Auctions | August 26, 2011

Steel and Roses Coming Up At The Grolier Club

The Grolier Club is pleased to present an exhibition focusing on the distinguished holdings of Hersh and Fern Cohen, whose household encompasses two major, and complementary, collections.  On view in the Grolier’s second floor Gallery from September 8 - November 4, 2011, Steel and Roses: American Prints in the Hersh Cohen Collection and Botanical Books in the Fern Cohen Collection will present prints created between 1900 and World War II, with an emphasis on the Depression era, along with English, Continental, and American botanical books from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries illustrated by some of the most accomplished botanical artists of the day. The selection offers a stark contrast to the black and white prints of cities, their inhabitants, and the turmoil of the 1930s.

The content of American prints changed in the 1930s, from idealization of new skyscrapers to the depiction of people in urban life, workers in steel mills and coal mines, and scathing anti-capitalist satire. The content of the Cohen books includes botany, fruit, exploration, horticulture, and children’s gardening. Several florilegia, flower books in which the plates are much more important than the text, are displayed. An effort is made to show the inter-relationships between American botanical books and their English and Continental predecessors and contemporaries.

LOCATION AND TIME: Steel and Roses will be on view at the Grolier Club, 47 East 60 Street, New York, from Sept. 14 -Nov. 12, 2011, with the exception of October 10, when the Club is closed. The exhibit will be open to the public free of charge, Monday - Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additional information and directions are available at  

CATALOGUE: A fully illustrated catalogue, with detailed bibliographic references and curatorial commentary, will accompany the exhibition.


September 14-November 4, 2011: Silver Screen / Silver Prints: Hollywood Glamour Portraits from the Robert Dance Collection.
December 7, 2011-February 4, 2012: Printing for Kingdom, Empire, and Republic: Treasures from the Archives of the Imprimerie Nationale.   
February 22-April 28, 2012: Torn in Two, the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War.
May 16-July 28, 2012: Aaron Burr Returns to New York: an Exhibit of Burr and His Contemporaries.
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Contact: Megan Smith