Lillian Vanous Nutt Room
Rare Books from the Collection of Roberto Salinas Price
September 26th–December 12th, 2013
Roberto Salinas Price (A59) was a Mexican intellectual, scholar and entrepreneur, who became one of the most informed and most distinguished collectors of rare books in his country, and across Latin America. He is well remembered for the diversity and dimension of his life-projects—whether in scholarship, where he became known for his iconoclastic views on Homer’s Iliad and his revisionist (and controversial) thesis concerning the geographical location of Ilios; or in business, where he engaged in a wide gamut of ventures, including hotel management and retail; or in public policy and political economy, where he championed the aims and claims of an open society.
This eclectic feature of his life and his learning is reflected in his remarkable collection of rare books. Several incunabula (books printed before 1500) are featured in this exhibit and include: a 1488 edition of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, a Caxton Cicero published in 1481, Guido de Columna’s Historia Destructionis Troiae (1486) and Sebastian Brant’s Stultifera Navis [Ship of Fooles] published in 1498, with over 100 woodcuts attributed to Albrecht Dürer. Of particular interest are program works of the St. John’s curriculum, which include: a very rare octavo 13th century Bible manuscript on vellum, a fourth folio edition of Shakespeare’s plays, Dante’s Opere (1757), Adam Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776), and The Federalist Papers (1778), and a first edition of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (1859).
Roberto Salinas Price’s exceptional collection reflects an example of lore and learning—and a legacy of enjoying in the world of ideas, of texts and of civilized conversation.
Funding and support for this exhibition is provided by the
Lillian Vanous Nutt Mitchell Gallery Endowment.