Further Impressions: Major Grolier Club Library Acquisitions, 2005-2020

Intro Panel

In 2004 the Grolier Club mounted a comprehensive survey of our unique Library on the art and history of the book and graphic arts. "Lasting Impressions" (May 12-July 31, 2004) traced the development of the Grolier Club Library over the course of more than a century, showcasing the important but seldom-seen books, manuscripts, prints, drawings and realia that have made the Library a world-class resource for scholarship in book collecting, bibliography, graphic design, typography, printing history, and the book trade.

In the fifteen years since the "Lasting Impressions" show, the Club has maintained an extraordinary rate of significant growth in its primary areas of focus. Thanks to the generosity of our members and foundation partners, since 2005 the Club can boast acquisitions rivaling the importance of those made in the course of its previous history.

Now more than one hundred and thirty five years old, the Grolier Club Library has earned the right to define "major acquisitions" in its own way, recognizing that the small, drab, unassuming, inexpensive object may rival the splendid and expensive high-spot in importance. The one hundred items in this show reflect that philosophy of inclusion, juxtaposing poorly printed pamphlets with monuments of book-making, modest paper wrappers with elaborately tooled bindings, and cheap woodcuts with splendid hand-colored engravings—all, despite differences in appearance and quality, with important stories to tell about the art and history of the book.

In 2004 the Grolier Club Library had several milestones to celebrate, including the recent launch of its first-ever online catalogue. In 2020, in the face of global upheaval, the Grolier Club offers this "Further Impressions" exhibition as evidence of growth in a time of drought, of continuity in a period of disconnect, and of quiet scholarship in the midst of clamorous debate.

Meghan Constantinou & Eric Holzenberg, Curators

Photographs by Nicole Neenan