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Small Wonders

June 11–October 19, 1998
East Building, Ground Floor, Study Center

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.


original exhibition poster
click to enlarge

Overview: The act of reading produces an intimate bond between the reader and the book. That bond becomes even more intimate when the book fits in the palm of the hand. The book is picked up and cradled in the hands; its diminutive size lends it to being held close in order to read it. The materials—fine leather and smooth paper—appeal to the sense of touch, while the printing and illustrations engage and delight the eye.

The focus of this exhibition was the small-scale book. The National Gallery of Art Library, by serendipity rather than by design, has a substantial number of palm-sized books. A selection of these miniature publications, based solely on their dimensions and not their content, was shown here for the first time.

Organization: The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art. Gregory Most, head of the slide library, was curator.