This Ever New Self: Thoreau and his Journal

Date(s) - 09/29/17 - 01/21/18 All Day

Location: Concord Museum

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The first major exhibition devoted to the life of one of America’s most influential citizens, this presentation unites some one hundred evocative items–journals, manuscripts, personal correspondence, rare books, botanicals, and unique personal artifacts–from the world’s two most important Thoreau collections. This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal will bring contemporary audiences face to face with a man whose life continues to yield great riches.

Every private journal tells the story of a self, and Henry David Thoreau kept one of the most faithful, thoughtful, and provocative journals in American history. For his entire adult life, he filled notebook after notebook with observations and reflections. The journal was his everyday companion, an essential tool for mindful living, and grist for one of the world’s most influential books–Walden, or Life in the Woods. Two hundred years after Thoreau’s birth, his thoughts on the value of introspection, simple living, and self-sufficiency continue to challenge and inspire us.

The exhibition is jointly organized by Christine Nelson, Drue Heinz Curator of Literary and Historical Manuscripts, the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, and David F. Wood, Curator, the Concord Museum, Concord, Massachusetts. Founded in 1886, the Concord Museum houses one of the oldest collections of American historical, literary, and decorative arts treasures in the country. Its Henry David Thoreau Collection, the world’s largest group of objects related to Concord’s native son, numbers some 250 artifacts, including furniture, ceramics, glass, metalwork, books, photographs, manuscripts, and textiles. The Morgan Library & Museum was founded in 1906 by Pierpont Morgan, one of America’s greatest cultural benefactors. An internationally recognized museum of drawings, manuscripts, rare books, and ancient works of art, the Morgan is home to Thoreau’s manuscript journal–including the wooden box in which he stored the many volumes–as well as personal letters, manuscripts, and related printed books.

The exhibition will be on view at the Morgan from June 2-September 10, 2017, and subsequently travel to the Concord Museum for exhibition from September 29, 2017-January 21, 2018.