The bicentennial of Henry David Thoreau’s birth culminates with the opening of the most comprehensive exhibition ever created about one of the world’s most original writers and thinkers. This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal brings together remarkable holdings from the world’s two most significant Thoreau collections: journals, manuscripts, letters, books, and field notes from the Morgan Library & Museum; and, from the Concord Museum, unique personal items including the simple green desk on which Thoreau wrote Walden and “Civil Disobedience.”
The exhibit features nearly one hundred items and unites for the first time the only two photographs for which Thoreau sat during his lifetime. The show centers on the journal Thoreau kept throughout his life and its importance in understanding the essential Thoreau. More than twenty of Thoreau’s journal notebooks are shown along with letters and manuscripts, books from his library, pressed plants from his herbarium, and important personal artifacts like his walking stick.
Margaret Burke, Executive Director of the Concord Museum, explained, “Fresh from its extraordinary success at New York’s Morgan Library & Museum, This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal is one of the most important exhibits the Concord Museum has had the privilege to present. We are excited to reunite – in his hometown – Henry David Thoreau’s personal items and journals. Nearly two centuries after Thoreau’s birth, we are just beginning to appreciate the enormous impact he has had on our culture, our thinking, and our appreciation of our world. We are proud to share those insights with the people of Concord and with admirers from around the world.”
Throughout 2017, Concord is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of writer and thinker Henry Thoreau (1817-1862). The Concord Museum, along with program partners, has developed a year-long initiative, “Be Thoreau,” which encourages us to explore the writer’s work from a historical and contemporary perspective.
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