Our Events

Special Event

Willa Cather’s Red Cloud: A Trip Back in Time

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 5:30 PM | Open to the public | Whitridge Room | free of charge | advance registration required

Library staff members Harriet Shapiro and Cathy McGowan present a talk with images and music about Red Cloud, Nebraska, the prairie town where Willa Cather grew up. They recently visited Red Cloud, including the childhood home, today a National Historic Landmark, where Cather read in her attic room, as well as the Red Cloud Opera House, where Cather developed her deep love of music and theater.

When the ten-year-old Cather, uprooted from her home Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, first arrived in Red Cloud, she found herself (in the words of one critic) “lost in a sea of grass devoid of human habitation.” In time, Red Cloud became the mythological landscape for some of Cather’s greatest novels, from O Pioneers and My Ántonia to The Song of the Lark. The Library team also drove out of town to view the prairie land that captured Cather’s imagination more than 130 years ago. Cather left Red Cloud and its prairie in 1890, but she lived with its potent memories for the rest of her life.

Join us for a journey back in time to Red Cloud.

Harriet Shapiro is the Library’s Head of Exhibitions.
Cathy McGowan is a Circulation Librarian.


This event takes place in conjunction with our exhibition The New York World of Willa Cather, on view in the Peluso Family Exhibition Gallery through the end of August, 2018.


To register, contact the Events Office at events@nysoclib.org or 212.288.6900 x230.