News and Events: Archive:

The Mask of Ceremony: Recently Acquired Festival Books

Pieter de Swart, Afbeelding van de zaal....Amsterdam, François Changuion, 1752.

Exhibition Opening Reception

Monday, October 4, 2004
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Scholarly Communication Center
Archibald S. Alexander Library
169 College Avenue, New Brunswick

To RSVP, send an email to or call Libraries Administration at 732/932-7505

Special Collections and University Archives
of the Rutgers University Libraries
is pleased to invite you to

The Twentieth Annual Louis Faugéres Bishop III Lecture
by Gordon Kipling

"The Tale of the Clobbered King, the Pregnant Queen, and the Mechanical Stag, or Meaning and the Mask of Ceremony"

This event celebrates the opening of "The Mask of Ceremony" exhibition, in the Special Collections gallery.

The exhibition will be on display at the Special Collections and University Archives Gallery on the lower level of the Alexander Library through November 19, 2004


Gordon Kipling, Professor of English Literature, University of California, Los Angeles has published widely on the literature and culture of the late Middle Ages and the early Renaissance, particularly on topics concerning the period's various forms of theater, performance, and spectacle. His most recent book, Enter the King: Theatre, Liturgy, and Ritual in the Medieval Civic Triumph, won both the Otto Gründler Prize for Medieval Studies and the David Bevington Prize for Early Drama Studies.


In Renaissance Europe, grand coronations, weddings, and funerals were staged to proclaim the influence of monarchs and the nobility, the power of the church, and the aspirations of the urban class. These ceremonies were immortalized in a new genre, the festival book. Often beautifully printed and illustrated with extravagant fold-out plates, festival books comprise an official record of the events of the day. This exhibition, drawn from Rutgers University Libraries' rare book collection and curated by Professor Karl Morrison, will examine how these elaborate festivals functioned as spectacle and propaganda.

Posted September 1, 2004