grolier club

Guest post by Mark. S. Weiner, co-curator of the current Grolier Club exhibition, Law's Picture Books: The Yale Law Library Collection.


A screenshot of the AAS Adopt-a-Book online catalog. Credit: BBRichter

The word calligraphy comes from the Greek for “beautiful” (calli) and “writing” (graphy).  It is an art with a long and noble history, going back many centuries and spanning cultures.  Exhibitions and collections of Asian art, Persian art, and even Medieval Western art have always included examples of beautiful writing, yet modern Western calligraphy has not been recognized as an art form.

The art of the bookplate is alive and well among Grolier Club members—just as it has been for 130 years.

The functional purpose of the bookplate is simple: collectors paste the small pieces of paper or leather into their volumes to identify ownership and establish a trail of provenance. Yet for centuries, bookplates have also served as visual

Although the Marquis de Lafayette is popularly known as “America’s Favorite Fighting Frenchman” in the current Broadway musical Hamilton, his role as an ardent abolitionist has not received the same kind of attention as his contributions to the American Revolution.  The groundbreaking exhibition A True Friend of the Cause: Lafayette and the Antislavery Movement, on view at

Lynd Ward Reduced.jpeg

The visionary artistry of Lynd Ward, one of America’s