Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Storybook Christmases on Display

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Storybook Christmases on Display

Article excerpt

For 116 years, the Grolier Club of New York has dedicated itself to the art and design of the book. Visitors leave behind the noise of Madison Avenue and step through French doors to an elegant exhibition hall. Here you can view some of the most beautiful examples of printing in the world.

The Grolier presents four free public exhibitions each year on book-related topics. It is a refreshing affirmation of the importance of print in a digital age.

Currently on view is "A Ha! Christmas!" an exhibition of Christmas books and manuscripts from the collection of Jock Elliott, Grolier Club member and exhibition curator.

Beginning with a beautiful illumination of the adoration of the Magi from a 15th-century French book of hours, the books reflect religious and festive Christmas observance in Britain and the United States. Of note are some of the earliest printed accounts of Jesus' birth. These include leaves from "The Golden Legend," the first account printed in English, by William Caxton.

As the 17th century progressed, Puritan tradition discouraged the decadent activities surrounding the season to the point that England's Parliament forbade the holiday's celebration. The exhibit's title is from a 1647 pamphlet that called for "men to keepe a good Christmas, and to be liberall to the poore . …

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