Strange Victories: Grove Press 1951-1985
November 18, 2013 – February 6, 2014
The Palitz Gallery, NYC
Grove Press began as a small independent publisher on Grove Street in New York City’s Greenwich Village in 1949. Under the direction of Barney Rosset, it grew into a multimillion-dollar company and one of the great publishing houses of the twentieth century, and, yet, it often struggled to survive.
From its role in the national censorship trials over the publication of Lady Chatterley’s Lover through its dissemination of politically engaged works such as The Wretched of the Earth to its avant-garde and sometimes scandalous Film Division, Grove altered the American literary and film landscape. At the same time, the press aggressively deployed savvy marketing strategies seemingly at odds with its counterculture ethos, became embroiled in union battles and internal conflicts, and floundered despite its successes. Strange Victories offers a glimpse into the complex story of Grove’s many literary and political achievements, which continue to exert a profound influence on American culture today.
The materials on view in this exhibition all come from the Grove Press Records held at the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Libraries. In 1969, Barney Rosset donated the Grove Press Records to Syracuse University. Since then, other Grove employees have donated additional materials to this important collection, which consists of over five hundred linear feet of original manuscripts, letters, photographs, and other archival materials. The collection has been made publicly available for research through the Syracuse University Libraries with the support of a Hidden Collections Grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources.
Curator of Special Collections