The Morgan: ‘Charles Dickens and the Spirit of Christmas’, Nov 3 / Jan 14, 2018


 

THE MORGAN EXPLORES THE PERSONAL STORY
 BEHIND THE CREATION AND PUBLIC RECEPTION OF
 CHARLES DICKENS’S BELOVED A CHRISTMAS CAROL  

Jeremiah Gurney (1812­–1895), Charles Dickens, 1867, black and white photograph, The Morgan Library & Museum, MA 7793. Purchased for The Dannie and Hettie Heineman Collection as a gift of the Heineman Foundation, 2011.

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Charles Dickens and the Spirit of Christmas

November 3, 2017 through January 14, 2018

It has been said that no single person is more responsible for Christmas as we know it than Charles Dickens (18121870). In 1843 he published A Christmas Carol, and the story and cast of characters—from Ebenezer Scrooge to Tiny Tim—immediately became part of holiday lore. Even today, almost 175 years after the debut of the book, it is unusual for a year to go by without a new stage or screen adaptation.

Beginning November 3, the Morgan Library & Museum explores the genesis, composition, publication, and contemporary reception of this beloved classic in a new exhibition entitled Charles Dickens and the Spirit of Christmas. On view through January 14, 2018, the show demonstrates how the enormous popularity of A Christmas Carol catapulted Dickens out of his study into international stardom, launching a career of public dramatic readings that the author heartily embraced.  The exhibition gathers together for the first time the Morgan’s treasured, original manuscript of A Christmas Carol and the manuscripts of the four other Christmas books Dickens wrote in the years following. Complementing these works are a selection of illustrations by Dickens’s artistic collaborators, photographs, letters, tickets and printed announcements for his public performances, and even the writing desk used by the author.

John Leech (1817–1864), Scrooge’s Third Visitor, 1843, watercolor over pencil, The Morgan Library & Museum, 2006.21, purchased in 1941. Photography by Graham S. Haber, 2011.

“For many years now the Morgan has exhibited the manuscript of A Christmas Carol every December,” said museum director Colin B. Bailey.  “Charles Dickens and the Spirit of Christmas is our most comprehensive look at the creation of this masterpiece and Dickens’s personal motivations. The success of A Christmas Carol was a turning point in the author’s career as he found himself in wide demand not only as a writer, but as a performer capable of captivating audiences with his public readings. Dickens himself, it could be said, was the most unforgettable of the countless actors who have brought the cast of A Christmas Carol to the stage.” 

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 ampersand white red The Morgan Library & Museum

www.themorgan.org

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Find more like this: Bulletins, Exhibits, New York City

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