Marks of Genius: Treasures from the Bodleian Library

June 6 through September 28, 2014

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Marks of Genius presents some of the greatest achievements of human creativity, from the beginning of recorded information up to the industrial era, as preserved in the incomparable collections of Oxford University's Bodleian Library. The exhibition features approximately sixty rare and exceptional objects from diverse disciplines that serve as points of departure for exploring some of the fundamental meanings of genius.

The ways in which genius has been cultivated, recognized, and venerated will be explored through such works as early manuscripts of Euclid's Elementa and Gregory I's Regular Pastoralis, the oldest book written in English; an Arabic manuscript book of constellations; a unique papyri of Sappho's poems; the copyright deposit copy of Shakespeare's First Folio; a thirteenth-century manuscript of the Magna Carta; the definitive account of Aztec civilization; the manuscript of Handel's Messiah; J.R.R. Tolkien's drawings for The Hobbit; and Mary Shelley's manuscript draft of Frankenstein.

Marks of Genius travels exclusively to the Morgan before returning to the Bodleian Library to mark the opening of a new building devoted to its special collections.

Lead funding for this exhibition is provided by Karen H. Bechtel, with additional generous support from the Johansson Family Foundation and the Ricciardi Family Exhibition Fund.

Catalogue: 
Image Caption: 

William Shakespeare (1564–1616)
Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies (The First Folio)
London: printed by Isaac Jaggard and Edward Blount, 1623
Arch. G c.7
The Bodleian Library, Oxford