This exhibition takes its name from the history of “arrant book-lovers” written by Thomas Frognall Dibdin. It follows these lovers of the book through four case studies, observing the powerful and often unexpected relationships of books with their readers, owners, authors, collectors, and creators.
Every Book in the World! explores the passionate collecting and printing history of the legendary nineteenth-century bibliomaniac Thomas Phillipps, whose vast collection of manuscripts and early printed books filled an English country house and required more than a century of public auctions and sales to disperse.
Collated & Perfect, organized in conjunction with the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin, traces the history of the collation statement and the obsession with finding a more perfect text, from eighteenth-century book collector Thomas Rawlinson through Charlton Hinman, editor of the first folio edition of Shakespeare’s plays (1968).
Habits Ancient and Modern: Surface and Depth in the Pillone Library Volumes traces the history of the library assembled by Antonio and Odorico Pillone in Italy in the sixteenth century, and Odorico’s decision to have the fore-edges of many of these volumes painted by Cesare Vecellio, a distant cousin of Titian.
The Whole Art of Marbling explores the many-faceted art of paper marbling, drawing on some of the choicest examples in the Beinecke’s collection to illuminate the art’s history, techniques, patterns, and practitioners, from its origins in the East and advancement over the Silk Road to the European continent.