Hurry over to the prestigious Grolier Club before February 7 to catch One Hundred Books Famous in Children's Literature. Many of the 150 items in this exhibit are from private collections and are rarely on public display. In addition there are items on loan from the American Antiquarian Society; Beineike Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University; Cotsen Children's Library at Princeton University; Houghton Library, Harvard University; The Morgan Library & Museum.
Here is a behind the scenes look at the exhibit with curator Chris Loker:
There are many surprises in the exhibit cases including The Boy Scout Handbook along with Songs of Innocence, written, illustrated and published by William Blake in London in 1789. It contains his short lyric poems for children. It is the third in Blake's series of illuminated books -- the earliest examples of artist's books. Created by this 18th century British visionary, poet, author, painter, illustrator, printer and engraver, this copy -- one of fewer than forty copies made-has never been out of print, and is an artistic masterpiece.
The oldest book in the exhibition, Orbis Pictus, published in Nuremberg in 1658, is a schoolbook in simple encyclopedic form for young students of Latin (the text is in both Latin and German.) Used for two centuries throughout Europe, it is an early effort at integrated text and pictures, and thus shows a pivotal step in the development of the illustrated book for children.
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