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A Cabinet of Wonders Opens Wide

The New York Times: “The most exquisite holiday windows on Fifth Avenue might be inside the New York Public Library’s flagship building at the corner of 42nd Street. Walk up the stairs past the stone lions, through the marble entrance court and into the ornate Gottesman Hall, and you can peer into dramatically lit cases holding medieval illuminated manuscripts, a ballet slipper designed by Coco Chanel, the stuffed toys that inspired “Winnie-the-Pooh” and Virginia Woolf’s walking stick, among other prized items. None of the objects are for sale. But in a way, they already belong to us. Or that’s the message behind “Treasures,” the library’s first ever permanent installation of highlights from its research collections…The exhibition, supported by a $12 million gift from the philanthropist Leonard Polonsky, is the culmination of more than three years of shopping the library’s epic closets, which hold more than 45 million manuscripts, rare books, prints, photographs, audio and film clips and other artifacts. Covering 4,000 years of history, it mixes big-ticket items (a Gutenberg Bible, Shakespeare’s First Folio) and who-knew delights, like Andy Warhol’s painting of a Studio 54 ticket (inscribed “To Truman,” as in Capote)…”

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