collection rich with material—some well-known, and some unexplored. The exhibition offered a rare glimpse into the myriad treasures behind the doors of the Folger’s vault.
- 1 Curators of the exhibition
- 2 Individually curated cases
- 2.1 Lost and Found: A Manuscript Grimoire
- 2.2 Henry Fuseli Sketches: Figure Studies
- 2.3 Prohibiti: Censorship in Sixteenth-Century Italy
- 2.4 The Juvenile Theater: a Microcosm of Theater
- 2.5 Recycled Manuscripts
- 2.6 Pamphlets and Papers: Collecting and Preserving Bound Ephemera
- 2.7 Reuniting Pamphlets, Restoring Provenance
- 2.8 How-to Books for Everyday Living
- 2.9 The Technical Manual
- 2.10 Manuscripts from the Age of Print
- 2.11 Cultural Cross-Currents of the Nineteenth Century
- 2.12 Shakespeare in Translation
- 2.13 Personalizing Shakespeare
- 2.14 Gilding Shakespeare: the Art of Decorative Bindings
- 3 Supplemental materials
Curators of the exhibition
Erin Blake, Curator of Art and Special Collections
Ronald Bogdan, Senior Cataloger
Alison Bridger, Senior Manuscript Cataloger
Kathleen Burlingame, Manuscript Cataloger
Stephanie Fell, Manuscript Cataloger
Steven Galbraith, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Books
Jim Kuhn, Head of Collection Information Services
Rosalind Larry, Head of Circulation
J. Franklin Mowery, Eric Weinmann Head of Conservation
Nadia Seiler, Manuscript Cataloger
Bettina Smith, Art Cataloger
Elizabeth Walsh, Head of Reader Services
Heather Wolfe, Curator of Manuscripts
Georgianna Ziegler, Louis B. Thalheimer Head of Reference
Individually curated cases
This magical manuscript abounds with images and spells—including Abracadabra—teaching the lay person how to cast their own.
Very unlike the Fuseli paintings on display in the Folger reading rooms, these figure studies show another side of Fuseli's work. Adding to their rareness is the fact that they had never before been displayed.
Allowing us to see through the eyes of a working censor, this mixed print and manuscript book shows the intricate and time-consuming nature of the censor's job.
Children's toys have evolved over time, but their ability to imagine has always been capacious. The Juvenile Theater discusses a child's play theater equipped with movable actors and actresses of the day to excite everyday play.
Once printed works became the norm, manuscripts became supports for the newly printed materials as bindings. In this article, we read the story of one of the oldest English manuscripts found hidden in the Folger collection.
Early pamphlets may have been ephemeral, but they certainly had productive lifespans. This article discusses the use and reuse of these works and the study of them as both parts and wholes.
This article tells the story of the reuniting of disbound books through many ephemeral clues.
With the advent of print, came the advent of instructional manuals of every type. From standard cook books, to personal hygiene, to swimming, any reader could theoretically learn any skill just by picking up a book.
Early technical manuals provided up to date information on scientific and mathematical developments from the period. This survey also includes introductory books for various artisanal crafts such as glassmaking.
Manuscripts survived the advent of print in a variety of ways. This article discusses coterie poetry circulated in manuscript form, manuscript production of almanacs, newspapers, and other items we would typically think of as print-exclusive.
This article elaborates the feelings about, difficulties with, and appropriations of Shakespeare's works in various cultures, specifically focused on English and American performances of the nineteenth century.
The Folger holds a variety of personal and published translated editions of Shakespeare's works, which are the focus of this article.
Read about the association copies—autographed copies of books owned by famous authors and actors—of Shakespeare's works held in the Folger collection.
This article describes the artful and colorful ways Victorian printers embellished their editions of Shakespeare's works in order to set them apart in the crowded marketplace.
To listen to the curators give in-depth insights into selected items from the exhibition, click the linked heading to access the audio tour online.