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Exhibitions | Past

The Little Prince: A New York Story
January 24 through April 27, 2014

Antoine de Saint–Exupéry (1900–1944)
The Morgan Library & Museum.
© Estate of Antoine de Saint–Exupéry

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Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900–1944), drawings for The Little Prince, The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, © Estate of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Photography by Graham S. Haber, 2013.

Since its publication seventy years ago, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince has captivated millions of readers throughout the world. It may come as a surprise that this French tale of an interstellar traveler who comes to Earth in search of friendship and understanding was written and first published in New York City, during the two years the author spent here at the height of the Second World War.

As he prepared to leave the city to rejoin the war effort as a reconnaissance pilot, Saint-Exupéry appeared at his friend Silvia Hamilton's door wearing his military uniform. "I'd like to give you something splendid," he said, "but this is all I have." He tossed a rumpled paper bag onto her entryway table. Inside were the manuscript and drawings for The Little Prince, which the Morgan acquired from her in 1968.

Focusing on the story's American origins, this exhibition features twenty-five of the manuscript pages—replete with crossed-out words, cigarette burns, and coffee stains—and all forty-three of the earliest versions of drawings for the book. Also on view are rare printed editions from the Morgan's collection as well as personal letters, photographs, and artifacts on loan from the Saint-Exupéry estate, private collections, and museums and libraries in France and the United States.

The Little Prince: A New York Story is the first exhibition to explore in depth the creative decisions Saint-Exupéry made as he crafted his beloved story that reminds us that what matters most can only be seen with the heart.

Lead funding for this exhibition is provided by Barbara and James Runde, and by The Florence Gould Foundation.

Generous support is also provided by Air France, Liz and Rod Berens, and the Caroline Macomber Fund, with additional assistance from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Related Programs:

Michaël Lévinas, piano
Catherine Trottman, mezzo-soprano

Friday, April 11, 7:30 p.m.

The Little Prince and the Big War
Tuesday, February 25, 6:30 p.m.

Saint-Exupéry in New York: A Conversation with Stacy Schiff
Tuesday, March 11, 6:30 p.m.

The Pilot and the Little Prince: A Conversation with Peter Sís
Tuesday, April 22, 6:30 p.m.

Only Angels Have Wings
Friday, February 7, 7 p.m.

The Little Prince
Friday, March 14, 7 p.m.

Family Programs
Imagine Your Planet: What Planet Do You Come From?
Saturday, February 8, 2–4 p.m.

Spring Family Fair
Sunday, April 27, 2–5 p.m.

Gallery Talks
The Little Prince: A New York Story
Friday, February 21, 6:30 p.m.

The Little Prince: A New York Story (in French)
Saturday, March 1, 3 p.m.

« See all past exhibitions

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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.