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Friends of Thomas J. Watson Library

The Friends of Thomas J. Watson Library brings together enthusiasts of books and learning, and supporters of research and scholarship. Through their annual dues, which support the purchase of rare and antiquarian materials, the Friends play an active role in expanding and preserving one of the great art libraries of the world. Friends programs include behind-the-scenes collection and exhibition tours with curatorial staff as well as visits to other institutions, galleries, historic sites, artists' studios, and libraries elsewhere in the city.

Annual dues: $5,000 ($3,994 is tax deductible)

Under-40 annual dues: $4,000 ($2,994 is tax deductible)

For more information, please contact Ken Soehner at 212-570-3934 or

Highlights of Past Events 

  • A visit to the New York Botanical Garden with a tour of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library with Susan Fraser, director of the Mertz Library, and a viewing of rare books and botanical illustrations, led by Stephen Sinon, Head of Special Collections, Research & Archives, followed by a reception
  • A tour of Fashion and Virtue: Textile Patterns and the Print Revolution, 1520–1620, led by Femke Speelberg, associate curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints, followed by a reception
  • A visit to Temple Emanu-El, including an architectural tour and viewing of Visualizing the Bible: Works by David Wander, with Warren Klein, curator at the Herbert & Eileen Bernard Museum of Judaica, followed by a reception
  • A presentation by award-winning book artist and photographer Colette Fu, who displayed her large-scale pop-up books and discussed her ongoing project to document the cultures of minority tribes in China, followed by a reception
  • Annual reception and showcase of new acquisitions purchased with Friends' funds