The Portico Library’s collection holds too many items to display in a lifetime, so our 'Beautiful Monsters' exhibition has spilled over into our fellow Independent Libraries Association venue, Jane Austen's Chawton House. For their current show ‘The Art of Freezing the Blood: Northanger Abbey,Frankenstein & the Female Gothic’ they have borrowed The Portico Library’s early illustrated copy of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. It features the first ever illustration of Frankenstein and his creation in this frontispiece by Theodore Von Holst.
Depictions of Frankenstein’s monster have served satirists and propaganda artists ever since, and another of The Portico’s volumes, collected editions of Punch magazine, contains several examples including this ‘Russian Frankenstein’ from 1854.
Our current exhibitors continue the tradition of social and political commentary in Beautiful Monsters, Anya Charikov-Mickleburgh, Laura Dekker, Donal Moloney, Ed Saye, Evgenyi Strelkov & Dina Varpahovsky (pictured).