What am I reading?

July 14, 2016

To mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s passing, the Folger Library is sending original editions of Shakespeare’s first folio on tour across the country.  The tour is entitled, “First Folio! – the book that gave us Shakespeare!” We are lucky that Cleveland is one of the tour destinations.  The main branch of the Cleveland Public Library is the local venue.
macbeth_005566_custom-81a9eb395c913a428c943af5b3954f29ec0e5f1b-s1500-c85The photo above is from the Folger Library, as I was not allowed to take pictures in the inner treasure room where the first folio is currently residing. The library does have a first folio electronic display that allows you to turn the pages virtually.


exhibit hallLast night HMS Defiant and I ventured downtown (barely missing all the hoopla of the RNC convention) for a gallery talk and tour (free!) The tour was given by a knowledgeable, self-effacing and passionate librarian/docent who did a terrific job of dispensing interesting information and answering questions in the short time he was allowed.  The tour began at 5 pm and we were herded out of the library at 6 pm as the doors were closing. The first folio is leaving us July 30, but it is worth a second look.

Cleveland has mounted an impressive display with multimedia activities geared to people of all age groups and walks of life, such as costumes from the Great Lakes Theater Company (Hamlet below), stage productions,  interactive displays, and related exhibits.


One of the supporting exhibits shows Shakespearean story tiles created by the Malin sisters who were local ceramic artists.  Cleveland supported a notable ceramic art community in the early decades of the 20th century.

story tiles

fourth folio

This fourth folio is also on exhibit.  I was allowed to take photographs of this display.benedickThis is a detail of Benedick’s costume from Much Ado About Nothing.  It is exactly the same fabric as my living and dining room curtains, although a different color.

globe light

The library itself is a wonderful and beautiful place.  This is the 1936 globe that lights the main entryway of this Walker and Weeks designed, beaux arts style building.

ceiling detail special exhibits

Ceiling detail in the Special Collections hall.


One of the many copies of the Rubyiat of Omar Khyam in the John G. White Special Collection.


Also in the Special Collections are these authentic cuneiform artifacts circa 2350 BC from the Kingdom of UR

bronze figuresThese little bronze folks by Tom Otterness are just outside  the Eastman Reading Garden which connects the new and old buildings of the library.


The Eastman Reading Garden designed by Maya Lin (the Vietnam War Memorial in DC) is a treasure in itself and a little oasis of brilliance in the middle of the business district. However, I cannot explain the current presence of these snails.


  1. I have a picture of the brass Ampersand from this garden area, which is indeed a delight

    • I never get tired of it.

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