The Collation

Research and Exploration at the Folger

“What manner o’ thing is your crocodile?”: December 2020

Ack! Nearly December already? Wasn’t it just March? (Isn’t it still March?) Guess that means it’s time for another Crocodile Mystery. Take a look at the image below. It’s not pencil on paper. It’s not oil on canvas. What is it? As always, leave your thoughts in the comments and we’ll be back next week with more information.… Continue Reading

Creating John Gregory’s Bas Reliefs at the Folger

Who carved the John Gregory’s bas reliefs on the facade of the Folger? Readers of last week’s Collation post will know that the apparently obvious answer—John Gregory—is incorrect. Sculptor John Gregory (1879–1958) definitely created the works of art, but professional stone cutters chiselled away the marble until it exactly matched the plaster casts of Gregory’s full-size clay models. Carver on site at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 1931.… Continue Reading


Idols of the Reformation

Thank you to all who weighed in on this month’s Crocodile Mystery! Many people recognize October 31, 1517 as a major milestone in the beginning of the Protestant Reformation—the date that it is said Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church door in Wittenburg. To mark that occasion, I thought it would be fitting to have a Reformation-themed Crocodile post!… Continue Reading


Postcards of the Folger: Macbeth, Ivlivs Caesar, King Lear

A guest post by Stephen Grant The next three bas-reliefs along the Folger’s north wall are Macbeth, Julius Caesar, and King Lear. The images shown here are from the same two sets of postcards that were discussed in the previous post.   Fig. 1. Macbeth Left: An AZO postcard Right: A Meriden Gravure Co. postcard Author’s Collection, photo by Stephen Grant   Fig.… Continue Reading