The Very Picture of Transgression: Visions of Pirates since 1650

September 6 through October 31, 2007

The ‘Golden Age’ of Western piracy (ca. 1650–1730) spawned an extraordinary amount of lore and legend—and the pirate representations inspired by these legends continue to proliferate today. This exhibition charts the expansion and development of the Western pirate’s image, from its inception in early trials and swashbuckler histories to its position in the romantic and sometimes lurid depictions by twentieth-century artists. Printed documents and original art from the Beinecke Library’s collections illustrate the evolving image of the pirate and its multifaceted, shifting role in music, theatrical arts, adventure tales, and reportage of the past three and a half centuries. [ca. 30 items]