Hello, I’m Colin B. Bailey, Director of the Morgan Library and Museum, and I am delighted to welcome you to Nora Thompson Dean: Lenape Teacher and Herbalist. This exhibition, created in partnership with the Lenape Center, celebrates the life and work of Nora Thompson Dean with a display of documents, artworks, and photographs in the Morgan’s historic Rotunda and a simultaneous installation of plants important to the Lenape in the newly restored Garden.
Nora Thompson Dean was born in 1907 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, on the Delaware Reservation. “Delaware” is the name that European settlers applied to the Lenape people, whose original homeland, Lenapehoking, spanned from Western Connecticut to Eastern Pennsylvania, and from the Hudson Valley to the Delaware Valley, including New York City. Both of her parents, Sarah Wilson and James H. Thompson, were Delaware and they taught her the traditional religion, culture, and language of the Lenape. In turn, Nora dedicated her life to passing down all that she knew to future generations.
As you move through the Rotunda and the Garden, look for the audio symbols to hear further commentary from Joe Baker, one of the founders of the Lenape Center, about the items and the plants on view. Thank you for joining us at the Morgan. We hope you enjoy your visit.
This exhibition and garden installation is organized by the Morgan Library & Museum in collaboration with The Lenape Center and the Hudson Valley Farm Hub. It is made possible by the Sherman Fairchild Fund for Exhibitions.