New Mexico Museum of Art

Mark Your Calendar: New Mexico Museum of Art announces date for First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare

April 24, 2015


(Santa Fe, NM—April 24, 2015)—New Mexico Museum of Art, recently named New Mexico’s host for the First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare national tour, is pleased to announce that the First Folio will be on view to the public February 5-28, 2016.

“New Mexico Museum of Art is excited to announce that Santa Fe and all of New Mexico can now plan to experience one of the very rare First Folios of the works of William Shakespeare,” said Mary Kershaw, Director. “The excitement of seeing such an iconic work is hard to describe. From Shakespeare aficionados to students studying these plays for the first time, this exhibit is a very special opportunity for people in New Mexico to see one of the most influential books in history.”

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.

New Mexico Museum of Art will also offer the following programs, including:

  • A free, public opening reception for the Folio and two complementary exhibitions, Stage, Setting, Mood: Theatricality in the Visual Arts and Medieval to Metal: The Art & Evolution of the Guitar will take place Friday, February 5, 2016, 5:30-7:30pm. Refreshments will be provided by the Women’s Board of The Museum of New Mexico Foundation and there will be live Elizabethan string music.

  • A variety of family and educational activities are planned. For example, visitors will have the opportunity to see the Folio at the Art Museum and learn more about bookmaking in Shakespeare’s day at the Palace Press across the street. We will also be partnering with the New Mexico State Library, local public libraries and schools to educate New Mexicans throughout the state about the Folio. Please check on our website for future details.

  • A series of lectures by Shakespearean scholars will be scheduled.

  • Other partners include the libraries of the Institute of American Indian Arts and St. John’s College, Santa Fe Close Readers, and Santa Fe Performing Arts.

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.

Thanks to the First Folio, generations have experienced Shakespeare’s lasting influence on language, culture, theater, music, education, and more. There are 233 known copies in the world today, with 82 copies held by the Folger Shakespeare Library. One of the most valuable printed books in the world, a First Folio sold for $6.2 million in 2001 at Christie’s and another one for $5.2 million in 2006 in London. It originally sold for one British pound (20 shillings) - about $200 today.

First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare will tour all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico, beginning in January 2016. A full list of host sites and tour dates is available at “At the Folger Shakespeare Library, we’re looking forward to taking the books out of our vaults in 2016 and on the road,” said Michael Witmore, Director. “We’re excited to see the many different ways that communities across the country will be celebrating Shakespeare—in performances, poetry slams, lectures, and more.”

First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor, and by the generous support of and Vinton and Sigrid Cerf. Opportunities are available to sponsor this major exhibition and the Folger’s other Wonder of Will programs commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. Learn more at

About New Mexico Museum of Art

Founded in 1917 as the Art Gallery of the Museum of New Mexico, the New Mexico Museum of Art has been presenting innovative arts programming in downtown Santa Fe for close to 100 years.  At its founding the museum collected and exhibited artworks by noted artists from New Mexico and elsewhere. This tradition continues today with a wide array of exhibitions and a significant collection featuring work from the world’s leading artists. Today, as at its founding, the New Mexico Museum of Art strives to bring the art of New Mexico to the world and the art of the world to New Mexico.

The New Mexico Museum of Art is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs.  Museum exhibitions and programs are supported by donors to the Museum of New Mexico Foundation and its Director’s Leadership Fund, Exhibitions Development Fund, and Fund for Museum Education.

The Museum is located at 107 West Palace Avenue, Santa Fe, New Mexico, just off the downtown Plaza. 24 Hr. Recorded Message: (505) 476-5072; Front desk: (505) 476-5041. November through April the museum is open Tuesdays - Sundays: 10am-5pm and open for free 5 to 8 pm on the first Friday of the month. May through October the museum is open 7 days a week 10am-5pm and is open for free every Friday night from 5 to 8pm. The Museum is closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Weather conditions may require the Museum to close; you can check with the Front Desk at 505-476-5041. Visit us on the web for the latest updates at

About Folger Shakespeare Library Folger Shakespeare Library is a world-renowned center for scholarship, learning, culture, and the arts. It is home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection and a primary repository for rare materials from the early modern period (1500-1750). The Folger is an internationally recognized research library offering advanced scholarly programs in the humanities; an innovator in the preservation of rare materials; a national leader in how Shakespeare is taught in grades K–12; and an award-winning producer of cultural and arts programs—theatre, music, poetry, exhibits, lectures, and family programs. Learn more at  

About Cincinnati Museum Center Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution and national historic landmark. Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration, CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012. CMC is one of only 16 museums in the nation with both of these honors, making it a unique asset and a vital community resource. Union Terminal has been voted the nation’s 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children’s Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater and Cincinnati History Library & Archives. Recognized by Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, CMC welcomes more than one million visitors annually. For more information, visit About the American Library Association The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 58,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all. ALA’s Public Programs Office provides leadership, resources, training and networking opportunities that help thousands of librarians nationwide develop and host cultural programs for adult, young adult and family audiences. The mission of the ALA Public Programs Office is to promote cultural programming as an essential part of library service in all types of libraries. Projects include book and film discussion series, literary and cultural programs featuring authors and artists, professional development opportunities and traveling exhibitions. School, public, academic and special libraries nationwide benefit from the office’s programming initiatives. Additional information can be found at


About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at

Media Contacts:

Steve Cantrell, PR Manager


Carmen Vendelin, Curator of Art, New Mexico Museum of Art



Calendar editors:

What: New Mexico Museum of Art is the only New Mexico venue for the First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare national tour.

When: the First Folio will be on view to the public February 5-28, 2016 with a free to the public opening on Friday, February 5, 2016, 5:30-7:30pm.

Where: New Mexico Museum of Art, 107 West Palace Avenue, Sana Fe, NM.

Public Information Line: 505-476-5072


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