Edith Wharton's New York City: A Backward Glance
March 15-December 31, 2012
curated by Harriet Shapiro
Edith Wharton's New York City celebrated the 150th anniversary of the birth of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edith Wharton. Born in New York City on January 24, 1862, Wharton lived abroad for much of her adult life, but 19th-century New York City inspired her great novels and short stories, from The House of Mirth to The Age of Innocence. Wharton's writings brilliantly recreated her deep and unbreakable ties to the city and its complex architectural and social heart.
This exhibition revealed for the first time the intimate links between Wharton's world and the Society Library. Edith's father George Frederic Jones was a Library shareholder who often took out books for himself and his family. Many of Wharton's other relatives were also members, including her niece Beatrix Farrand, a well-known landscape architect.
Edith Wharton's New York City showcased family photographs from various collections and books by Wharton, including several from the collection of Martin Hutner. The Mount, Wharton's home in Lenox, Massachusetts generously loaned historic family portraits and books Wharton read as a child.
A catalog with essays by Ms. Shapiro and authors David Garrard Lowe and Roxana Robinson was published in March 2012.