New York Times: Keeper of an Unlikely Trove, Gutenberg to Warhol

New York Times: Keeper of an Unlikely Trove, Gutenberg to Warhol

It is difficult to say which is more surprising: that the Newark Public Library owns prints by Picasso and Rauschenberg, a page of the Gutenberg Bible and a 1493 handwritten tome known as the Nuremberg Chronicles, or that William J. Dane, a dapper, refreshingly irreverent art scholar from New Hampshire, has been tending to this astounding collection for six decades.

Mr. Dane, who carries the regal title “keeper of the prints,” has been cradling and nourishing one of the country’s most impressive collections of prints, posters and rare books since he left the scorched battlefields of Europe and ambled into the library’s main branch on Washington Street, whereupon he was immediately hired as a clerk. “I guess you could say I was at the right place at the right time,” said Mr. Dane, a state legislator’s son who has lived in the same Newark building — a faded steel-and-glass tower designed by Mies van der Rohe — for 30 years.

Excellent Times story about a surprisingly sophisticated collection of works at the Newark Public Library.

Author: Ken Walker

Husband, Father, Analyst. In a glass case of emotion since 1978.

One thought on “New York Times: Keeper of an Unlikely Trove, Gutenberg to Warhol”

  1. This is a good story, but I have to disagree with the Times that it is surprising. Anyone who has been duly impressed by the wonders at the Newark Museum (which once hosted the Dalai Lama), including the consecrated Buddhist shrine there, should expect similar treasures up the street at the Newark Public Library.
    People need to remember that Newark is a very old city and as such, has a long and rich history. It’s bound to be preserved somewhere, why not at our own cultural institutions?
    Now, if only the male circulation desk clerks who work weekends would appreciate that and come to work dressed accordingly. I HATE walking in there and seeing those guys wearing their crazy unprofessional getups. Who told them to show up in unkempt dreads, baseball hats dyed to match their sagging pants and — Lord help me — long fingernails?!


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