More than 12,800 people, including theatre aficionados, middle and high school students, seniors, and families, visited the Central Library between March 21 and April 17 to see First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare. Support from donors to the Foundation made it possible for the Library to host the exhibit.
For many visitors, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. One elderly patron, who is losing her sight, shed tears of joy as she gazed at the rare book of Shakespeare’s works. A group of high school students discovered, much their delight, that the copy of the Third Folio (on loan from the Pigott Collection) was opened to “As You Like It.” The students had recently staged a production of the play, and, as they stood gazing into the display case, they couldn’t help but pick out their lines and recite them aloud.
In addition to the gallery exhibits, local artists, both amateur and professional, used a specially built stage on Level 3 perform Shakespeare’s works and music of the period. Shakespeare films were also shown in library branches throughout the city.
Foundation donors made this exhibit happen. City tax dollars only go so far in providing funds for our libraries. But with the help of our generous donors to the Foundation the Library is able to embark on ambitious projects like the First Folio and have a major impact on the cultural life of our city.
Here’s one great comment, overheard in the gallery while a family was looking at the First Folio:
Dad: Remember The Lion King?
Dad: Yeah, Shakespeare wrote that.
Well, in a way, he did. Truly Shakespeare was not of an age, but for all time.