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Isabella Stewart Gardener's Book Collection: An illustrated talk

Posted by Christina Jedra  April 12, 2013 10:00 AM

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Eze examining Neapolitan Choir Book[1].jpg

Anne-Marie Eze examining a Neapolitan Choir Book

The following was submitted by the Abbot Public Library: 

On Sunday, April 21, at 2:00 pm, at the Abbot Public Library, Dr. Anne-Marie Eze, Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, will present, “A Most Fascinating and Dangerous Pursuit,” an illustrated talk about the rarely seen book collection of Isabella Stewart Gardner. The Gardner Museum in Boston is renowned for its collection of masterpieces of European and American painting, uniquely displayed with furniture, textiles and sculpture in a Venetian palace-style building. It is less well known that Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840-1924) was a bibliophile and that she collected almost 1500 volumes, including thirteenth- to twentieth-century Islamic and Western illuminated manuscripts, incunabula, fine bindings, children's books, and American first editions. Rarely exhibited to the public, the book collection is the Gardner Museum's greatest hidden treasure!

Since 2010, Dr. Eze has been researching Isabella Stewart Gardner's rare books and bringing the collection to light through lectures, exhibitions, publications and the media. Eze's lecture will give an overview of the history of the collection from Gardner's day to the present, its highlights, and her discoveries. 

Anne-Marie Eze is the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, where she researches the museum's fine but little-known rare books collection. Eze studied Classics (BA Hons), and Library and Information Studies, specializing in Manuscript Studies and Historical Bibliography (MA), at University College London. She trained as a librarian at Cambridge University's Trinity College Library, and worked as an assistant curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Eze has a collaborative doctorate in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and the British Library's Department of Western Manuscripts.

Anne-Marie Eze will be the featured guest speaker at the Friends of Abbot Library’s Annual Meeting. A brief election of Friends officers will precede the talk. The Friends also will be selling raffle tickets for a quilt by Margarita Blumkina being raffled as part of her "Rainbow of Quilts" exhibit, on view through April 24th in the Library's Virginia A. Carten Gallery. Refreshments will be served, and the winning quilt raffle ticket will be drawn during this event.  All are welcome to attend!

The Abbot Public Library is located at 235 Pleasant Street, Marblehead, MA 01945. For additional information, please call 781-631- 1481, or consult the Library’s website at www.abbotlibrary.org.


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