Down The Rabbit Hole at the Morgan Museum and Library

“But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

“How do you know I am mad?” said Alice.

“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”- Alice in Wonderland

150 Years of Wonderland
150 Years of Wonderland

MORGAN MUSEUM AND LIBRARY, NEW YORK, NY- Last Sunday I traveled to the Morgan Museum and Library to see the 150 Years of Alice in Wonderland exhibit with Gilberto and Alondra. “Alice in Wonderland” is one of my favorite classics and I was curious to see Lewis Carroll’s process on writing the book.

The Morgan Museum and Library
The Morgan Museum and Library

Its a small exhibit with yellow painted walls and blue text. Various illustrations from John Tenniel were framed. Carroll’s drafts were in display cases. Carroll’s own photographs of Alice Liddlle, who inspired him to write the story, are also framed for viewing. Each display explained either Carroll’s writing process or Tenniel’s. I loved seeing the original manuscript and the first published edition of “Alice in Wonderland” side by side.

Carroll got inspiration for the characters in Wonderland based on his scientific findings and photography. The Dodo was based off of research he did on the now extinct bird. The duchess, Queen of Hearts, Dormouse, Mad Hatter, March Hare, White Rabbit, Knave, Pig, Lizard, Gryphon, Mock Turtle, and Cheshire Cat were all imaginative inspirations.

The Cheshire Cat is my favorite character within the story. Back in the 1800’s the definition of a Cheshire grin was “to smile mischievously from ear to ear.” That definition has now changed since Alice was published and is now more of a reference. Still, the scene where Alice meets the Cheshire cat gives a lot of “logical nonsense” to think about.

alice-mini

“Alice in Wonderland” first edition
Tea party
Tea party
Pack of cards
Pack of cards

There were other artifacts from Carroll within the exhibit such as his camera, playwright journal, personal diary, and microscope. Various scenes from the book are replicated on the walls. Not everything was open for photography, but I got what I could. Gil soaked up as much knowledge as he could reading all the information available. Alondra meanwhile read a small version of the classic in a little sitting area at the gallery.

Microscope
Microscope

After Wonderland, we explored the Morgan library. Its wall to wall full of rare books. I felt like Belle when she first saw the Beast’s library in “Beauty and the Beast.” I was in awe. I read some of the titles on the spines of the books. Most were in French or Latin. There were music manuscripts in display cases, vanity chairs, and a fireplace. The architecture was just amazing and it had the right amount of lighting. His study was as big as my apartment and had another hidden library inside a closet. The book nerd in me squealed with joy.

Library
Library

library-shelf

books

Photo by Gilberto E. Burgos
Photo by Gilberto E. Burgos

At the end of the day I bought some cool postcards as a souvenir . I wish I was able to take more pictures but it is really strict there. Still, this was a great experience for my first visit at the Morgan. 150 Years in Wonderland ends October 11, 2015.

cover-postcard

cheshire-postcard

Photos by: Rosa Elena Oliveras.

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4 thoughts on “Down The Rabbit Hole at the Morgan Museum and Library

Add yours

  1. Alice in Wonderland is one of my favourite all time classics that is why I love this blog post of yours so much. 150 years! That is insane but also incredible at the same time. These photos are beautiful so thank you for writing this post and writing such an awesome blog. Keep it up (:

    1. It’s one of my favorites too. I have read it several times. I wish I was able to take a photo of the original manuscript but it was not allowed. Thanks for taking the time to read it. I will definitely check out yours 🙂

      1. Oh really?! That is so interesting I guess just because it is so precious and rare. It would have been amazing to see that in person I am so jealous of you right now! But I am so happy that I got to read an article about the event but also see beautiful pictures. Thank you!!

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