Calendar Highlights: Closing attractions for Commencement 2012

As Spring 2012 finals end and SMU gears up for its 97th Commencement celebration, take note of three remarkable exhibitions that end this weekend. See them before they’re gone:

A portrait of Charles Dickens wearing a tartan waistcoat, photographed by G. Herbert Watkins in 1858

• DeGolyer Library honors the 2012 bicentennial of a literary titan with Charles Dickens: The First 200 Years, featuring more than 200 items from the Stephen Weeks Collection – including all of Dickens’ major works in original editions, as well as prints, drawings, letters, later editions, piracies, translations, adaptations, and advertising ephemera. The exhibit runs through Saturday, May 12, and is free and open to the public.

DeGolyer is open 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and will observe special Saturday hours 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 12 for visiting SMU parents – including Stephen Weeks, whose daughter Jennifer will graduate from the University this weekend.

Image from Bridwell Library exhibit of religious books for children at SMU• Bridwell Library explores Bibles, psalms, catechisms, instructional works, moral stories, devotional literature and hymnals written and published specifically for youngsters in Four Centuries of Religious Books for Children, on display in the Bridwell’s Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Galleries through Saturday, May 12.

The event is free and open to the public; check the Bridwell Library homepage for gallery hours. An online version will also be on display for the duration of the exhibition.

A detail from the Pastrana TapestriesMeadows Museum offers unprecedented insight into four 15th-century panels of monumental scale and skill that count among the finest surviving Gothic tapestries in existence. The Invention of Glory: Afonso V and the Pastrana Tapestries runs through Sunday, May 13.

Featured exclusively at the Meadows is the armor of Duarte de Almeida, the standard-bearer for Afonso V of Portugal, who is depicted prominently in one of the tapestries. Now housed at the Cathedral of Toledo in Spain, Duarte’s armor is the only relatively complete example of period armor that can be directly related to Portugal.

Also on display are 15th- and 16th-century maps lent by SMU’s DeGolyer Library that not only help to relate how world geography was understood around the time of the tapestries’ creations, but also to establish a context for understanding the feats of exploration led by the Portuguese well before Columbus set sail. Check the Meadows Museum homepage for visiting hours.

About Kathleen Tibbetts

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