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Newark Public Library mounts exhibition
Press Release 6/1/2000

The Newark Public Library is celebrating a wide variety of creatures sharing planet Earth in an exhibition currently on view in the galleries of the main library, 5 Washington Street. The visual project, entitled A Graphic Sanctuary for Animals, Birds and a few Fish, features nearly 200 works of graphic art selected from the Fine Print Collection of the library, chiefly by artists who worked over the past two centuries. It will be installed in the second- and third-floor galleries and lobby window through June 30; the third-floor-gallery exhibition will remain installed until the end of August.

"The primary purpose of this gathering is to further appreciate the incredible gift of multiplicity of life with which Mother Nature has graced our planet," stated William J. Dane, Keeper of Prints at the library and curator of the exhibition. "This carefully selected zoo is designed to appeal to young visitors as well as to adults of all vintage."

Scores of artists from around the world have created these creatures on paper in an extraordinary variety of interpretations and techniques. Unquestionably, the most famous are chromolithographs of birds by John James Audubon, who drew with incredible accuracy and beauty birds of North America, resulting in world-famous renditions. Six of these very large prints, which were donated to the library by Mrs. William Clark of Newark, are on display. Also included are the early-19th-century French artist Gericault, noted for his depiction and love of horses; the flying birds by Maurits Escher, a Dutch mathematician and artist; and a few works by LeRoy Neiman, the popular American painter and printmaker. In a memorable print by Nathaniel Currier, the biblical Adam is shown naming earth’s creatures as they parade before him.

According to Dane, the zoological trek on view includes donkeys, goats, buffalo, pigs, lions, panthers, monkeys, mice, sheep, cattle, hares, cats, dogs, and horses. "Feathered friends" include poultry, parrots, crows, egrets, pigeons, gulls, woodpeckers and the nocturnal owl. Illustrated books, 19th-century sheet music covers, movable and pop-up books are also represented in the exhibition.

Among the estimated one hundred artists represented are prints by such New Jersey artists as Carolyn Keskulla, Nora Herz, Lois Morrison, Riva Helfond, and Audubon himself, who spent some time in Camden and Great Egg Harbor in 1829.

The exhibition is free and open during library hours. For additional details, please call William J. Dane at (973) 733-7745, or access the library's home page at


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