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J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript
On view August 19-December 23, 2022
Haggerty Museum of Art
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Raynor Memorial Libraries and the Haggerty Museum of Art collaboratively present this exhibition focused on the work of celebrated author and artist J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973), best known for his literary classics The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

The exhibition considers Tolkien’s work through the lens of manuscripts, in terms of both the materials that Tolkien studied as a medieval philologist and the manuscripts that he created while developing his collected writings on Middle-earth. Professor Tolkien was deeply immersed in the complexities of manuscripts.

This exhibition illustrates how different aspects of the manuscript tradition found expression in both Tolkien’s scholarly life, and in his creative writing. Founded on Marquette’s J.R.R. Tolkien Collection, the exhibition also includes items borrowed from other repositories, including a significant number of Tolkien manuscripts and artwork from the Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford. Many of the over 100 items in the exhibition have not previously been exhibited or published. The exhibition is accompanied by a 196-page hardbound catalogue that reproduces the complete object list, and includes introductory essays by exhibition Co-curators William M. Fliss, PhD and Sarah C. Schaefer, PhD.

[Image credit: J.R.R. Tolkien, English, 1892–1973, “The Shores of Faery,” 10 May 1915, Watercolor, ink, and pencil on paper, 10 15/16 x 8 1/2 in. (278 x 216 mm), The Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, MS. Tolkien Drawings 87, fol. 22r, Credit: © The Tolkien Trust 1995,]