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After sixty-two years of service, and now as head of the Newark NJ Public Library’s Special Collections Division, Bill Dane has amassed one of the finest public collections of prints in the country, including works by Rembrandt, Matisse, Picasso, Miró, and Warhol. But today, he is curating his own departure.
The 86-year-old Dane is retiring, and his final act as Keeper of the Prints — a title he appropriated himself and snuck past a civil service clerk by insisting he had passed the (nonexistent) exam — is to give the biennial John Cotton Dana lecture at the library tonight.
"It’s a good time for the institution and for me, because things in this particular division are very positive," Dane said. "It seems to be just a fine time to pursue other things, like perhaps going to back to school and traveling a bit more. Cleaning house."
Dane wanted to slip out the door after a cup of coffee with his colleagues but, said Patricia Bender, president of the Friends of the Library, "We wanted one more opportunity to celebrate the phenomenon that is Bill Dane." NJ.com reports.