The Grolier Club is at the center of New York's community of rare book collectors. But the purpose of the club is not just for members to admire each other's vast collections. Instead, the club seeks "to treat books and prints as objects worthy of display, on a par with painting and sculpture." The private club opens the doors of its midtown headquarters to the public, hosting some of the most unique and fascinating exhibitions in the city, emphasizing the artistry of book-binding, illustration, and print-making.
Io. Grolierii et amicorum
What You Will See
The Grolier Club's lavish headquarters is worth a visit by itself (though it is in the midst of major renovations). The club maintains three gallery spaces where it has hosted over 800 difference exhibitions over its 125-year history. Each exhibition looks at some aspect of book arts, literature, and the presentation of the written work as art. Exhibitions in recent years have looked at the art of board games, the revival of calligraphy, the art of children's literature, and celebrations of significant people of letters. Exhibitions are free and sure to educate.
Why You Should Go
Of the many private clubs with headquarters in the city, the Grolier Club is one of the most publically-minded, hosting cerebral and interesting exhibitions and events to help cultivate a love of literature and book arts in the general public. Even if you are not a voracious reader or fascinated by rare and antique books, the exhibitions held here will likely interest you. The art and design of objects as commonplace as books is something more and more museums are recognizing and curating. The Grolier Club has been doing it long before it was popular and remains at the forefront of study.