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ILAB / ABAA Patrons of Honour

Jay & Jean Kislak


The Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America is delighted to announce that Jay and Jean Kislak have been awarded the ABAA and ILAB Patron of Honor.  The ABAA feels these individuals demonstrate how the printed word materially affects history, scholarship, and cultural intelligence and the importance of collections to institutions and the public.

Jay and Jean Kislak have developed extraordinary collections, shared those collections and encouraged the next generation of collectors.  A graduate of Wharton School of Finance, Mr. Kislak developed and managed sophisticated real estate corporations in New Jersey and Florida.  Simultaneously, he pursued his commitment to public service, philanthropy, and his avocation of history and the arts.  His collection, “The Cultures & History of the Americas,” now resides at the Library of Congress where it is the focal point of a major exhibition entitled, “Exploring the Early Americas.  The Jay I. Kislak Foundation in Miami, Florida has dedicated itself to “the collection, conservation, research and interpretation of rare books, manuscripts, maps and indigenous art and cultural artifacts of the Americas and other parts of the world.”  The Kislak Foumdation has established The Kislak Fellowship in American Studies at the Library of Congress and has guided and supported the National Collegiate Book Collecting Contest cosponsored by the ABAA, the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (FABS) and the Library of Congress.

Jean Kislak, art connoisseur and collector and former art curator, found herself fascinated, as so many have been, by Emma, Lady Hamilton.  The Grolier Club mounted an exhibit in 2011 featuring her collection, “The Enchantress, Emma, Lady Hamilton.” With historian Flora Fraser, biographer of Lady Hamilton, and Nelson-Hamilton descendant Anna Tribe, Mrs. Kislak arranged in 1994 a memorial to Lady Hamilton in Calais, France, near where Admiral Hamilton is buried.  An energetic and eager collector, she also participated in the formation of the Jay I. Kislak Collection.  Like her husband, Jean Kislak has contributed to the cultural life of her community working with numerous cultural and nonprofit organizations.

(From the official press release of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America ABAA)

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