Upcoming Exhibitions

  • Cover Story: The Art of Book Binding: Library Focus Exhibition

    Sept. 9, 2015 — Feb. 19, 2016

    We've all heard the saying, "Don't judge a book by it's cover" but is it inevitable? Book covers protect, advertise, entice and repulse. They can be ripped off, altered, changed and adorned. With the advent of digital books, self-publishing and print on demand, the relationship of text to book binding and cover design has become increasingly complex.

    Explore the variety of book bindings and coverings dating from the 1700s to 2015 in this Currier Library and Archives focus exhibition, on view through February 2016. Consider the purpose of the cover as a marketing tool, introduction to the content and work of art in itself in more than 30 books from the Currier Reference Library and Archives collection. These unique and beautiful bindings come from a range of creators: anonymous designers, design firms and artists including Rockwell Kent, Jean Tinguely and Charles Robinson. We invite you to judge these books by their covers!

    Animal Economy, Isaac Ray, 1829History of Wood Engraving, George E. Woodberry, 1883Here is New York, E.B. White, 1949Andree's Story, 1930Botanic Code, Jorinde Voight, 2011


  • Witness to History: James Nachtwey—Afghanistan, Ground Zero, Iraq

    Sept. 11, 2015 — Dec. 14, 2015

    On September 11, 2001, award-winning photojournalist James Nachtwey stood with his camera a short distance from New York City's crumbling Twin Towers. His photographs are among the most iconic and compelling visual accounts we have of that day. Many of those images, along with pictures taken in Afghanistan before and after 9/11 and in Iraq afterward are the focus of Witness to History. The exhibition will reveal war's tragic effect on combatants and civilians, and includes highly personal images of American soldiers and their families, as well as photographs of Iraqi civilians and their families. The Currier worked directly with Nachtwey to acquire many of the photographs in the exhibition. 

    Witness to History: James Nachtwey—Afghanistan, Ground Zero, Iraq is sponsored by The Botnick Family Foundation, M. Christine Dwyer & Michael Huxtable, Dorothea & David Jensen, John F. Swope, Nike & David Speltz, Camera Commons LLC, Eleanor Briggs, Next Step Bionics & Prosthetics, Peg & Tom Gaillard, and the David & Kathleen Murray Charitable Fund of NHCF.

    Read the exhibition press release.

    Image Credit:
    James Nachtwey, Afghanistan, 1996 (printed 2014), digital chromogenic print, Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire. Museum Purchase: The Henry Melville Fuller Acquisition Fund, 2014.22.1. James Nachtwey.

  • Maxfield Parrish: The Power of the Print

    Oct. 9, 2015 — Jan. 10, 2016

    One of New Hampshire's best-known artists, Maxfield Parrish (1870-1966) was considered by many to be the most popular American artist in the first few decades of the 20th century. Beyond his undeniable artistic merit, Parrish’s enormous popularity was due to the wide dissemination of high-quality color prints of his paintings and illustrations. By embracing the then-state-of-the-art lithographic technology, Parrish ensured that his work had the potential to reach millions of Americans—and it did. His art was subsequently embedded into the consciousness of early 20th century America, and it continues to resonate in our contemporary visual culture.

    This exhibition will feature an extensive selection of vintage art prints, calendar illustrations, advertisements and magazine covers and original paintings from the Hood Museum of Art and the Currier’s collection.

    Image Credit: Maxfield Parrish, Edison Mazda Lamp Works Calendar featuring Dawn, 1918. Lithographic reproduction of original oil painting, printed by Forbes Lithography Co. Private collection. Photograph: David Putnam.  

  • Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe

    Feb. 6, 2016 — May 15, 2016


    Carrie Bradshaw and the women from Sex in the City didn’t invent the high-heeled shoe, but they certainly helped us embrace it. A fashionista’s dream, Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe will present a 400-year history of fabulous footwear, revealing high heels as both stunning architectural creations and works of art in their own right. About 100 contemporary and 50 historical high heels will be on view, including shoes by noted designers Prada, Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier, Miu Miu, Christian Louboutin, Ferragamo, Manolo Blahnik and more. Drawn from the collections of the Brooklyn Museum and the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto, the exhibition includes six films created specifically for the show by noted artists, each exploring the cultural, social and aesthetic qualities that make the high heel so fascinating.

    Image left: Christian Louboutin. “Printz,” Spring/Summer 2013. Courtesy of Christian Louboutin. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn
    Image right: Nicholas Kirkwood. Pumps, Spring/Summer 2013. Suede with gold and clear Swarovski crystals. Courtesy of Nicholas Kirkwood. Photo: Jay Zukerkorn

    Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe is organized by Lisa Small, Curator of Exhibitions, Brooklyn Museum.

  • Shakespeare's Potions: Library Focus Exhibition

    March 16, 2016 — May 13, 2016

    henbane from gerard herbal

    William Shakespeare peppered his plays with potions and herbal remedies of many sorts: sleep, love, death and remembrance to name a few. Explore some of the 16th and 17th century original texts Shakespeare may have used as sources for his recipes and references. Herbals—collected works of plants with medicinal properties—often included beautiful woodcut illustrations. View some of these books from the Library’s rare book collection alongside film stills and movie memorabilia illustrating Shakespeare's use of plants and potions.

  • First Folio: The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare

    April 9, 2016 — May 1, 2016


    Imagine a world without the immortal phrases “To be, or not to be,” “Beware the Ides of March” and others. It almost happened! The book that saved many of William Shakespeare’s greatest plays from being forever lost will be on view April 9, 2016 to May 1, 2016 in the exhibition, First Folio: The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare. The exhibition brings one of the remaining copies of this important historic publication to the Currier as its exclusive New Hampshire and Boston-area venue.

    Many of Shakespeare's plays were written to be performed and were not published during his lifetime. The First Folio came out in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death and represents the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays. Two of Shakespeare’s fellow actors compiled 36 of his plays, hoping to preserve them for future generations. Eighteen of these plays would have been lost if not for the First Folio, including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Antony and Cleopatra, The Comedy of Errors and As You Like It.

    The Currier is proud to have worked with our academic partners, Saint Anselm College, University of Massachusetts Lowell; University of New Hampshire, Durham and University of New Hampshire, Manchester to secure this treasure for our regional audience.

    Image credit: Title page with Martin Droeshout engraving of Shakespeare. Shakespeare First Folio, 1623. Folger Shakespeare Library.


    Exhibition Support

    First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, and by the generous support of Vinton and Sigrid Cerf and the Google Inc. Charitable Giving Fund of Tides Foundation. Sponsorship opportunities of this major exhibition and the Folger’s other Wonder of Will programs commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death are available; learn more at www.folger.edu.

    Read the exhibition press release.