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The Art of the Book

January 14, 2012 – April 1, 2012

Exhibition Dates

January 14, 2012 – April 1, 2012

Exhibitions are free with admission.


The Art of the Book is an exploration of the museum’s diverse collection of primarily nineteenth- and twentieth- century rare, first edition, and out- of -print books ranging from the earliest purchases by Robert Bellows in the 1940s to important donations made throughout the museum’s history. Included will be Bellow’s original ledger describing his purchases, providing a fascinating insight into his collecting mission, trends of the time, and the storied bookshops he frequented in Boston and New York City.

Drawn entirely from the collection with a few key loans, the exhibition will feature a selection of first edition classics such as Moby Dick by Herman Melville, illustrated by legendary American modernist Rockwell Kent, Poems of Childhood by Eugene Field and illustrated by Maxfield Parrish and Ramona, illustrated by N.C. Wyeth.

The exhibition will also feature other authors and artists with a connection to Maine such as Charles Dana Gibson, Sarah Orne Jewett, Frank Benson, Waldo Pierce, Frederick J. Waugh, Maurice “Jake” Day, and Rockland artist Kosti Ruohomma. Ruohomma’s classic photographs were featured in the iconic Maine Coastal Portrait, published in Rockland, Maine in 1959 by the Seth Low Press. In addition there will be a small selection of children’s books illustrated by Kate Greenaway, Dahlov Ipcar, Waldo Pierce and John Ames Mitchell, co-founder of Life magazine and illustrator and author of the whimsical 1881 The Summer School of Philosophy at Mt. Desert. The Art of the Book is made possible in part thanks to the support of Artisan Books & Bindery, The Goose River Exchange and Lux Mentis, Booksellers.