The New York Public Library joins the world in mourning the loss of Nelson Mandela, whose inspiring leadership was unique in the 20th century and into our present age. He seemed to achieve the miraculous in avoiding a civil war in South Africa and bringing an end to apartheid, setting an example for the globe. So much of what Mandela worked for and stood for is also what the Library strives for, day in and day out: to bring hope and to provide opportunity, especially to those deprived of it. To be free and open to all, and aiming to inspire creativity toward a new, better, and more just world. I recall Mandela’s eloquence and wisdom, in a speech given here in New York: In South Africa, in America, in all the world—we must provide education, not as a privilege, but as a right; not for some, but for all. Let the doors of learning open. . . . We are all threatened by entrenched inequality and visions. We all must prove ourselves equal to a better possibility. We are all South Africans now.Let us prove ourselves worthy of him. The New York Public Library’s doors of learning indeed remain open.
-Anthony W. Marx, President The New York Public Library
Support for The New York Public Library’s Exhibitions Program has been provided by Celeste Bartos, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos Exhibitions Fund, and Jonathan Altman.