PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University has been selected as the Rhode Island location for a 52-stop touring exhibition of William Shakespeare’s original collection of plays.
“First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare” will be on view at Cohen Gallery in the Granoff Center for Creative Arts from April 11 to May 1, 2016. Public programming around the exhibition will include a panel discussion, a Shakespeare symposium, a conference for grade school and high school teachers, and interactive programs on Shakespeare at local branch libraries in Spanish and English.
“We are honored to have been selected as one of the institutions to share this extraordinary part of the world’s cultural heritage from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s collection,” said Coppélia Kahn, professor emerita of English, who, with Laura Bass, chair of Hispanic studies, organized Brown’s application for the exhibit. “For most people, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to come within inches of one of the most influential books in history.”
Many of Shakespeare’s plays, which were written to be performed, were not published during his lifetime. The First Folio, the first collected edition of his plays, was published in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death. Two of Shakespeare’s fellow actors compiled 36 of his plays, hoping to preserve them for future generations. Without their foresight, 18 of his plays might have been lost, including such well-known works as Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors, and As You Like It. All 18 appear for the first time in print in the First Folio.
The tour is organized by the Folger Shakespeare Library, with the Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, and is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The exhibition will tour all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, beginning in January 2016 at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, The Sam Noble Museum in Norman, Oklahoma, and the University of Oregon in Eugene.