Programs & Exhibitions


Current Exhibition Future Exhibitions Past Exhibitions  

The Lewis Walpole Library draws from its own collection of prints, drawings, and paintings along with manuscripts, books, and other printed texts, to mount several rotating exhibitions in Farmington each year.

The exhibitions are free and open to the public during gallery hours: Wednesdays, 2 - 4:30 p.m. These exhibitions may also be viewed during tours of the Library by appointment. Please call 860-677-2140 for more information.

The Library has also exhibited materials in New Haven over the years. Most recently, dozens of items from the collection were included in the exhibition "Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill," organized by the Lewis Walpole Library, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition was on view October 15, 2009 - January 3, 2010, at the Yale Center for British Art before moving to London to the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Current Exhibition

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A Collection's Progress: The Lewis Walpole Library, 2000-2014

Curated by Margaret K. Powell
W.S. Lewis Librarian and Executive Director, the Lewis Walpole Library

April 14 - October 3, 2014

When Wilmarth Sheldon Lewis left his library to Yale in 1979 Lewis thought of his gift not as a finished monument but as a living thing that required growth and change lest it become, in his words, “static and moldy.”  The exhibition presents materials selected from the LWL’s collecting successes of the last fourteen years. Together the objects on display argue forcefully for the Library’s conquest of stasis and mold, and each speaks eloquently of another time, its politics and conflicts, its arts, fashions, and pastimes.

To read a YaleNews interview with Margaret Powell in which she discusses the exhibition and her tenure at the Library, click here.




Evening talk on A Collection's Progress: The Lewis Walpole Library, 2000-2014

October 2, 7-9 p.m.
The Lewis Walpole Library, 154 Main Street, Farmington

Join us for an evening's talk on the current exhibition, hosted in partnership with the Farmington Public Libraries

Seating is limited and registration is required. To register, click here.

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Future Exhibitions

Fall 2014 - Spring 2015






Prospects of Empire: Slavery and Ecology in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Britain

October 20, 2014 to March 27, 2015

Curated by Heather V. Vermeulen
Doctoral Candidate in African American Studies and American Studies, Yale University


Hazel V. Carby
Charles C. & Dorathea S. Dilley Professor of African American Studies and Professor of American Studies, Yale University

“Prospects of Empire: Slavery and Ecology in Eighteenth-Century Atlantic Britain” will explore the notion of empire’s “prospects”—its gaze upon bodies and landscapes, its speculations and desires, its endeavors to capitalize upon seized land and labor, as well as its failures to manage enslaved persons and unruly colonial ecologies. It will read latent anxieties in the policing of bodies and borders, both in the colonies and in the metropole, and will examine the forces that empire mustered to curtail perceived threats to its regimes of power and knowledge. In addition to the focus on material from the long eighteenth century, the exhibition will feature a selection of four lithographs from Joscelyn Gardner’s series Creole Portraits III: “bringing down the flowers” (2009-11), a recent joint acquisition by the Yale Center for British Art and the Yale University Art Gallery. Gardner’s work mines the eighteenth-century Jamaica archive of white English immigrant, overseer, slaveowner, and pen-keeper Thomas Thistlewood, on of whose diaries will be on loan from the Beinecke.


Spring - Fall 2015


Bawdy Bodies: Satires of Unruly Women

Curated by Hope Saska
Assessment Specialist, Arts and Languages, Education Testing Services


Cynthia Roman
Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Paintings, the Lewis Walpole Library


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Past Exhibitions

Click here to view a listing of past Library exhibitions, some with links to further information.