Walt Whitman Exhibition Opens at UVA

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

"Encompassing Multitudes: The Song of Walt Whitman" is now open at UVA's Small Special Collections Library. The exhibition celebrates the bicentennial of the birth of Walt Whitman and pays tribute to the incalculable cultural influence of the great American poet through display of first printings of his immortal work, Leaves of Grass, early drafts of his poems in manuscript, personal correspondence, memorabilia, and photographs. Visitors will learn more about the influences on his life and poetry, including the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln.

The library will hold an opening event on Tuesday, March 5, 2019 from 5:00-7:00p.m. in the Main Gallery of the Harrison Institute and Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.

Chief exhibition curator George Riser for brief, twenty-minute tours of the exhibition at 4:00 or 4:30p.m. At 5:00p.m. in the Harrison/Small Auditorium, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries John Unsworth will welcome a panel of Whitman scholars, including Deborah McDowell (Director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute & Alice Griffin Professor of English), and exhibition co-curators Steve Cushman (Robert C. Taylor Professor of English and Affiliated Faculty Member of the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History) and Lisa Russ Spaar (Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing) for readings and remarks. A light reception will follow with additional time to view the exhibition and speak with its curators.

The exhibition will be on display at the Special Collections Library for February 20 to July 27.