Bibliomania; or Book Madness: A Bibliographical Romance

Friday, January 18th, 2019 - Sunday, April 21st, 2019

This exhibition takes its name from the history of “arrant book-lovers” written by Thomas Frognall Dibdin in 1842. 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. 

January 23, panel discussion, 5 pm: Ann Rosalind Jones and Andrew Brown on the Pillone Library 

February 5, panel discussion, 5 pm: Perfect: Thinking about the Ideal Copy, with exhibition curators Kathryn James and Aaron T. Pratt, with Peter Stallybrass and David Scott Kastan 

February 6, lecture, 5 pm; opening reception, 6 pm: The Duc de Berry (1340-1416) and the Origins of Bibliomania, by Christopher de Hamel, author of Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts 

February 7, lecture, 5 pm: Sir Thomas and I: A Poor Comparison, by Toshiyuki Takamiya, Professor Emeritus, Keio University 

March 27, lecture, 5 pm: Sidney Berger on paper marbling 

April 10, lecture, 5 pm: The Painted Book: Cesare Vecellio and the Pillone Library, by Andrew Brown 

Mon 10am - 7pm 
Tue - Thu 9am - 7pm 
Fri 9am - 5pm 
Sat (Exhibitions only) 12pm - 5pm 
Sun (Exhibitions only) 12pm - 4pm 

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library 
121 Wall Street

New Haven, CT

41.3116267, -72.9272259

Bibliomania; or Book Madness: A Bibliographical Romance