March 19 – August 31, 2013
Philip Roth: An Exhibit of Photos from a Lifetime includes materials from the personal collection of Philip Roth and from the Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center at the Newark Public Library. The exhibit is presented in celebration of Philip Roth's 80th birthday, March 19, 2013.
Philip Roth was born at Beth Israel Hospital in the Weequahic section of Newark on March 19, 1933. Now 80 years later, the Newark Public Library is celebrating the critically acclaimed author's life with an exhibition of his personal photographs.
This exhibit is comprised of photographs from Roth's personal collections, most never before seen by the public. Selected and captioned by Roth himself, the photographs tell the story of his life; from his youth in Newark to contemporary times; with images of his family, his friends from the Weequahic community, and his writer colleagues. Rosemary Steinbaum carefully selected passages from Roth's books that complement the photographs and captions.
The Newark Public Library has enjoyed a long and close relationship with Roth. As a student, he used the Weequahic Branch Library on Osborne Terrace. Goodbye, Columbus, his first published book, featured the Library prominently. In 1991, John Cunningham, as President of the Friends of the Newark Public Library, invited Mr. Roth to give the first John Cotton Dana Lecture here. Charles Cummings, the Library's Assistant Director of the New Jersey Information Center and City Historian, became friends with Roth and often supplied him with information about Newark's history. Now we are proud to continue this relationship as the Library has been entrusted with Roth's private photographs for this exhibition.
It has been an honor and privilege to spend time with Mr. Roth in preparation for this exhibit. I thank him for the generous access to his personal photograph collection, for his time, and for his impressive body of work, especially the books set in Newark.
I would also like to thank Rosemary Steinbaum for her expertise and assistance; Liz Del Tufo, President of The Newark Preservation and Landmarks Committee; Ira Nadel; and the Philip Roth Society.
James Lewis, Curator
©2013 The Newark Public Library