Cincinnati Museum Center partnering with Folger Shakespeare Library for First Folio traveling exhibition

CINCINNATI – Cincinnati Museum Center is proud to announce that it has been selected by the Folger Shakespeare Library to serve as a partner for the nationally traveling exhibition Shakespeare and his First Folio. Beginning in January 2016 and continuing through the 2016 calendar year to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare, the exhibition will bring an original 1623 edition of Shakespeare’s First Folio to each of the 50 US states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Each location will host the exhibition for four weeks. A total of 18 folios will be on display through the duration of the tour, six traveling at a time to ensure their preservation.

Shakespeare Folio“Cincinnati Museum Center’s strong record of successful touring exhibitions, and their expertise traveling historic artifacts made them an ideal partner for this exhibition,” notes Caryn Lazzuri, exhibitions manager at the Folger Shakespeare Library. “We are pleased to partner with Cincinnati Museum Center, as well as the American Library Association, to bring a Shakespeare Folio to 53 sites in the US.”

Cincinnati Museum Center’s Exhibits department will be involved in all aspects of Shakespeare and His First Folio from the exhibition’s inception to its final close in December 2016. Museum Center’s exhibits team is providing tour management and design expertise, producing graphic panel displays that will accompany the folios at each stop, as well as designing and constructing climate controlled cases to house folios during the tour. Cincinnati Museum Center will also accompany the folios on each step of their national journey as exhibit staff coordinate and facilitate the transportation, installation and de-installation of the exhibition at each stop of the tour.

“This exhibit is an extraordinary and rare piece of literary history,” says Douglass McDonald, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “The fact that our team was selected by the Folger Shakespeare Library to play such a large role is an incredible honor and speaks to the fantastic work our exhibits team does.”

Shakespeare’s First Folio is the playwright’s first published collection of plays, published in 1623, seven years after his death, by actors John Heminges and Henry Condell as Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies.

The First Folio is the only source for 18 of Shakespeare’s plays, including Macbeth, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, As You Like It and Julius Caesar. Without the publication of the First Folio these masterpieces would have been lost.

In the exhibition visitors will have an up-close encounter with one of the folios opened to Hamlet’s famous “to be or not to be” soliloquy. The folio will be accompanied by six graphic panels that provide more information about Shakespeare and the First Folio. This exhibition will provide visitors with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view a real piece of literary history.

The American Library Association is currently accepting applications through October 24 to host the exhibition from public, academic and special libraries, museums, historical societies, theater companies and other cultural venues which feel that they can provide supportive programming for the exhibition. Interested institutions must also have a suitable space to display the First Folio and accompanying exhibition and must meet environmental and security requirements. Visit to apply to host Shakespeare and His First Folio before the deadline of October 24.
Shakespeare and His First Folio is made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

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