French Book Arts: Manuscripts, Books, Bindings, Prints, and Documents, 12th–21st Century at The Grolier Club, through February 2, 2019

“The Grolier Club unveiled its reconstructed state-of-the-art Exhibition Hall, capping a total renovation of the public spaces in the century-old building. To mark the occasion, The Grolier Club mounted the celebratory exhibition French Book Arts: Manuscripts, Books, Bindings, Prints, and Documents, 12th–21st Century. The approximately 90 works are drawn entirely from The Grolier Club’s own rich and extensive collections.

This inaugural exhibition is a wide-ranging survey of the book arts of France, covering a thousand years of artistic achievements, from Medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts to artists’ books and designer bookbindings of the current generation.  Notwithstanding the many hundreds of public exhibitions that have been displayed at The Grolier Club in its 135 years, it has never before offered such a broad and deep survey of the artistic and typographic monuments of France.

The Grolier Club has maintained a strong Francophile tradition since its founding in 1884, beginning with its name.  The Grolier Club was named for Jean Grolier, the Renaissance collector who was renowned for his patronage of scholars and printers, for the magnificent bindings he commissioned, and for a generous habit of sharing his library with friends.” — The Grolier Club

Binding by the Cupid’s Bow Binder. On: (Pope Nicholas I, ca. 800-867). Nicolae Primi Pont (ificis). Maximi Epistolae. Rome: Francesco Priscianese, 1542. Collection of The Grolier Club. The known provenance is Jean Grolier

Homer. Opera (Greek). Two volumes. Venice: Aldus Manutius, after 31 October 1504. Collection of The Grolier Club

(Book of Hours. Use of Rouen). Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis. Manuscript on vellum. Latin & French. France, Rouen, ca. 1520.  Collection of The Grolier Club

Book of Hours, Use of Rome. Horae Beatae Mariae Virginis. Latin Manuscript on vellum France (probably Toulouse), 1540s. Collection of The Grolier Club

Eugène Grasset. Napoleon in Egypt.  New York: The De Vinne Press for the Century’s Company, 1895. Collection of The Grolier Club

Monsieur Delandre, Directeur General. Timbres de Guerre de l’Armée Française. Paris : Administration des Timbres de l’Armée, ca. 1917. Collection of The Grolier Club

Henry de Montherlant. Pasiphaé : Chant de Minos (les Crétois). Gravures originales by Henri Matisse. Paris : Martin Fabiani, 1944. Collection of The Grolier Club

Jacques Brel. Ne me quitte pas. Gravures originales by Dominique Van Der Veken. Paris : Les Bibliophiles de France, spring 2008. Collection of The Grolier Club

Exhibition was curated by H. George Fletcher.

Images courtesy The Grolier Club.