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Happy Holidays from Robert Frost

By Nick Pulliam
On December 7, 2018


On Monday, December 3, the Happy Holidays from Robert Frost exhibit opened in the Spinelli Archives on the third floor of the library. The exhibit was created by Eryn Boissonneau, a second-year anthropology major who interns at the archives.

Eryn was given the task by Alice Staples, the Special Collections Librarian and University Archivist, in October. The exhibit displays seven unique Christmas cards containing poems written by Robert Frost.

The artwork on most of the cards was done by Thomas W. Nason, an artist whose work is known for being complementary to Frost’s own work. The cards were originally published by the Spiral Press.


Creating an exhibit like this one is difficult, Eryn explained. “It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of organizing. After I put together research about Blumenthal [founder of the Spiral Press], I just sat down and looked at the cards for like half an hour deciding which ones captured Robert Frost the best. Which was a struggle in itself because you want to do him justice.” In the end, Eryn chose to display the ones that best represented Frost’s style of writing.

Most of the cards were donated in the seventies by Lesley Frost, Robert’s daughter.

Robert Frost has a unique history within the school. He worked at PSU in 1911 for one year, teaching psychology and education. Back then, PSU was known as Plymouth State Normal School. He got his job at Plymouth State Normal School because of his friendship with Ernest L. Silver, who began his 35-year tenure as principal of the school the same year.

Frost only taught at the school for one year, before quitting and moving to Great Britain with his family.

When asked about what she would want people to take away from the exhibit, Eryn said, “I think a lot of people on campus view Robert Frost’s time here as sort of him not really enjoying it. But I think, as we’re looking at these cards and seeing his legacy, it would be more valuable to view his time here as the beginning of his big, giant journey and just, indicative proof that it’s okay to take those giant leaps.”

The exhibit can be viewed through the archive windows and is going to be open throughout winter break and into February 28, so anyone who is interested will have plenty of time to check it out.


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