Emory Libraries celebrates Shakespeare's First Folio upcoming visit with new exhibitions and events

Published 09-20-2016

by Emory Libraries

Shakespeare's Third Folio, from the collection of Stuart A. Rose, shows differences in print styles from the other Folios. Image: Emory Libraries.

Emory Libraries continues its celebration of Shakespeare's First Folio with new exhibitions and events to get you in the spirit, all open to the public at no charge. Here are some of the highlights:


“To the Great Variety of Readers: Publishing Shakespeare,” through Oct. 28, Rose Library, Level 10 of the Woodruff Library

In anticipation of the arrival of an original First Folio on campus in November, copies of the Second, Third, and Fourth Folios will be 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 is made possible by a loan of the Second and Third Folios from Rose Library benefactor Stuart A. Rose.

“The much-anticipated arrival of the First Folio provides the opportunity for Emory to share with the entire campus and community a more complete understanding of the literary and publishing worldview and to showcase some of our rare holdings,” says Rose Library director Rosemary M. Magee. “Each of the Folios has a story to tell.”

“Othello: The Moor Speaks,” Oct. 20, 2016-Feb. 26, 2017, Woodruff Library Level 2

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 the archival materials found in the Rose Library, this exhibition will explore the development of the play as a vehicle for African American actors such as Ira Aldridge, Paul Robeson, and Laurence Fishburne to claim the role of the “Black Moor” from white men in black face. Through the exhibition and programming, we will explore the complexity of being a black man in a white world, and the meanings associated with Shakespeare's provocative representation of race and racism.

“Shakespeare Artists’ Books,” Oct. 20, 2016-Feb. 26, 2017, Woodruff Library Level 2

This exhibit showcases artists’ books, inspired by Shakespeare, from the Rose Library collections. These works use the book form as a medium of artistic expression and tell the history of bookmaking. Some focus will be placed on the materials and practices of present-day bookmaking, with special focus on works created by inmates at Phillips State Prison in Buford, GA.


Shakespeare and Book Arts: A Panel Discussion

Oct. 20 at 4 p.m., Jones Room, Woodruff Library Level 3

Shakespeare at Emory is proud to sponsor this panel in concordance with the opening of the Shakespeare and Book Arts Exhibition at the Woodruff Library. The four panelists (Sujata Iyengar, PhD; Sarah Higinbotham, PhD; William Taft, MFA; and Kate Doubler, PhD)  will speak about how Shakespeare’s work and the historic publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio inspires the creation of fine press and artists’ books today. Topics covered will include the panelists’ own experiences with letterpress printing, paper making, and woodcut printing; how groups of students at Georgia Tech and a maximum security prison have made their own Shakespeare-inspired books; and the exquisite and sometimes strange Shakespeare artists’ books in the collection of Emory’s Rose Library.

Andrea Mays: “The Millionaire and the Bard”

Oct. 24 at 4 p.m., Rose Library

Author and economist Andrea Mays presents a lecture based on her book, “The Millionaire and the Bard” (2015). Join us as Professor Mays traces Henry Folger’s obsession with Shakespeare’s First Folio and the creation of the largest First Folio collection in the world.

Staged reading of “Fortunes of the Moor”

Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m., Schwartz Center Theater Lab

Reservations requested (email eyarbro@emory.edu)

This event, offered in collaboration with Pellom McDaniels, Rose Library curator of African American collections, features a reading of Barbara and Carlton Molette’s sequel to Othello, in which Othello and Desdemona’s daughter becomes the subject of a custody battle. The reading will be followed by a conversation with the playwrights. The interconnections among the work of Shakespeare, depictions of race on stage, and black theater are bound to create interesting dialogue between “Still Raising Hell: The Art, Activism, and Archives of Camille Billops and James V. Hatch” and “First Folio: The Book that Gave us Shakespeare,” two major exhibitions on Emory’s campus this fall. This is a related event to “Othello: The Moor Speaks,” another exhibit on display in the Woodruff Library, that explores the complexity of being a black man in a white world and the meanings associated with Shakespeare’s provocative representations of race and racism.

Creativity Conversation; "Shakespeare's Words and Works"

Nov. 14 at 4 p.m., Rose Library

Two Emory alumni join moderator Rosemary Magee in a Creativity Conversation devoted to Shakespeare. Lauren Gunderson is an award-winning playwright whose new play, “The Book of Will,” focuses on the survival of Shakespeare’s words via the printing of the First Folio. Dan Wechsler is an antiquarian bookseller whose book, “Shakespeare’s Beehive: An Annotated Elizabethan Dictionary Comes to Light” (co-written with George Koppelman), examines a copy of “Baret’s Alvearie” that contains what Wechsler and Koppelman argue are annotations in Shakespeare’s own hand.

These events and exhibitions are offered in conjunction with the arrival of “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare.” This traveling exhibition of the First Folio from the Folger Shakespeare Library will be on view at the Michael M. Carlos museum Nov. 5-Dec. 11, 2016. The First Folio is the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, published seven years after his death, in 1623. Dates and times are subject to changes; for more information and a complete list of Emory-wide programming, visit shakespeare.folio.emory.edu.

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