Shakespeare Takes Manhattan

“The Bard” is a big deal in the Little Apple. The spirit of William Shakespeare is alive and well on the campus of Kansas State University in Manhattan.

A national traveling exhibition, that features on of the most treasured books in the world, has opened at the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art. “First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare,” features a book, a “First Folio” dating back to 1623, that is credited with keeping some of the best works of Shakespeare alive.

Many of Shakespeare’s plays, which were written to be performed, were not published during his lifetime. The First Folio is the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays. It was published in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death. Two of Shakespeare’s fellow actors compiled 36 of his plays, hoping to preserve them for future generations. Without it, the world would not have 18 of the playwright’s works, including “Macbeth,” “Julius Caesar,” “Twelfth Night,” “The Tempest,” “Antony and Cleopatra,” “The Comedy of Errors” and “As You Like It.” All 18 appear for the first time in print in the First Folio, and would otherwise have been lost.

The exhibition in Manhattan exclusively features a First Folio from the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC. The Folger’s collection of 82 First Folios is by far the largest in the world. In addition to the Folio, the exhibition also consists of panels; digital content; and items from K-State’s collections of contemporary rare books, relevant scholarly contexts, and pop Shakespeare artifacts.

“First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare” is on display in Manhattan through February 28th.


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ONLINE: Shakespeare Events at Kansas State University

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