Jay-Z is the subject of a temporary exhibition at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library. It’s called The Book of Hov, and, as noted in a statement on the exhibition’s website, it includes “thousands of archived objects, including original recording masters, never-before-seen photos, iconic stage wear, prestigious awards and recognitions, as well as videos and artifacts from every facet on Jay-Z’s professional life.” It opens today, July 14. The library has not yet announced when the exhibit will close, but branch director Christine Schonhart anticipated it would be open through the fall.
On The Book of Hov’s website, you can find audio clips, text, and photos of the exhibition, which populates a significant portion of the 352,000-square-foot building. Library staff encouraged those visiting the exhibit to bring their own phones and headphones to augment the experience.
Several displays sit in the library’s lobby, including a multimedia “tower of power” and the full sculpture that appears on the cover of 2009’s The Blueprint 3. The New and Noteworthy room has been temporarily revamped as a home for Jay-Z’s awards and recording ephemera, along with an interactive vinyl listening station that includes a bin of records that he sampled across his own 13 albums. The children’s wing has a Jay-Z-inspired station for the library’s youngest patrons to make paper planes, and the adjacent teen room hosts material about Jay-Z’s business and philanthropic ventures, plus a bookshelf where library users can borrow Jay-Z-endorsed titles. Part of the Information Commons off the main lobby has been transformed into a full-scale recreation of Baseline Studios, where Jay-Z worked on The Black Album, The Blueprint, The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse, and more.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 13: Items on display during The Book of HOV: A TRIBUTE EXHIBITION HONORING JAY-Z at Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library on July 13, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Roc Nation)