Much ado about Santa Fe: Shakespeare’s First Folio

From Feb. 6 through 28, the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe will be the only venue in the state at which visitors will find William Shakespeare's First Folio, the original edition of the Bard's collected plays. 

To go see the First Folio in Santa Fe, or not to go – that is the question. Thankfully, unlike Hamlet’s existential dilemma, it has an easy answer. Of course you should!

Plays began to be taken more seriously with the publication of the First Folio.
Plays began to be taken more seriously with the publication of the First Folio.

This national traveling exhibition displays an original edition of one of literary history’s most beloved and famous books: Mr. William Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies, or, as it’s better known, the First Folio.
 
Published in 1623, seven years after Shakespeare’s death, it was the very first collected edition of his plays. Only 233 copies are known to still exist worldwide.
 
That began to change when the Bard’s folio was given life. At about 900 pages in length – with each page nearly a foot tall – it is an impressive work to behold up close. Between its covers, “Romeo and Juliet,” “Macbeth” and “Hamlet” all lie in wait, still as alive today as they were 400 years ago. 
 
According to the Albuquerque Journal, the publication of the First Folio was a monumental event. At the time, publishing was strictly the domain of the Bible, sermons and scientific and historical works. Few people in authority took plays seriously. Rather, they were thought to be no more than low culture entertainment.
 
Though the main attraction is obviously the First Folio, there’s a whole lot going on at the exhibition. From interactive activities exploring Shakespeare’s immortal and enduring impact on our culture, to panel discussions on the master’s work, visitors will find plenty to keep them engaged. A full calendar of the month’s events can be found here.