“Comrades! I am the bard of Democracy,” Walt Whitman announced in a notebook in 1859. Over his 73 years (1819–1892), he essentially made good on that claim. From humble origins in Long Island and Brooklyn, he earned a global audience that never stops growing. On the two hundredth anniversary of his birth he continues to speak to new generations. The exhibition explores Whitman’s process of self-invention, from his early years as a journalist, through the early 1850s when Whitman began to write more privately and poetically, to his final years.