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Rotch Library Exhibit

Book Marks

Photographs by Thomas Gearty

January 16, 2017 - April 2, 2017

William Shakespeare, 1865

William Shakespeare, 1865

Artist & Curator: Thomas Gearty

Location: Main Gallery & Reading Room

In old books, time and pressure cause ink from engraved portraits to seep into the surrounding pages and imprint a copy of the original image. These copies are imperfect likenesses, but they may be more accurate portraits. What we believe we know of Shakespeare is as clear as a cliché; what we actually know of him resembles these faces that stare out at us—secondhand, obscured and blurred by time.

An exhibition of prints from photographer and MIT staff member Thomas Gearty, “Book Marks” brings together a gallery of fading glory—famous writers and now-obscure authors, royalty, generals, religious figures and (fitting for MIT) scientists and engineers—largely drawn from books found in the collections of the MIT Libraries.