The Clubhouse

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The Grolier Club has claimed three New York City townhouses as its home since its founding in 1884. The Club's library quickly outgrew the shelves of the rental on 64 Madison Avenue (left), and the first purpose-built Clubhouse still survives at 29 East 32nd Street (center). The spaciousness of this building was shortlived, and by 1892, Librarian and founding member Beverly Chew lamented that shelf room had already been filled up, surmising that "at no distant day the whole top story of our building will be devoted to our books."

The present Clubhouse, also purpose-built, was ready for use in April 1917 (right). The first two floors are home to our exhibition galleries, which are always open to the public free of charge. The stairwell and landing between the Ground and Second Floors feature posters from previous exhibitions, as well as historic maps and views of New York City, and early architectural renderings of both our second and third locations.

The Ground Floor Lobby also features a permanent display of variations of "Grolier in the House of Aldus," a fantastical imagining of the possible meeting of the two famed bookmen, Jean Grolier and Aldus Manutius. These drafts, proofs, and final paintings can be viewed in the entryway to the Ground Floor Gallery, and a large-scale painting can be viewed hanging from the balcony in the Ground Floor Exhibition Hall.

We encourage visitors to view these smaller displays to learn more about the Club's history and its collections.