The Grolier Club is a private club and society of bibliophiles in New York City. Founded in January 1884, it is the oldest existing bibliophilic club in North America. The club is named after Jean Grolier de Servières, Viscount d'Aguisy, Treasurer General of France, whose library was famous; his motto, "Io. Grolierii et amicorum" [of or belonging to Jean Grolier and his friends], suggested his generosity in sharing books. The Club's stated objective is "the literary study of the arts pertaining to the production of books, including the occasional publication of books designed to illustrate, promote and encourage these arts; and the acquisition, furnishing and maintenance of a suitable club building for the safekeeping of its property, wherein meetings, lectures and exhibitions shall take place from time to time…"
Collections and programs
The Grolier Club maintains a research library specializing in books, bibliography and bibliophily, printing (especially the history of printing and examples of fine printing), binding, illustration and bookselling. The Grolier Club has one of the more extensive collections of book auction and book seller catalogs in North America. The Library has the archives of a number of prominent bibliophiles such as Sir Thomas Phillipps, and of bibliophile and print collecting groups, such as the Hroswitha Club of women book collectors and the Society of Iconophiles.
The Grolier Club also has a program of public exhibitions which "treat books and prints as objects worthy of display, on a par with painting and sculpture." The exhibitions draw on various sources including holdings of the Club, its members, and of institutional libraries.
The Grolier Club is a member of the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies.
The founders of the club were William L. Andrews, Theodore L. DeVinne, A. W. Drake, Albert Gallup, Robert Hoe, Brayton Ives, Samuel W. Martin, E. S. Mead, and Arthur B. Turnure. Perfection in the art of bookmaking is encouraged. E. D. French engraved the club's own bookplate as well as bookplates for many of its members.
Honorary members have included I.N. Phelps Stokes (elected 1927), Bruce Rogers (1928), Henry Watson Kent (1930), Franklin D. Roosevelt (1934), Rudolph Ruzicka (1946), Lawrence C. Wroth (1950), Carl Purington Rollins (1951), Elmer Adler (1952), Joseph Blumenthal (1967), and Mary C. Hyde Eccles (1989); while Honorary Foreign Corresponding members have included Sir Emery Walker (elected 1920), Alfred W. Pollard (1921), Sir Geoffrey Keynes (1922), Michael Sadleir (1925), Stanley Morison (1951), Giovanni Mardersteig (1964), Howard M. Nixon (1971), Nicolas Barker (1972), John Carter (1973), and Hermann Zapf (2003).
The Grolier Club has had three locations since being founded in 1884. The Club's first home was rented. In 1890 the Grolier Club moved into a Romanesque Revival building at 29 East 32nd Street (which still survives as a designated landmark). Its current location, 47 East 60th Street in New York's Silk Stocking District, has been its home since 1917. The building was designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue.
On February 25, 2013, The New York Times announced that New York real estate developers William L. and Arthur W. Zeckendorf were planning to erect a 51-story apartment tower beside the Grolier Club through the purchase of air rights from the club and the adjoining Christ Church. Robert A.M. Stern will be the architect of the new tower.
List of presidents
The following people have served as presidents of the club:
- Robert Hoe III (1884–1888)
- William Loring Andrews (1888–1892)
- Beverly Chew (1892–1896)
- Samuel Putnam Avery (1896–1900) Porträt: Medaille 1897 by Anton Scharff (1845–1903)
- Howard Mansfield (1900–1904)
- Theodore Low De Vinne (1904–1906)
- Edwin B. Holden (1906-1906) [sic]
- Richard Hoe Lawrence (1906–1908)
- William F. Havemeyer (1908–1912)
- Edward G. Kennedy (1912–1916)
- Arthur H. Scribner (1916–1920)
- Henry Watson Kent (1920–1924)
- William B. Osgood Field (1924–1928)
- Lucius Wilmerding (1928–1932)
- William B. Ivins, Jr. (1932–1935)
- Frederick Coykendall (1935–1939)
- Harry T. Peters (1939–1943)
- Edwin De T. Bechtel (1943–1947)
- Frederick B. Adams, Jr. (1947–1951)
- Irving S. Olds (1951–1955)
- Arthur A. Houghton (1955–1957)
- C. Waller Barrett (1957–1961)
- Donald F. Hyde (1961–1965)
- Gordon N. Ray (1965–1969)
- Alfred H. Howell (1969–1973)
- Robert H. Taylor (1973–1975)
- Herman W. Liebert (1975–1978)
- Robert D. Graff (1978–1982)
- Frank S. Streeter (1982–1986)
- G. Thomas Tanselle (1986–1990)
- Kenneth A. Lohf (1990–1994)
- William Bradford Warren (1994–1998)
- William T. Buice III (1998–2002)
- Carolyn L. Smith (2002–2006)
- William H. Helfand (2006–2010)
- Eugene S. Flamm (2010-)
The Club has issued editions of the following works:
- Richard du Bury, Philobiblion
- Robert Hoe, Catalogues of Early and Original Editions from Langland to Wither; Bookbinding as a Fine Art
- Geoffrey Keynes, A Bibliography of William Blake (1921)
- William Matthews, Modern Book Binding
- Theodore Low De Vinne, Historic Printing Types
- George William Curtis, Washington Irving
- Jean Grolier Biography[dead link]
- The Grolier Club, Constitution, Article I, section 2. 2005 edition.
- Grolier Club Library Overview[dead link]
- Lasting Impressions: The Grolier Club Library (New York: Grolier Club, 2004) pp. 8–12.
- About The Grolier Club[dead link]
- Phillipps[dead link]
- named after Hroswitha of Gandersheim[dead link]
- [dead link]
- Exhibitions[dead link]
- FABS - Member Clubs[dead link]
- "Grolier Club". New International Encyclopedia. 1905.
- Members of the Grolier Club, 1884-2009 (New York: Grolier Club, 2009), pp. 9-12.
- A list of club presidents, complete to 2009, appeared in Members of the Grolier Club, 1884-2009 (New York: Grolier Club, 2009), pp. 158–159. A previous list, complete to 1982, appeared in Members of the Grolier Club, 1884-1984 (New York: Grolier Club, 1986), pp. 149-150.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 29 East 32nd Street.|
- Grolier Club
- Journal of Library History, vol. 20 #2, Spring 1985, pp. 196-9, by Robert Nikirk [On the Grolier Club's bookplates]
- Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies