Shakespeare’s First Folio


As part of the national traveling exhibition First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare, the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays will be on display at 52 sites across the United States next year marking the 400th anniversary of the bard’s death.

The University of Colorado Boulder was named Colorado’s host for the “First Folio!” and the exhibition will be open to the public at the Norlin Library in August of 2016.

The First Folio is the first complete collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays, published in 1623 seven years after his death. Compiled by two of Shakespeare’s fellow actors, it preserves 36 of Shakespeare’s plays. Without it, we would not have 18 of those plays, including Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, The Tempest and Antony and Cleopatra.

The First Folio will be opened to the most quoted line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “to be or not to be.” A multi-panel exhibition exploring Shakespeare’s impact, then and now, will be accompanied by digital content and interactive activities.

As part of the event, The School of Botanical Art and Illustration at the Denver Botanic Gardens will present an exhibit of Botanical art around the theme “Shakespeare and flowers”.  Two current classes devoted to this project are now underway and I’m lucky enough to be part of one.

We started Tuesday night with an overview of the life and times of William Shakespeare, Elizabethan society, and some research into the multitude of flowers associated with his work. We even started working on some compositional ideas in pencil. Over the summer I’ll be part of two dozen students working to complete finished botanical plates for the exhibit. Wish us luck!

Susan demonstrating
Instructor Susan Rubin showed us her composition and discussed some options for preparing our plates.
Instructor Susan DiMarchi and students going over the list of potential subjects.
my first attempt
Here is my first attempt. It’s all wrong! I have already started to re-work it. That’s what class is for!