SHAKESPEARE AT TULANE UNIVERSITY
THE FIRST FOLIO! EXHIBITION
The exhibition at the Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane — part of the international events planned for 2016 in observance of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death — will feature a First Folio of Shakespeare open to the famous “To be or not to be” soliloquy in Hamlet and, unique to Tulane’s version of the exhibition, a rare quarto of Hamlet on loan from Tulane parent and bibliophile, Stuart Rose. Printed in the large “folio” size, the First Folio is the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays. It was assembled after Shakespeare’s death in 1616 by two of his fellow actors, John Heminge and Henry Condell, and was published in 1623. The First Folio is the only source for eighteen of Shakespeare’s plays, among these some of his best known and most popular, including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, and As You Like It, all of which might otherwise have been lost.
Visitors to the First Folio! exhibition will also have the opportunity to trace, across the Tulane campus, an "archival circuit" of rare materials connected with the history of book publication in Shakespeare's age, in the Howard-Tilton Library Special Collections Department; Shakespeare and race, at the Amistad Research Center; and Shakespeare and gender, at the Newcomb Archives and Vorhoff Library Special Collections Library.
The Folgers acquired the First Folio that will visit Tulane in 1897 as part of their first acquisition of an extensive Shakespeare collection, the Warwick Castle Library. The Earl of Warwick assembled his library in the mid-nineteenth century with the help of J.O. Halliwell-Phillipps, an important Shakespeare scholar and collector. The touring copy is especially fine because the title and verse page are both original, just as they were printed in 1623. (Many other surviving copies of the First Folio have verse and title pages that are repaired or that have been replaced with facsimiles.) The Folger has in its care eighty-two copies of the First Folio, about a third of those that survive, by far the largest collection of First Folios in the world.
APRIL 23 Tulane in Stratford
The Wendell Brunious Band and Tulane School of Liberal Arts will take part in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon’s and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s Shakespeare Anniversary Celebrations.
APRIL 28Ferguson Lecture
The 27th annual Josephine Gessner Ferguson lecture: "Shakespeare in America" featuring James Shapiro (Columbia University), internationally renowned Shakespeare biographer and scholar. Freeman Auditorium, Woldenberg Art Center, 6:00 pm.
MAY 3 - JUNE 4Historic New Orleans Collection Exhibition
“Merry as the Day Is Long”: Shakespeare’s Hand in New Orleans exhibition on view in the Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street, Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30–4:30 pm. Admission to the exhibition is free.
MAY 9 First Folio! Exhibition
The exhibition opens at the Newcomb Art Museum with a Jazz Funeral for Shakespeare, conducted by Michael White and the Liberty Brass Band, 6:30 pm. The First Folio will be on display through May 31, 2016.
MAY 15 High School Teacher Workshop
A workshop for local high school teachers will be conducted on the site of the First Folio exhibition, by Scott Oldenburg (Tulane Associate Professor of English) 1:00-3:00 pm, open by application. To apply, contact the Tulane English Department at firstname.lastname@example.org
MAY 16 “Sonnets in the Gallery”
A reading of Shakespeare’s love poetry, on the site of the First Folio exhibition, will be hosted by Peter Cooley (Tulane Professor of English and Poet Laureate of the State of Louisiana), 1:00-3:00 pm, open to the public.
Public lecture, “All the World’s a Stage”: Shakespeare on the Stages and Streets of New Orleans, by Oliver Hennessey (Professor, English Department, Xavier University), May 18 at 6:00 p.m., WRC, 410 Chartres Street. Admission to the exhibition and the lecture is free.
MAY 22 Family Workshop
A workshop for families will be conducted at the Main Branch, New Orleans Public Library, 219 Loyola Avenue, by Adam McKeown, (Tulane Associate Professor of English), 1:00-3:00 pm, open to the public.
Newcomb Art Museum, Tulane University, 6:00 PM. Hillary Eklund, Associate Professor of English, Loyola University. Free and open to the public.
TULANE JAZZ FUNERAL IN STRATFORD
By special invitation from the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, Tulane University's School of Liberal Arts will participate in the 400th Anniversary Celebration of Shakespeare's death. Home of The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, and Shakespeare's burial site at Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon will host several events to commemorate the Bard.
On April 23, 2016, Tulane University will bring New Orleans's own unique cultural contribution, a Jazz Funeral, to the anniversary parade in Stratford. Complete with music provided by The Wendell Brunious Band, this special parade will join Stratford's formal procession to honor and remember the greatest playwright and poet the world has known.
Trinity Church, the site of Shakespeare’s tomb, is situated on the banks of the River Avon and dates to the thirteenth century. It is the most visited parish church in England.
According to Bruce Raeburn, Director of the Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane and Head of Special Collections in Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, jazz funerals are rooted in West African and European traditions and are “probably the most appropriate way that New Orleans musicians can honor a person of value. They are alternately slow and dirge-like, energetic and celebratory of life."
The School of Liberal Arts at Tulane University is collaborating with a wide range of national, local, and campus organizations in order to celebrate Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of his death by bringing the First Folio! Exhibition to New Orleans and Louisiana. We wish to acknowledge all of our collaborators:
Tulane University’s participation in the Shakespeare Anniversary Celebration and the First Folio! Exhibition has been made possible by a generous gift from Stuart and Mimi Rose and the Stuart Rose Family Foundation.
On Shakespeare, Henry Clay Folger, and the First Folio (1623), see www.folger.edu
To view a full digital copy of the First Folio, click here
On the town of Stratford-upon-Avon, its Shakespeare connections, and Trinity Church, the site of Shakespeare’s burial, see www.stratford-upon-avon.org
On the sites maintained by and the outreach work of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, see www.shakespeare.org.uk
On Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, reconstructed as “a unique international resource dedicated to the exploration of Shakespeare's work and the playhouse for which he wrote” in London, see www.shakespearesglobe.com