See the Morgan’s Inspired ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Exhibition Before It Closes
The Morgan will stay open late over Columbus Day weekend.
New Yorkers will get a little extra time in Wonderland Columbus Day weekend, as the Morgan Library & Museum will offer extended hours for the final weekend of “Alice: 150 Years of Wonderland,” an exhibition celebrating the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll‘s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
The beloved children’s book was written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the Carroll pseudonym. He dreamed up the story in 1862 to entertain the three Liddell sisters (Lorina, Edith, and Alice, the last of which was the inspiration behind the book’s intrepid protagonist) during a river boating trip, and published the tale three years later in 1865.
The exhibition features the first handwritten, hand-illustrated copy of the book, then titled Alice’s Adventures Under Ground, on loan from the British Library. An 1864 Christmas gift for Alice Liddell, the manuscript hasn’t traveled to the US for more than 30 years, and offers a fascinating glimpse of the genesis of one of Western literature’s most classic stories.
In addition to its normal Friday hours, when the museum stays open until 9pm, the Morgan will welcome visitors until 7pm on both Saturday, October 10, and Sunday, October 11. Literature lovers are also welcome to spend their Columbus Day holiday at the Morgan (while normally closed on Mondays, the museum will be open 10:30am–5pm), but the original Alice manuscript will already be en-route to the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia, where it will be on view beginning October 14.
The Morgan’s exhibition also includes correspondence from the author, drawings, hand-colored proofs, early editions of the book (the first edition was withdrawn and reprinted at Dodgson’s expense after illustrator John Tenniel complained about the quality), and vintage photos.
Alice’s time in Wonderland captured the imaginations of millions of children, but the real life story has been known for its dark side as well. Dodgson’s sexualized photographs of the Liddell sisters (in his collection, a nude portrait of a young girl believed to be Lorina was recently discovered), have experts speculating that he was a closeted pedophile.
Nevertheless, the Morgan exhibition is one of many events marking the historic anniversary of the publication of Carroll’s famed book. “Go Ask Alice: Alice, Wonderland and Popular Culture,” an exhibition of Alice-themed ephemera which opens September 26 at New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections.
“Alice: 150 Years of Wonderland” is on view at the Morgan Library and Museum, New York, through October 12, 2015.
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