The crowds at the Metropolitan Museum may be frightful, but at The Grolier Club, the calm is delightful. East Siders wanting culture without the holiday crush might consider three superb — and quiet — exhibits.
Dedicated to the printing arts, the Grolier is always good for a quirky and entertaining show. And just in time for the holidays, it is offering an especially festive offering: Radiant with Color & Art: McLoughlin Brothers and the Business of Picture Books, 1858-1920.
The McLoughlin Brothers created the modern children’s book with colorful illustrations. Their Christmas books of the late 19th Century popularized the jolly, fat Santa created by the political cartoonist Thomas Nast. The exhibit features over 100 pictures, books and ephemera from the publishing house. The picture at the top, of mice fishing in a vinegar dish, is but one example.
The exhibit is free and runs through Feb. 23.
The Grolier Club is located at 47 E 60th Street, between Madison and Park Avenues. But finding it may be work. The front door is obscured by the scaffolding for the new 520 Park Avenue condo tower.
Try not laughing at a Booth cartoon
Quiet does not exclude hilarious. The Society of Illustrators on E. 63rd Street (between Park and Lexington Avenues) is running a gem of a show of George Booth cartoons.
Booth has been drawing iconic cartoons for The New Yorker since 1969. No one does dogs like he does.
The Society of Illustrators charges modest admission for visitors over the age of 10. The show closes on Dec.30.
Murillo’s self-portraits at the Frick
The Frick Collection ranks high among New York’s museums, but somehow the exhibits housed in Henry Clay Frick’s Gilded-Age mansion rarely feel frenetic.
The current offering is a group of self-portraits painted by Bartolomé Esteban Murrillo, a master of Spain’s Golden Age. The exhibit includes a number of portraits of other subjects by the artist.
The Frick is located at 1 East 70th Street.
The exhibit runs through Feb. 4.