Cary Collection opening Thursday was grand

Scott Hamilton

Amelia Hugill-Fontanell, left, associate curator at the Cary Graphic Arts Collection, looks on as Ella Moody, right, an RIT biotechnology and molecular bioscience major, pulls a print on the Kelmscott/Goudy printing press at the Cary Collection’s open house.

What do Nicolas Copernicus, William Morris, and Joe Kubert have in common? Works by the astronomer, designer, and comics artist—legends in their respective fields—are represented in the Cary Graphic Arts Collection and are now accessible to everyone in the remodeled Wallace Library. The Cary Collection held a grand reopening on April 11 of its newly renovated facilities.

Construction on the SHED knocked down walls and created portals into Wallace Library and, by extension, into the Cary Collection. No longer separated by a glass door, the Cary Collection spills into the space on the second floor and transitions into the SHED proper via the Milestones in Printing, a permanent exhibition dedicated to the history of the printed word.

Visitors at the open house participated in activities that extended around the corner and into the SHED’s makerspace.

They also viewed Copernicus’ world-changing 1543 text, De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres), that put the sun at the center of the universe. And they printed on a Kelmscott/Goudy printing press, which once belonged to Morris, type-designer Frederic Goudy, and Melbert B. Cary—the special collection’s namesake.

Guests also viewed the exhibition, The Third Dimension: A History of 3D Comics, and Kubert’s drafting table in the Kubert Lounge and Gallery; and inspired by the solar eclipse, an eclectic exhibition, The Heavens: Across the Cary Collection.

In attendance were donors, whose generosity contributes to the Cary Collection’s international reputation. They included Irene Conley, who donated texts by Copernicus and Johannes de Sacrobosco on behalf of her sister Ethel Harris and in memory of her late brother, Martin Harris and Ethel’s late husband Joel Cohen; and Stephen Cooper ’66 (illustration photography), who jumpstarted RIT’s comic book collection and whose donation of 3D comics are currently on exhibit.

“It really makes me feel like I have a legacy at RIT,” Cooper said.

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