A recent phone call from one of our kind donors, Jonathan Bumas, Class of 1978, led to an extended search for the opening date of the Leonard L. Milberg Gallery for the Graphic Arts. We know the gallery closed to the public on Tuesday, January 2, 2013 but documenting the opening was surprisingly hard to do.
The first mention found was in the Princeton Weekly Bulletin, September 23, 1985, which lists three exhibitions in Firestone Library. The first in our ‘exhibition gallery,’ the second in the lobby, and the third in The Leonard L. Milberg Gallery for the Graphic Arts (second floor). The last show was “Recent Gifts and Acquisitions of the Graphic Arts Collection.” Previous exhibition mentions all refer to the Graphic Arts Collection, where curator Dale Roylance used to hang shows inside his suite of rooms.
In the Princeton University Library Chronicle, vol. 47, no. 3 (spring 1986) there are two mentions. The first in a report of the Library Council’s winter meeting held on November 23, 1985 in the Friends Room on the second floor. “Before calling for the treasurer’s report, the chairman commented on the splendor of the new Leonard l. Milberg Gallery which has transformed the entrance to both the Graphic Arts collection and the Theatre Collection on the second floor of Firestone Library.”
Finally, Roylance notes in his report for the exhibition and catalogue, European Graphic Arts, “On May 11, 1986, a new exhibition gallery for the Princeton University Library, the Leonard L. Milberg Gallery for the Graphic Arts, was officially opened. The architectural renovations to the second floor of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections have also created new entrances for both the Graphic Arts Collection and the Theatre Collection, with access directly from the main exhibition gallery of the Library. All of this has been made possible through funds given to the Graphic Arts Collection by Leonard L. Milberg, ‘53.”
By the way, the opening lecture to celebrate the gallery, the exhibition, and the catalogue was given by Robert C. Darnton, Shelby Cullom Davis ‘30 Professor of European History, entitled “Confessions of a Book Historian.”
Thanks to Christine Lutz, we also found photographs of the dedication of the gallery in the archive for the Office of Communications Records. http://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/AC168/c03558
Thanks very much for asking a good question, Mr. Bumas!