The Scotch Bard: Robert Burns as Poet & Person
January 25 – March 22, 2017
An exhibit featuring works of poet Robert Burns from the Athenæum’s Bradley Collection
Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist. He is regarded as the national poet of Scotland, is best known for writing in both the Scots and English languages, and is considered a pioneer of the Romantic movement. Burns’ work celebrates the Scottish folk tradition and the universal themes reflected in the daily life of the average 18th century Scotsman. For this, he was admired by many and achieved great fame during his lifetime. To this day, his work continues to be read and his life celebrated.
Charles Bradley was a lifelong member of the Athenæum and a great enthusiast of Burns. In 1920, his wife Jane presented her late husband’s collection of 450 books by and about the Scottish poet to the library. His virtually comprehensive collection includes many rare and early editions of Burns’ works.
A selection of works from the Providence Athenæum’s Robert Burns Collection is on display through March 22nd. Also on view will be The Works of Robert Burns, owned and annotated by Walt Whitman and kindly loaned to the Athenæum by Susan Jaffe Tane (pictured above). This extraordinary volume, containing Whitman’s own notes and clippings, has not been publicly exhibited since it entered Andrew Carnegie’s personal collection over a century ago.
Thanks to the following contributors and supporters of the exhibition:
Susan Jaffe Tane, exhibit sponsor
Linda Thorell Hills, great-granddaughter of Andrew Carnegie
Karen Karbiener, Whitman Scholar, New York University