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The Diary: Three Centuries of Private Lives on View at The Morgan Library and Museum
Miniature Dutch almanac and blank book, 1776. Bequest of Julia P. Wightman, 1994.
NEW YORK, NY.- Charlotte Brontë (1816 1855) relied on her diary to escape stifling work as a schoolteacher; Tennessee Williams (1911 1983) confided his loneliness and self-doubt; John Steinbeck (1902 1968) struggled to compose The Grapes of Wrath, and Bob Dylan (b. 1941) sketched his way through a concert tour.

For centuries, people have turned to private journals to document their days, sort out creative problems, help them through crises, comfort them in solitude or pain, or preserve their stories for the future. As more and more diarists turn away from the traditional notebook and seek a broader audience through web journals, blogs, and social media, a new exhibition at The Morgan Library & Museum explores how and why we document our everyday lives. Drawn from the Morgan’s own extraordinary holdings, The Diary: Three Centuries of Privates Lives is on view from January 21 through May 22, 2011.

With over seventy items on view, the exhibition raises questions about this pervasive practice: what is a diary? Must it be a private document? Who is the audience for the unfolding stories of our lives ourselves alone, our families, or a wider group? The diaries on view allow us to observe, in personal terms, the birth of such great works of art as Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The Scarlet Letter and Gilbert & Sullivan’s opera The Pirates of Penzance. Momentous public events, from the Boston Tea Party to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, are marked by individual witnesses. Many diarists, such as Henry David Thoreau (1817 1862) and John Newton (1725 1807), former slave trafficker and author of the hymn "Amazing Grace," look inward, striving to live with integrity. Three great artists in their twenties, all on the brink of fame Joshua Reynolds (1723 1792), Charlotte Brontë, and Kingsley Amis (1922 1995) hone their considerable talents in their private writings. And century after century, many individuals from the famous diarist Samuel Pepys (1633 1703) to Abstract Impressionist painter Charles Seliger (1926 2009) capture memory and mark time by keeping a daily record of the substance of everyday life.



Today's News

January 21, 2011

Iconic 19th Century Orientalist Painting by Jean Léon Gérôme Creates Pre-Auction Buzz

Dialogue between the Sculptors Julio González and David Smith at IVAM in Valencia

Finding Would Reveal Contact between Humans and Gomphotheres in North America

Smithsonian Chief Wayne Clough Says Banned Video by David Wojnarowicz a Work of Art

Magnificent Qing Monochrome Porcelains from the Gordon Collection at Christie's New York

Kunsthaus Bregenz Presents Exhibition by the South Korean Artist Haegue Yang

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Names Harry Philbrick as Director of Museum

The Diary: Three Centuries of Private Lives on View at The Morgan Library and Museum

Cyprus' Orthodox Christian Church Thanks Singer Boy George for Icon's Return

£2 Million Gift from the Hintze Family Charitable Foundation Received by The National Gallery

New Salvador Dali Museum is the Centerpiece of Arts-Filled Tampa Bay Area

130 Belgian and International Exhibitors at this Year's Brussels Antiques & Fine Arts Fair

Los Angeles County Museum of Art Appoints Curators to Chinese and Korean Art Department

Gagosian Gallery Presents a Mise-en-Scène of New Paintings by Piotr Uklański

VIP Art Fair: World's First Online Art Fair Launches Its Inaugural Edition on Saturday

Nailya Alexander Gallery Presents The Extra/Ordinary World of Pentti Sammallahti

Check Mate: Chess Sets from Around the World Exceed Estimates at Bonhams

Nicolas Krupp Contemporary Art Presents the Documentary Allegory of Peter Friedl

Museum Recovers $50K Civil War Gun Stolen in 1975

Pilar Luna, Pioneer of Mexican Underwater Archaeology, Given J.C. Harrington Award

John Beech: The State of Things on Display at Peter Blum Gallery in Chelsea

Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough Defends Decision to Remove Controversial Video

The World's Greatest Toy and Train Collection Now on View for the First Time at Sotheby's

Seattle Art Museum's Picasso Exhibition Surpasses 400,000 Visitors, Breaks Record

The Famous Thames Whale Goes on Display at the Natural History Museum at Tring

New Dinosaur Hall to Create Landmark Experience at Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

Exhibition of Photographs by Dorothea Lange at Brigham Young University Museum of Art

Cain Schulte Starts the New Year with Exhibitions by Matthew Barney and Sandra Munzel

Rosenbach Museum & Library to Deaccession Paintings by Walter Greaves

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- 'World's oldest message in a bottle', tossed in sea 101 years ago, reaches granddaughter

2.- East-West/West-East: Qatar unveils desert sculpture by American artist Richard Serra

3.- Ming-era 'chicken cup' sells for $36.05 million breaking record for Chinese porcelain

4.- United States pastor Kevin Sutherland convicted over Damien Hirst fake paintings

5.- Major exhibition at Pinacothèque de Paris explores the myth of Cleopatra

6.- Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles opens with inaugural exhibition "Van Gogh Live!"

7.- Landmark exhibition opens in New York exploring the ancient kingdoms of Southeast Asia

8.- Palm-sized scroll that mentions Jesus's wife is ancient: Harvard Theological Review

9.- Hitler's wife Eva Braun may have had Jewish ancestry: British television documentary

10.- Bonhams to sell Madame de Pompadour's favourite porcelain which surfaced in Devon after 350 years



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