Sunday, June 28, 2015

ALICE: 150 Years of Wonderland at the Morgan: Review by Polly Guerin

Alice Growing Tall
With 150 years behind the legend, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland continues to engage the imagination of children and young-at-heart adults worldwide. One wonders what is the draw to the enduring appeal of Lewis Carroll's classic tale? Perhaps it resonates with our desire to escape 'Down the Rabbit Hole' to a magical world of make believe and enchantment. A place where we can join Alice at the Mad Hatter's Tea and while away an afternoon and escape from a plugged in world of computers and fast track communication.
Whatever the reason the Morgan Library & Museum, new exhibit ALICE 150 Years of Wonderland, brings to light the unforgettable history of Wonderland. For the first time in three decades, the original manuscript has travelled from the British Library in London to New York, where it is joined by original drawings and letters, rare editions, vintage photographs, and fascinating objects--many never seen before. The book was published in 1865 with iconic illustrations of Sir John Tenniel. Photography of the images presented here are by Steven Crossot., 2014.
   The Enchanting Tale of Wonderland was first told on "one golden afternoon" by Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) to please and entertain Alice Liddell, the child for whom he invented the Alice stories. Author Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Magdalen College.
Mad Hatter Tea Party
University of Oxford examines how this relationship stirred Carroll's imagination and influenced the creation of Wonderland. A book signing follows his talk on Saturday, August 8 at 2 pm and the museum is open until 6pm, plenty of time to revisit Wonderland.
    ALICE EVENTS The Morgan has gone all out with Alice events including the film 'Alice In Wonderland' (1951, 75 minutes). It takes you to a golden afternoon, when young Alice follows the White Rabbit into a nearby rabbit hole. She tumbles into the burrow--and enters the topsy-turvey world of Wonderland! Memorable songs and whimsical escapades highlight Alice's journey, leading to a mad encounter with the Queen of Hearts and her army of playing cards. The short film "Betty in Blunderland.(Dave Feischer, 1934) precedes the screening, July 19, 1 PM. Then, too, there is Wonderland at the Morgan Shop such as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Pop-up. Illustrated by Robert Sabuda, this book brings to life about two dozen of the charming character pop-ups.
Painting Red Roses 
     After visiting Wonderland it's time to pop into the Morgan Cafe for afternoon tea where A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT  by American artist, Spencer Finch has created a site-specific installation of colored glass inspired by the Morgan's collection of medieval Books of Hours. By applying films of color on the atrium windows and hanging additional panes of reflective glass in the center, he has transformed the cafe court into an awesome visual spectacle of light and the reflection of colors that cast their rainbow hues on the cafe tables and chairs, allowing visitors to dine in the color of their choice and continue the afternoon's magical experience.
  By the way, of all people, Joyce Carol Oates, the acclaimed author and Professor of Creative Writing at Princeton University will discuss her new book, The Last Landscape: A Memoir and her special relationship; with Alice books on September 6, 6:30 PM.
  Ta Ta Darlings!!! I going "Down the Rabbit Hole" for inspiration where I hope to have tea with the Mad Hatter. Fan mail always welcome at Visit Polly's Blogs at and in the left hand column click on the link to the Blog that resonates with your interest on remarkable women, visionary men, hidden treasures and poetry.

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