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Oscar Wilde: A Life in Six Acts
September 14, 2001, through January 13, 2002
The brilliant and celebrated writer, dramatist, aesthete, wit, and self-proclaimed "lord of language" was the focus of Oscar Wilde: A Life in Six Acts, originally organized by the British Library. Wilde's (1854–1900) rise to success as a literary and social figure was meteoric. His decline to notoriety and disgrace was equally dramatic. Twelve years after publishing his first work of fiction, in 1888, he was dead at the age of forty-six, buried in a pauper's grave on the outskirts of Paris.
Over 120 extraordinary drawings from this superb collection of over two thousand European and American sheets were on view. The selection encompassed all drawing and watercolor media, including ink, chalk, charcoal, crayon, and graphite.
Drawn from the Morgan's Ruskin collections, among the world's most comprehensive, the exhibition explored his sweeping impact through drawings, sketchbooks, manuscripts, books, pamphlets, and other objects.
More than two hundred dazzling and finely crafted objects of metal, stone, wood, and other prized materials characterize the art of Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur, a traveling exhibition that explored one of the greatest technological achievements of Near Eastern archaeology.
The Great Experiment: George Washington and the American Republic
September 16, 1999 through January 9, 2000
Approximately 100 manuscripts, letters, rare printed documents, objects, maps, and published writings—drawn primarily from the collections of the Morgan; the Gilder Lehrman Collection, on deposit at the Morgan; and the Huntington Library—were included.