Opening Reception |
Photographs: Thomas R. Schiff's The Library Book
For nearly three centuries, America's libraries not only have served as sanctuaries for social and civic ideals of their moment, but also have been public spaces where all members of the community are invited to learn, study, and contemplate the enduring pursuit of knowledge. From the beneficient libraries of the eighteenth century to the awe-inspiring structures of the twenty-first century, the library represents the heart of American cultural life and acts as momentum to the potential of our civilization.In pre–Revolutionary War America, libraries were member-driven collections for the elite; it was not until 1790 that Benjamin Franklin helped to establish the first public lending library. Throughout the subsequent centuries the library has evolved, but always remained central to the culture of the nation. Thomas R. Schiff’s photographs trace the history of the library through aesthetic and style while featuring legendary architects such as Charles F. McKim; Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge; and I. M. Pei.
New York City, NY; NYC