“Alice in a World of Wonderlands” Opens at the Grolier
On September 15, the Grolier Club hosted an opening event for its current exhibition, “Alice in a World of Wonderlands: The Translations of Lewis Carroll’s Masterpiece.” Curator and General Editor Jon Lindseth presided, and he was joined by co-curator and Technical Editor Alan Tannenbaum, Lewis Carroll biographer Morton Cohen, and other Alice collectors and enthusiasts, as well as contributors to the accompanying three-volume work of the same title, edited by Lindseth and Tannenbaum and published by Oak Knoll.
Wine and hors d’oeuvres were served as the attendees examined the cases, which featured the original edition and related material, followed by editions and ephemera from all over the world, from the first translation in German in 1869 to the present day, representing 174 languages and all manner of interpretive illustration and designs. Over the floor case devoted to a small Disney display was a world map designed by Connie Brown, with a key to all the languages and locations where Alice has been translated and published up to the present, which was reproduced on the endpapers of the book.
Jon spoke about both the exhibition and the book, thanking (among others) the Morgan Library, Princeton University, and the Fales Library for lending items to the exhibit, as well as to Grolier Exhibitions Manager Jennifer Sheehan and her assistant, and to book designer Jerry Kelly, who was presented with an oversized ribbon in honor of his accomplishment.
The book started out as a catalogue for the exhibition, but over time grew to include the contributions of 251 volunteer writers. Your correspondent was reliably informed that this was the first Grolier exhibition in which the catalogue was itself a featured part of the exhibit, so important is it to Alice scholarship.