In 2011, Johns Hopkins University acquired the world’s most comprehensive collection of rare books and manuscripts on the history of forgery in the West, some 1,700 items in all spanning the ancient world to the 20th century. This exhibition of 70 treasures from the collection explores the phenomenon of forgery as a creative literary form, and addresses particular highlights of this extraordinary gathering of scholarly materials from classical antiquity to the early decades of the 20th century.
The exhibition will be located in the George Peabody Library Exhibition Hall, 17 East Mount Vernon Place, Baltimore, from October 5, 2014–February 1, 2015.
Highlights will include: editions of Jesus’ posthumous “Letter from Heaven,” eyewitness accounts of the Fall of Troy, the only surviving autograph of the martyr Thomas Beckett, unpublished manuscript verses of Martin Luther expositing “The Lord’s Prayer, annotated books from Shakespeare’s personal library, archaeological excavations of ancient Etruscan manuscripts predicting the coming of Christ, a first-hand account of the discovery of Homer’s tomb, Alpine inscriptions recording Noah’s settlement of Vienna after the Flood, the only extant ancient Greek manuscript on ancient Byzantine painting, the conspiratorial Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and the “true” story of the early 20th-century Bata Kindai Amgoza ibn LoBagola, the self-proclaimed “African Savage” descended from the lost tribes of Israel. See selections from the exhibition here.
The curatorial team for this exhibition includes several Hopkins faculty and graduate students: Dr. Earle Havens, William Kurrelmeyer Curator of Rare Books & Manuscripts; Professor Walter Stephens, Charles S. Singleton Professor of Italian Studies; and PhD candidates, and Denis Family Curatorial Fellows Janet Gomez (Italian), Neil Weijer (History), and John Hoffmann (English).
Join the Friends of the Libraries for the opening of our exhibition of treasures from the Bibliotheca Fictiva collection, Sunday, October 5, from 3–6 p.m. View event details.