THE MORGAN EXPLORES THE LIFE AND WORK OF LEGENDARY AUTHOR BEATRIX POTTER THROUGH HER RARELY EXHIBITED PICTURE LETTERS

The Tale of Peter Rabbit and other books by Beatrix Potter (1866–1943) have become classics of children’s literature and represent one of the most successful publishing enterprises in the history of the British book trade. Yet Peter Rabbit began not as a commercial publishing venture, but as a story created to entertain the child of a family friend—all told in an eight-page letter illustrated with pendrawn vignettes.

Beginning November 2, 2012, The Morgan Library & Museum will explore the extraordinary tale of how a largely self-taught artist and writer used a series of private letters to develop some of the most vividly depicted animal characters in all of children’s literature—in the process creating a wholly original artistic and literary style. On view until January 27, 2013, Beatrix Potter: The Picture Letters brings together for the first time twenty-two letters from important American private holdings as well as from three major institutional collections: the Morgan, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and the Cotsen Children’s Library at Princeton University. The letters will be supplemented and enhanced with more than eighty related items, including printed books, original artwork, manuscripts, and early children’s toys and games inspired by Potter’s stories.

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