An Appreciation, 2005
The opening of “Gilbert and Sullivan: From London to America” was a very special occasion for us here in the Rare Books and Special Collections Library as we welcomed back Dr. Harold Kanthor as an exhibit curator. In 1986, Dr. Kanthor curated his first exhibit for the Library, “W.S. Gilbert: An Anniversary Exhibition,” with all materials selected from his personal Gilbert and Sullivan collection. After the success of the event, an open invitation was extended to him for a sequel.
The Library was extremely pleased that Hal mounted a new exhibit allowing for yet another glimpse into this rich and fascinating collection, which has grown over the years from an impressive nascent collection into an indispensable scholarly resource.
Where the first exhibit focused primarily on materials highlighting the literary talents of Gilbert, “Gilbert and Sullivan: From London to America” celebrates the collaborative efforts of the two great artists and brings to life the transatlantic journey of the comic operas. Scholars, fans and newcomers to the Gilbert and Sullivan legacy will find much to learn, admire and be inspired by; among the many unique treasures, rare gems sparkle. Viewers may find themselves lingering over a presentation copy of The Pinafore Picture Book inscribed by Gilbert to his wife and then re-inscribed by her.
An impassioned collector with the critical eye of a scholar, Hal has built a collection of the first rank. The occasion of this exhibit was especially meaningful for this Library as it celebrated the finalization of an agreement designating the Rare Books and Special Collections Library as the future home of the Kanthor Gilbert and Sullivan collection. The world of scholarship continues to be blessed by patrons such as Hal who generously make their time and collections available to researchers and we are truly honored that he has entrusted his collection to our care. It will be our privilege to continue Hal’s efforts to ensure that this internationally important scholarly resource is preserved and made accessible to all those interested in the life, times and art of W.S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan.
Richard Peek, Director, Rare Books, Special Collections & Preservation, 2005