Alice is 150 years old, but as timeless as ever. Take your family to the Special Collections Library at the Hatcher Graduate Library where all things Alice are being displayed through December 17th at Curiouser and Curiouser: Exploring Wonderland with Alice exhibit.
Featuring award-winning work like Oleg Lipchenko’s book Alice – winner of the Elizabeth Mrazki-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award – this exhibit explores Alice and her friends in a variety of mediums and in ways most people aren’t familiar with, even if they’re fans of the original tale (or simply the Disney adaptation). The start of the exhibit also includes other childhood literature that pre-dates Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in order to show how Carroll himself may have been influenced.
“We’re trying to show the story of how Alice's Adventures in Wonderland developed chronologically,” said said Juli McLoone, who co-curated the exhibit along with Jo Angela Oehrli. “From the precursors in the first case to some of the most recent innovative illustration styles and covers towards the end of the exhibit.”
The highlight of the exhibit, however, is an original 1865 first edition of the novel. After an initial printing of 2,000 copies, Carroll requested that the entire run be recalled because of quality concerns. A new impression was finished in time for the Christmas shopping season, with illustrations by John Tenniel. This British version, according to McLoone, actually came out before the first American version – but in an interesting historical twist, the American edition featured the recalled pages, pre-dating the pages used in the first publishing in Britain.
Tidbits like that are just part of the reason why the exhibit makes an interesting afternoon for fans of Carroll’s best-known work. Younger children will enjoy the illustrations, but the exhibits are generally geared towards older children who can read. The exhibit is open 10am-5pm Monday through Friday, and is free to the general public.
10am – 5pm/weekdays
Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, 7th floor, 913 S. University Ave
734-764-0400 | lib.umich.edu