Mortimer Rare Book Room Exhibitions

Exhibitions in the Library

Exhibitions of manuscripts, rare books, and contemporary book arts are shown in three places in Neilson Library: in the Morgan Gallery on the main floor, in the Book Arts Gallery on the third floor, and in the Mortimer Rare Book Room vestibule.

Spring 2017

Books from the Nancy Bloch Collection in the Mortimer Rare Book Room 

January 23 - May 21, 2017
Mortimer Rare Book Room entrance

An exhibition of artist books curated by Emily Hernandez, class of 2017. Books featured in this exhibition are drawn from Nancy Bloch's recent donation of almost 200 artist books. Bloch was first introduced to books as collectible items when her father, a book collector, took her to auctions in New York City. Maintaining her interest in fine binding and beautiful craftsmanship Bloch began to collect books that caught her attention. Her collection grew as she looked for and sometimes happened upon new works. In the collection it is clear that Bloch has the eye of a craftsperson: some books are delicate while others are bold, but all are beautiful works designed with intentional artistry. As a bookbinder Bloch has collected numerous unique structures and bindings. To see four more books from the collection please visit Emily Hernandez's Book Studies Concentration Senior Capstone Project:

Nancy Katcher Bloch (class of 1952) donated her artist book collection to the Mortimer Rare Book Room in the fall of 2016, in memory of her daughter Amy Rose Bloch, class of 1978. The collection adds to Smith's already extensive holdings of artist books, both limited edition and unique items, featuring fine printing, illustration, calligraphy, and more.


Page from Suzanne Moore's Zero: Cypher of Infinity (2014)

Exhibition: The Peacock at Home

February 13-May 20, 2017
Morgan Gallery, Neilson Library entrance

Being “at home” was an 18th-19th-century British term for the custom of hosting a reception for visitors during certain hours. The host and/or hostess announced that they would be “at home,” and visitors could arrive and leave as they pleased. The Peacock at Home, first published in 1807, is a popular poem by Catherine Ann Dorset. Her poem, a sequel to William Roscoe’s The Butterfly’s Ball, summarizes Roscoe’s party for bugs, and then enters the Peacock. The title character calls for a more elegant party for the birds, to be held on Saint Valentine’s Day.


Detail from Isabel Kerrich’s manuscript of The Peacock at Home, 1875-1876
Detail from Isabel Kerrich’s manuscript of The Peacock at Home, 1875-1876

See also Past Exhibitions.