About the Exhibition

On View February 6-28, 2016

The New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe will be the only New Mexico venue for First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare on tour from the Folger Shakespeare Library. This is a national traveling exhibition of an original edition of one of the world’s most famous and treasured books, Mr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies, better known as the First Folio.

In 2016 the Folger Shakespeare Library, in association with Cincinnati Museum Center and the American Library Association, is touring an original edition to all fifty states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 1616.

The exhibition will be on view at the New Mexico Museum of Art from February 6-28. The display of the rare book will be accompanied by a multi-panel exhibition and interactive activities exploring Shakespeare’s enduring impact. In Santa Fe, the pages will be open to one of the most quoted lines in the English language, from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “to be or not to be.”

To celebrate the exhibition of the First Folio in New Mexico, the New Mexico Museum of Art and other New Mexico partners are presenting a full slate of public programs. Please use this website to plan your visit, see our calendar of events, and explore our educational resources.

First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare


Countdown to Exhibition Opening

The First Folio was the first collected edition of Shakespeare’s plays. It is roughly 900-pages long. Each page is about a foot tall. All eighteen plays it contains appeared here for the first time in print. Had two members of Shakespeare’s acting company, John Heminge and Henry Condell, not been compiled them for this publication in 1623, seven years after the famous bard’s death, they would likely have been lost to us forever.