Sale of 1632 Folio to Benefit K-12 Shakespeare Education Programs

“It’s hard to believe…The idea that a rare book dealer like Dave would just happen to live in our city and choose to do such an extraordinary thing for our community and our company . . . it just boggles the mind!”

The Atlanta Shakespeare Company and Peachstate Historical Consulting, Inc. are partnering to host an online auction of more than 100 individual leaves drawn from a single (imperfect) 1632 Shakespeare Second Folio, which will provide up to a year’s worth of school and community tours to Georgia’s rural counties.

Peachstate Historical Consulting, based in Roswell, GA and founded by David Frohman, acquired the Second Folio in 2015 from a private collector in California. Experts estimate that there are no more than 200 surviving copies of the 1632 printing of Shakespeare’s works, many in poor or incomplete condition. Unfortunately, the Second Folio which Frohman acquired had many imperfections. Frohman could have restored it and resold it to another private collector. Instead, he decided to do something different.

The Atlanta Shakespeare Company (ASC) produces more plays by Shakespeare than any other company in America, sometimes as many as twelve titles in a season that runs 51 weeks each and every year. In addition, ASC is the only theater company in the Southeastern United States providing live classics-based productions throughout the entire academic school year. A key element of their education programming is touring original adaptations of Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar to eighteen rural counties in Georgia. In just two years, these tours have brought live Shakespeare performances to almost 15,000 students in communities that, with few exceptions, have no access to arts education programming of any kind. While supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), these curriculum-based arts programs are a drain on ASC’s already strained budget. Without increased public funding, ASC was considering scaling down or even eliminating its school offerings for 2017.

Enter David Frohman. With the proposed elimination of the NEA and Georgia trailing 48 states in per capita arts spending, Frohman offered to help raise funds for ASC’s education programs via an unusual auction of his Shakespeare’s Second Folio. From his (imperfect) 1632 Shakespeare Second Folio, Frohman created “The Shakespeare 200”, a Limited Edition of 200 folio leaves, featuring 200 of Shakespeare’s most famous quotes. Artfully encasing each leaf into a removable acrylic frame, Frohman hoped to make this historical treasure accessible to as many people as possible. Instead of one damaged Second Folio, Frohman now had 200 perfectly preserved pages of a cultural legacy.

ASC’s Artistic Director Jeff…

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