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Albert Einstein (1879–1955)
"Grundgedanken und Methoden der Relativitätstheorie, in ihrer Entwicklung dargestellt"
(Fundamentals and Methods of the Theory of Relativity . . . ), signed, [Berlin, ca. 1919–20]
The Dannie and Hettie Heineman Collection; gift of the Heineman Foundation, 1977; MA 6791
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"[On 7 January 1907] there came to me the most fortunate thought of my life," wrote Albert Einstein in this manuscript of an article intended for the British magazine Nature. His complex general theory of relativity was accessible only to professional colleagues when it was first published in 1916. For Nature four years later, Einstein sought to recount, for the general reader, the process by which he reached his revolutionary conclusions. At thirty-five handwritten pages, however, the article proved too long for publication. Nevertheless, 1920 marked the beginning of public awareness of Einstein's importance, with the appearance of newspaper articles about his theory.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.