Exhibitions

Upcoming Exhibitions

  • Currently there are no Upcoming Exhibitions

Past Exhibitions

  • Mar 13
    /
    Feb 28
    2013
    Books That Take Us Lands Away: Tourism and Print Culture in the Nineteenth Century

    Curated by: Theresa Goodman
    Stettinius Gallery, Alderman Library

    This exhibition tracks the cycle of influence between printed materials and nineteenth-century tourism, to come to a better understanding of the afterlife of the Grand Tour. The items on display from Rare Book School’s collections represent, and therefore illuminate, the stages of a typical journey—the moment of inspiration, the voyage, trips to popular monuments, souvenir shopping, and the nostalgia of the return home.

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  • Nov 15
    /
    Mar 1
    2012
    Turning the Page: Technology & Innovation in 19th-Century Books

    Curated by: Elizabeth Ott
    Stettinius Gallery, Alderman Library

    At the beginning of the nineteenth century, books were still manufactured using many of the same craft skills and techniques used since the introduction of moveable type in the fifteenth century. By the end of the 1800s, the book had changed from a largely handmade object to a mass-produced industrial product. This exhibition showcases the technological innovations that helped to transform book manufacture.

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  • Feb 1
    /
    May 30
    2009
    How to Judge a Book by Its Cover: 19th- and 20th-Century Cloth Bookbindings

    Curated by: Theresa Goodman '12
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    This exhibition traces the evolution of book cover design and technology from 1830 to 1910, the heyday of cloth bindings in America. Book cloth was invented in the early 1820s, and rapidly superseded other materials: it was cheaper than leather, but more durable than paper. Dust jackets were introduced near the end of the nineteenth century, and by the 1920s the jackets were decorated far more heavily than boards. But between 1830 and 1910, cloth covers were the first thing a customer saw, and bookbinders worked to make the covers attractive. The nineteenth century saw a wide range of decorative designs, fueled by the evolution of technology and taste. Each decade developed a recognizable style, which means that the date and often the intended use of a nineteenth century cloth-bound book can easily be judged by its cover.

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  • Apr 27
    /
    Nov 16
    2008
    The Monster Among Us: Frankenstein from Mary Shelley to Mel Brooks

    Curated by: Shannon Gorman '08
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    This exhibition traces the evolution of the myth of the Monster from Shelley’s 1818 publication through to Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. The story is one of the commodification of horror, the infiltration into our societal consciousness of issues associated with technology, and the ways we as a society have taken the nightmare of a young women and grown it into our first modern myth.

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  • May 14
    /
    Oct 30
    2007
    The Fine Line Between Genius & Inanity: Innovation in Contemporary American Publishing

    Curated by: Leighton F. Carter '07
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    As a physical object, the book is conservative; there have been no major changes in its format for more than a millennium. Over the centuries, readers have developed an almost unalterable idea of how a book should look and feel. In the increasingly jaded climate of 21st-century society, however, readers also hunger for the new and improved. Publishers are thus faced with a challenge: how to revitalize a book’s format while maintaining its traditional appeal.

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  • Nov 13
    /
    May 1
    2006
    Bound to Please: American Cloth Bookbindings, 1830–1910

    Curated by: Vincent Golden
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    This exhibition explores the chronological development of cloth binding styles in the United States. The 300 books on display in the Dome Room of UVA’s Rotunda have been drawn from RBS’s study collection of about 5,000 cloth bindings (now housed in Alderman Library’s McGregor Room).

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  • Nov 7
    /
    May 1
    2005
    Eyre Apparent: An Exhibition Celebrating Charlotte Brontë’s Classic Novel

    Curated by: John Buchtel & Barbara Heritage
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    This exhibition marks the 150th anniversary of the death of Charlotte Brontë (1816–55), and it celebrates the enduring popularity of her most famous novel, Jane Eyre. A favorite with Victorian readers (and of Queen Victoria herself), Jane Eyre became a staple of the school curriculum; today it remains a cornerstone of the English literary canon.

    This 1944 Royce Quick Reader edition boasts that it is “abridged from the author’s own words.”
  • May 16
    /
    Oct 31
    2005
    The Call of the Wild: Character Building & the Boy Scout Handbook

    Curated by: by William Ingram ’05
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    About two months before my 11th birthday, I first accompanied my friend Tim to a meeting of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Troop 24 in Norfolk, VA. I have great memories of my years as a Scout, especially the camping trips and stories told late at night around the campfires.

    The first edition of the BSA's Handbook (1911-1914; 315,000 copies printed).
  • Apr 25
    /
    Nov 1
    2004
    116 Years of Corks & Curls

    Curated by: Whitney Spivey '05
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    The University of Virginia was 68 years old in 1887. An all-male institution, the Cavalier men functioned via an intricate network of academic and social organizations, University traditions, and community events. Students were involved with fraternities, athletic teams, literary societies, club sports, even a Temperance Union and a cribbage club. What they did not have, however, was an annual yearbook.

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  • Jun 9
    /
    Nov 1
    2003
    Reading with and without Dick and Jane: The Politics of Literacy in 20th-Century America

    Curated by: Elizabeth Tandy Shermer '03
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    William McGuffey’s phonics-based primers, which emphasized the sounding out of words by learning letter-sound associations, dominated American primary education from the middle of the nineteenth until the early twentieth century. During the Progressive Era, some educators and social scientists began to believe that McGuffey’s moralizing texts were too complex for young readers, and they argued for a simpler approach, one that used a carefully limited vocabulary and story lines that were more relevant to the lives of contemporary children.

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  • Jan 17
    /
    May 1
    2003
    The Lives of the Autograph Collectors

    Curated by: Nathaniel Adams '03
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    Nobody knows when people started collecting autographs. Historians of autograph collecting often point to sixteenth-century German students as the precursors to contemporary autograph hounds. Traveling scholars maintained books filled with letters of correspondence written by people they encountered during their Wanderjahren. Such an album served as a filing system for letters of introduction to future destinations along a student’s route. The impetus for these students to collect was therefore utilitarian; the value of the assembled signatures was in their ability to open doors, not intrinsic in the handwriting of the individual signers.

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  • Jul 15
    /
    Oct 31
    2002
    Printed Flower Gardens: The Bookbindings of Margaret Armstrong

    Curated by: Sarah Hagelin
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    Margaret Armstrong (1867–1944) is without question America’s best- known designer of cloth bookbindings. Many of her bindings are instantly recognizable today, not only because of their highly individualistic designs, but also because of the distinctive mark she used to sign her work. This exhibition presents MA’s bindings in chronological order by date of design, focusing on her development over the more than 35-year period (1890–1926) in which she was active as a book artist.

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  • Jul 16
    /
    Oct 28
    2001
    Intentional Miscataloging: The Pedagogical Uses of Ephemera in the Rare Book School Collections

    Curated by: Edmund Berkeley, Jr.
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    The present exhibition showcases some of Rare Book School’s paper ephemera collections and explains some of the ways in which this material is used in various RBS courses. Ephemera may be defined as materials (generally fairly slight in nature) intended for a specific use or purpose and then usually discarded. Not all of the material in this exhibition is ephemeral: some of the manuscripts, in particular, have some permanent value. On the other hand, one generation’s ephemera can be a later generation’s treasure; there aren’t many items in this show that would have been greatly valued by their creators.

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  • Jun 5
    /
    Jan 31
    2000
    Eureka! There’s Gold in Them Thar Books

    Curated by: Calvin P. Otto
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    The exhibition begins with the story of gold and its physical characteristics. Perfectly malleable and ductile, gold can be beaten into leaf 0.00014 mm thick, historically used in gold-tooled book-bindings, and developed in the nineteenth century for gold-stamped bindings on cloth.

  • May 1
    /
    Oct 1
    1999
    Two for a Nickel: Ephemera Concerning Thomas Jefferson and Monticello

    Curated by: Elliot Tally '99
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    […]

  • Oct 17
    /
    Feb 6
    1998
    You CAN Sell a Book by Its Cover: Optimism in American Publishing

    Curated by: Darby Kimball '99
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    Who says you can’t sell a book by its cover? Ask anyone who has browsed the shelves in a bookstore. American publishers have used many gimmicks to try to get you to buy their books, including startling shapes, outlandish typography, and peekaboo dust-jackets.

  • May 25
    /
    Oct 12
    1998
    The Boy Who Never Grew Up: Dinosaur Books and Realia from the Collection of Edward J. Valauskas

    Curated by: Edward J. Valauskas
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    It’s hard to imagine a world without them, but until about 150 years ago our collective vocabularies didn’t include the word dinosaurs. The British zoologist and anatomist Richard Owen (1804–92), one of the first great paleontologists, created the word dinosaur by combining the Greek word deinos (terrible) with sauros (lizard). The occasion was the 1841 conference of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, where Owen presented a paper that described dinosaur fossils found in Europe.

  • Jan 21
    /
    May 8
    1998
    Separate Pieces: All Printed Books are Different

    Curated by: Terry Belanger & John Buchtel
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    This exhibition focuses on the Book Arts Press collections of multiple copies of the same title, highlighting changes between their various issues, states, printings, and editions.

  • Sep 19
    /
    Dec 22
    1997
  • Jun 20
    /
    Sep 14
    1997
    Devil’s Toyshop: The Teaching Resources of the Book Arts Press

    Curated by: Terry Belanger
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    […]

  • Feb 1
    /
    May 27
    1997
  • Sep 16
    /
    Dec 16
    1996
    A Doré Gallery: Wood-Engravings by Gustave Doré

    Curated by: Terry Belanger & Shawnee Sequiera '95
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    […]

  • Apr 20
    /
    Sep 10
    1996
    Books Go to War: Armed Services Editions in World War II

    Curated by: Daniel J. Miller '96
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    Imagine yourself huddled in a muddy foxhole waiting for your lieutenant’s order to leap out onto the battlefield. Or imagine how you might spend an evening aboard a troop ship knowing that you will invade the beaches of Normandy in the morning. Or simply imagine yourself in a foreign country thousands of miles from home, with few diversions and little recreational opportunity. What could you do to take your mind off the unpleasantness of war? Where would you find comfort?

  • Jan 18
    /
    Apr 15
    1996
    UVA in 1921: The Corks & Curls View

    Curated by: Terry Belanger
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    […]

  • Oct 19
    /
    Dec 21
    1995
  • Sep 29
    /
    Oct 16
    1995
    Woodcuts of Rural America by J. J. Lankes

    Curated by: Peter A. Agelasto III, with Welford D. Taylor
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    […]

  • Jul 11
    /
    Sep 23
    1995
    Lucile‘s Adventures in America, 1860–1910: Orchids, Gold Leaf, and Padded Leather

    Curated by: Sidney F. Huttner & Elizabeth Stege Huttner
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    […]

  • Mar 30
    /
    Jun 30
    1995
    Charlottesville: A Book Town

    Curated by: Terry Belanger
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    […]

  • Jan 22
    /
    Mar 24
    1995
    Daniel Melcher on Melcher: From Boyhood to Bowker and Beyond

    Curated by: Jared Lowenstein
    Dome Room, UVA Rotunda

    […]