For this sesquicentennial exhibition, The Morgan Library has drawn on its significant collection of manuscripts and documents to give readers a glimpse into the creation of this enduring classic. From letters and photographs we gain a sense of Carroll and his (borderline unseemly) relationship with Alice and her family as well as the working relationships with his publisher and illustrator. Early drawings and later printed illustrations show the development of the characters into what we all know and love to this day. Recordings of songs from Victorian to Pop music and a filmography from silent pictures to talkies give evidence to the incredible influence that Alice, the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit and the Blue Caterpillar have had on us all.
"Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars" portrays the author coming into his own and at the onset of his literary career. Beginning with his engagement in World War I where he was quickly and seriously injured (see above photo of Hemingway on crutches while recovering in Milan, 1918) the exhibition continues through his legendary Paris years where he lived with his first wife, Hadley, and was a key member of the ex-pat artistic community. Hand-written and typed letters from Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Dorothy Parker track his progress from ingenue to superstar with all its incumbent anxiety and triumph.
Here we find an invitation from Gertrude Stein to one of her legendary salons, a letter from Fitzgerald, himself an established writer, congratulating Hemingway on "The Sun Also Rises" and the recipient's hand-written response "Kiss my ass", and a note from Sylvia Beach, James Joyce's champion, praising Hemingway on his marvelous prose. We are also treated to typewritten manuscripts with the author's corrections in pencil and Hemingway's own drafts of covers and potential titles for his works.
Ernest Hemingway was an archetypal macho man. He liked to drink, he liked women (he had four wives), he liked "manly" sports like big game hunting and bull fighting. He was known as an intrepid reporter, a super sportsman and above all a brilliant author. Sadly, he committed suicide in Ketchum, Idaho, at the age of 61 after suffering from depression, alcoholism and paranoia. This exhibition is an intimate and enlightening look at one of the 20th century's greatest and most enigmatic writers in the prime of his glorious life.
Hemingway (left) at the Festival of San Fermin, Pamplona, 1925