Explore the allure of books — their intellectual significance, historical importance, visual power, and emotional impact — when Oakland University Art Gallery presents Encountering the Rare Book. The exhibition of books and the thoughts of those who appreciate them opens Thursday, Sept. 6 with an opening reception at OUAG.
Curated by Andrea Eis, Professor of Cinema Studies, the exhibition centers around the participation of university faculty who chose books from the Special Collections that spoke to them uniquely – ones that generated an unexpected realization, or delighted with an unconventional narrative, or fascinated with a lush materiality. Among the works chosen for the exhibit: a first edition of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol with hand-colored illustrations; intelligent, sometimes raucous women’s writings from the 1600s and 1700s; a mammoth book from 1605 and a tiny one from 1607.
Faculty commentaries accompany their chosen books, and are included in the exhibition catalogue. In our digital world, we have fewer and fewer chances to directly experience the rare through books that are physical manifestations of thought. Encountering the Rare Book offers that opportunity, along with photographs, a film made in the book vault, large-scale prints on fabric, and interactive iPad displays, offering diverse encounters with the tantalizing essences of rare books.
Encountering the Rare Book is on exhibit on select dates through Oct. 7 at OUAG, located on the campus of Oakland University in Rochester.