Expanding the Story and Romancing the Ruins

Burling Gallery Summer Exhibits

May 23, 2024

Explore two exhibits this summer in Burling Gallery with selections from the Print and Drawing Study Room and Special Collections and Archives.

On the gallery’s walls, view “Romancing Ruins,” curated by Marina Busby ’24. This exhibit features selections of 18th-century prints by Italian artist, architect, and archaeologist Giovanni Battista Piranesi from the Grinnell College Museum of Art Permanent Collection. This display is an extensive sample of Piranesi’s work artistically documenting and aesthetically framing the ancient ruins of Rome and the Roman periphery. The exhibition showcases print works that allow the viewer to experience Piranesi’s fascination with the ancient world and the greater perpetual phenomena of classicism.

New Library Manuscript Acquisitions

Also on display is a new exhibit from Special Collections and Archives at the Grinnell College Libraries; Expanding the Story featuring new additions to the rare holdings that call Grinnell home. Special Collections and Archives are used extensively to support curriculum and learning on campus as a hands-on laboratory for working with primary resources.

Beginning in 2020, a new chapter of collection development has actively worked to enrich holdings with more global and diverse materials to better represent the community of scholars at Grinnell, gearing acquisitions toward voices from historically underrepresented authors, exemplars of global book history, and social justice.

A commitment to collection development resonates with Grinnell College’s dedication to access, service, and support of researchers, as well as Special Collections’ dedication to posterity and preservation of important materials for the chapters ahead. Come get a glimpse of these recent additions — such as a 2000 BCE cuneiform tablet; rare, early editions of Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and more alongside displays of notable work including original manuscripts, artists’ books, and works of global print, scribal, and Iowan history — on display at Burling Gallery in Burling Library’s lower level.

Expanding the Story is curated by Project Archivist Laura Michelson, Access Services Assistant Samuel Burt ’17, and Digital Services Assistant Max Schafer of the Grinnell College Libraries and will be on display through summer 2024.

Contact Us

Please use the contact form to reach the staff of the Grinnell College Libraries Special Collections and Archives.

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