Rare Books Blog

November 14, 2017

This is the last week to see our landmark exhibition, “Law’s Picture Books: The Yale Law Library Collection,” at the Grolier Club in New York City. It will be on display through Saturday, November 18, at the Grolier Club’s ground-floor gallery at 47 East 60th Street, just a few steps away from Park Avenue. See the exhibition that has has been praised as “fascinating” by the New Yorker, “eye-opening” by the Wall Street Journal, “courageous” by the Frankfurter Allegemaine, and “exceptional” by New Criterion.

However, if a trip to New York City is impossible, there are other options:

Mark S. Weiner, my co-curator, and I have provided a virtual tour of the exhibition in the Concurring Opinions blog. Mark has provided a gateway to the eleven-part tour in his Worlds of Law blog.

The 220-page exhibition catalogue, Law’s Picture Books: The Yale Law Library Collection (2017), contains full-color images of each of the 140 volumes on display, along with the captions, indexes, and introductory essays by Mark Weiner, Jolande Goldberg (Law Library of Congress), Erin Blake (Folger Shakespeare Library), and yours truly. Yale library patrons can check out a copy, and copies are available for sale from Talbot Publishing; details here.

In addition, the companion exhibition, “Around the World with Law’s Picture Books,” is on display until December 15 in the Rare Book Exhibition Gallery on Level L2 of the Lillian Goldman Law Library (Sterling Law Building, 127 Wall Street, New Haven). My co-curator on this exhibition is Emma Molina Widener.

I take this opportunity to thank some of the folks who have helped make these two exhibitions possible, beginning with my co-curators Mark S. Weiner and Emma Molina Widener. Others deserving special thanks include:

  • Irene Tichenor (Committee on Public Exhibitions) and Jennifer Sheehan (Exhibitions Manager) of the Grolier Club for providing the space, their encouragement, their advice, and their assistance.
  • John Robinson Block, whose generous gift funded the production of the five exhibition videos.
  • Greg Talbot and Valerie Horowitz of Lawbook Exchange for publishing such a lovely and substantial exhibition catalogue.
  • Shana Jackson (Administration), Tom Fitzgerald (Administration), and Lisa Goodman (Associate Law Librarian for Administration), Lillian Goldman Law Library, for the myriad tasks involved in staging the public programs.

I owe a special thanks to Teresa Miguel-Stearns, Director of the Lillian Goldman Law Library, to Director Emeritus Blair Kauffman, and Associate Law Librarian Fred Shapiro for what may have seemed like a crazy idea, a collection of law books with illustrations, and to the late, great professor Morris L. Cohen for providing me with much-needed validation.

Last but not least, I extend my profound gratitude to the Charles J. Tanenbaum Fund (Yale Law School) and to the Pine Tree Foundation and its director, Szilvia Szmuk-Tanenbaum, whose generous support made these exhibitions possible.

– MIKE WIDENER, Rare Book Librarian

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