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Special Collections Exhibitions

This page has information about the current exhibition as well as links to previous exhibitions. Many of the previous exhibitions are online.

Current exhibition

Viva l'Italia. A Regional Romp through Italy

Italy – what dreams and romantic longings the name conjures up. Florence, Venice, Rome – landmarks of European history and civilization. The country of Caesar, Cicero, Horace, and Virgil: the land which gave birth to Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Dante, Ariosto, and Tasso. The list would be endless if it also encompassed 'modern' day celebrities such as Giuseppe Verdi, Enrico Fermi, Sofia Loren, Giorgio Armani, Dino Zoff (considered the best goalkeeper in the history of football), and the controversial Silvio Berlusconi. Renowned for its architecture, its complex historical past, its literature, fashion, and cuisine, Italy is now sub-divided into 20 regions, where most speak Italian (a Florentine variety of Tuscan).

An exhibition entitled Viva l’Italia. A Regional Romp through Italy starts on 11 June 2014 at the de Beer Gallery, Special Collections, University of Otago. The exhibition is constructed around images of Italian cities from a 17th century copy of Pietro Bertelli's Theatro delle Citta d’Italia (1629). By utilising these images, the viewer 'romps' through the various regions of the country cabinet by cabinet, from Piedmont in the north, to Puglia in the southeast, Sardinia in the west, and Sicily in the southwest. The Republic (formed in 1946) encompasses some 301,338 kilometres.

Although by necessity selective, the exhibition will display some wonderful books, primarily from the collections of Willi Fels, Esmond de Beer, and Charles Brasch, who all thoroughly enjoyed what Italy offered to the world. Notable items will include: William Thomas' The Historie of Italie (1549); Pietro Bertelli's Theatro delle Citta d'Italia (1629); Thomas Martyn's The Gentleman's Guide in his Tour through Italy (1787); Alexandre de Rogissart's Les Delices de l'Italie (1706); Henry Kipping's Antiquitatum Romanarum, Libri Quatuor (1713); and Jean-Jacques Boissard's Pars Romanae Urbis Topographiae & Antiquitatum (1597). Modern publications such as D. H. Lawrence's Sea and Sardinia (1921) and Samuel Butler's Alps and Sanctuaries of Piedmont and the Canton Ticino (1923) also feature. Interspersed are Italian recipes, carnival characters, and works by Giovanni Battista Piranesi.

Poster

Handlist

Online exhibition

Exhibition: Viva l'Italia. A Regional Romp through Italy
Dates: The exhibition will run to 5 September 2014.
Venue: de Beer gallery, Special Collections, University of Otago
Contact: Dr Donald Kerr, Special Collections Librarian.
Donald.kerr@otago.ac.nz; Phone: (03) 479-8330

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Past exhibitions

21 March - 23 May 2014
Make It New! Modernism & the Medieval Presence
20 December 2013 - 14 March 2014
Rare Delights III. Recent Additions to Special Collections
27 September - 13 December 2013
Reaching Out: Celebrating 100 years of Otago Physiotherapy Graduates
28 June - 20 September 2013
Maths, Politics and Concrete: The Legacy of the Classical World
5 April - 25 June 2013
Celebrating Pharmacy
20 December 2012 - 22 March 2013
From Pigskin to Paper: The Art and Craft of Bookbinding
21 September - 13 December 2012
Celebrating Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
22 June - 14 September 2012
Charting the Land on the Ocean: Pacific Exploration, 1520-1876
23 March - 15 June 2012
Ray Guns & Rocket Ships. The Fred Fastier Science Fiction Collection
21 December 2011 to 16 March 2012
The Gentleman's Magazine: The 18th century answer to Google
30 September - 16 December 2011
In Search of Scotland
1 July - 23 September 2011
Experimental Philosophy: old and new
1 April - 17 June 2011
Forging a Magical Landscape: The Works of Robert Graves, Poet
17 December 2010 - 25 March 2011
Faces of Authorship: Constructing the Author in Medieval and Early Modern Books
27 August to 10 December 2010
Pulp Fiction
14 May - 20 August
ALL ABOARD! The Ernie Webber Railway Collection
8 February - 7 May
Footnotes on Official History: Celebrating Dr Hocken's Pamphlet Collection
30 October 2009 - 29 January 2010
Heresy, Sedition, Obscenity: The Book Challenged
13 July - 23 October 2009
'I sat down in the evening to read...' Books from the Library of Charles Brasch, Poet, 1909-1973
8 April - 3 July 2009
Beetles, Barnacles, Orchids, and the Origin of Species: Charles Darwin and His Legacy
19 December 2008 - 27 March 2009
A Record of Achievement: The 50th Birthday of the Otago University Press
29 August - 12 December 2008
Nourishing the Roots: an exhibition celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Robert Burns Fellowship at the University of Otago
5 May - 22 August 2008
Éire á Móradh: Singing the Praises of Ireland
25 February - 25 April 2008
Rare Delights II: Recent Additions to Special Collections
20 December 2007 - 1 February 2008
RETROSPECTIVE: A look back at the last 21 Special Collections exhibitions
17 October to 14 December 2007
Initials: In the Beginning...
6 July to 28 September 2007
Linnaeus, Prince of Botanists: His Works and Legacy
11 April to 29 June 2007
A Quick Stab at the Eighteenth Century
12 December 2006 - 30 March 2007
Master of the Burin: the book illustrations of John Buckland Wright, 1897-1954
4 September - 1 December 2006
In the Flesh. The Monro Dynasty 1720-1846.
1 June - 25 August 2006
The Black Art: Hand-printing in the Bibliography Room, 1961-2005
10 February - 26 May 2006
West Meets East: Images of China and Japan, 1570 to 1920
17 October 2005 - 27 January 2006
Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass
11 July - 23 September 2005
The Word on Modernism: How Books Aided a Revolution in Design
11 April - 24 June 2005
"£100 & a butt of sack yearly" The office of the poet laureate
20 December 2004 - 31 March 2005
Straight Jackets: the Art of the Book Jacket
20 September - 10 December 2004
'A Civilising Mission' : New Zealanders and the Rhodes Scholarship 1904 - 2004
24 June - 10 September 2004
41 Stunning Books: A selection of modern private press books
23 March - 11 June 2004
Glimpses of London's Past
25 November 2003 - 12 March 2004
He tirohanga ki muri ~ A view of the past
4 July - 17 November 2003
Harmonizing my starting place: Charles Brasch, patron, poet and collector
21 March - 27 June 2003
Cultivating Gardens: Practical garden advice through the ages
13 December 2002 - 13 March 2003
Rare Delights: recent additions to Special Collections
12 September - 28 November 2002
Unpacking Ruins: architecture from antiquity
21 June - 1 September 2002
Enlarging the prospects of happiness: European travel writing through the ages
21 March - 13 June 2002
Portrait of a gentleman scholar: celebrating the life and legacy of Esmond de Beer

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Exhibition gallery location

Exhibitions are mounted in: The de Beer Gallery
First Floor
Central Library
65 Albany Street
Dunedin

Open 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Monday to Friday
Contact the Special Collections Librarian for enquiries and consultations.And Thank You All!And Thank You All!