The primary function of a bookplate is very simple: to indicate the owner of a book. But these small works of art communicate many more implicit and explicit messages about their owners, including ancestry, occupation, interests, artistic tastes, and philosophy. They can also help modern readers trace the history of individual volumes. The Art of Ownership presents notable bookplates from ﬁve centuries in books from the Rosenbach’s collections and consider what they add to the objects’ stories. The exhibition will also look at the colorful characters who created and used the bookplates, and examine how book enthusiasts make and use them today. In addition to the detailed stories of the featured bookplates, the exhibition will present a wider range of digitized examples from the University of Delaware’s extensive William Augustus Brewer Bookplate Collection.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website