+ The Art of Collaboration

February 23, 2018

By Nancy Kuhl

+ The Art of Collaboration explores the excitement and power of separate elements combining to make things that are new, beautiful, strange, and memorable. Drawn from the Betsy Beinecke Shirley Collection of American Children’s Literature, the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of African American Arts and Letters, and the Yale Collection of American Literature, this exhibition considers exemplary works and the archival stories of their making, revealing the creative—and sometimes destructive—tensions that are parts of artistic collaboration. The works on view—including plays, children’s books, novels, performance artworks, films, photographs, and more—demonstrate that collaboration itself is an art form. + The Art of Collaboration comprises three discrete exhibitions, each installed in a separate section of the library’s exhibition space. Cases on the ground floor consider the much-beloved work of a husband-and-wife team in The Children’s Books of Russell and Lillian Hoban. A story of the complexity of collaborative adaptation is explored in the curved cases at the top of each staircase in Richard Wright’s Native Son on Stage and Screen. The jewel-box vitrines on the mezzanine feature 18 instances of American literary and artistic collaboration spanning more than 100 years in Studies in Creativity.

Melissa Barton, Elizabeth Frengel, & Nancy Kuhl, Curators

+ The Art of Collaboration: The Children’s Books of Russell and Lillian Hoban, 1961-1972

+ The Art of Collaboration: Richard Wright’s Native Son on Stage and Screen

+ The Art of Collaboration: Studies in Creativity