J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When is the exhibition?

The exhibition opens on Friday, August 19, 2022, and closes four months later, on Friday, December 23, 2022.

Do I need a ticket to attend the exhibition?

Yes, tickets will be required to regulate access to what will certainly be a very popular exhibition and are available on Eventbrite.

Adult: $10.00 + $1.53 Fee
Senior: $8.00 + $1.42 Fee
Active Military: $8.00 + $1.42 Fee
Free admission for:
- Friends of the Haggerty Members
- MU Community (students, staff, faculty w/ ID)
- Children (17 and under)
- Teachers and Homeschoolers


Is photography allowed in the exhibition?

No, photography is not permitted anywhere in the exhibition.

Who is curating the exhibition?

This exhibition is a collaboration between Dr. William Fliss, Tolkien Archivist in Marquette’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives, and Dr. Sarah Schaefer, Assistant Professor, Art History, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

What is a manuscript? 

Traditionally, a manuscript is a document created by hand, often combining writing with illustrations, maps, timelines, and more. One of the goals of the exhibition is to illuminate questions of how manuscripts have traditionally been understood and used—questions that Professor Tolkien explored throughout his scholarly and creative life. Visitors can expect to leave the exhibition with a greater understanding of the complex traditions around manuscripts. 

How is this different from other Tolkien exhibitions in recent years?

This exhibition builds upon the success of recent Tolkien exhibitions— Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth at Oxford University (2018) and the Morgan Library & Museum in New York City (2019); and Tolkien, Journey to Middle-earth at the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris (2019-2020)—but it does not seek to replicate them. Although Marquette’s exhibition will contain some items shown at each of these previous exhibitions, it has a unique focus, being centered on the manuscript tradition. The exhibition will delve more thoroughly into Tolkien’s scholarly life and feature the historical texts with which he was so familiar, and which influenced his own creative work.

Who should visit the exhibition?

This exhibition will appeal to diverse audiences, including scholars of medieval and modern art and literature, dedicated Tolkien enthusiasts interested in seeing materials that have not been exhibited before, and American fans who did not have the opportunity to visit the exhibitions in Oxford, New York, or Paris.    

Will there be other Tolkien-related programming during the exhibition?

Yes, additional events are planned to coincide with the exhibition, including opportunities for educational and community groups of all ages. See the full list on the exhibition programs page.

Will there be a publication to accompany the exhibition?

Yes! A beautiful 196-page hardbound catalogue accompanies the exhibition. It reproduces the complete object list and includes introductory essays by the curators. The catalogue is available for purchase at the museum or at the Haggerty Museum of Art's online store

Are the opportunities to support this exhibition?

Yes! For more information about sponsorship opportunities please contact Sara Harvey at sara.harvey@marquette.edu or +1 414-288-4766. 

Join the Muster!
Marquette is gathering 3-minute testimonials from Tolkien fans.

The goal is 6,000 interviews, one for each of the Riders of Rohan that Théoden led to the aid of Gondor. Contribute your interview at the Museum when the interview room is staffed, or else sign up online to do the interview on Zoom. 

News coverage

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript by Abby Armstrong Check for The Newsletter of the International Center of Medieval Art, pp. 36-39

This exhibit takes you into the mind of J.R.R. Tolkien, origin of The Lord of the Rings -Cassandra's Hidden Gems by Cassandra McShepard

Dungeons & Dragons adventures to Haggerty Museum by Will Eikenbary for the Marquette Wire

Art history professor co-curates Tolkien exhibit by Sarah Vickery for In Focus, a monthly publication by the College of Letters and Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (page 6)

J.R.R. Tolkien Exhibit at WI Museum by Morgan McCarthy for 715newsroom.com

“The Art of the Manuscript” exhibit shows Tolkien’s creative process at Haggerty Museum by Phoebe Goebel for the Marquette Wire

UWM art historian discusses Haggerty Museum exhibit that highlights "Lord of the Rings" manuscripts by Sophia Hamdan for the UWM Report

What Tolkien's Manuscripts Teach Us About Storytelling by Eric Clayton for AMDG: A Jesuit Podcast

For 'The Lord of the Rings' fans, new Marquette exhibit is chance to see J.R.R. Tolkien’s manuscripts by Jonah Beleckis for Wisconsin Public Radio

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript – exhibition underway at Marquette University on Medievalists.net

"J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript" at Marquette University shows how he created 'Lord of the Rings' a page at a time by Jim Higgins for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Tolkien exhibit opening at Marquette's Haggerty Museum by Photojournalist Sam Gaudet for FOX6 Milwaukee

J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of Rings drafts and manuscripts on display at Marquette University by James Groh for WTMJ-TV

Marquette's Haggerty Museum exhibit to highlight 'Lord of the Rings' manuscripts by author J.R.R. Tolkien by Victor Jacobo for WDJT-Milwaukee

New exhibit will allow public to see original Tolkien manuscripts by Phillip Boudreaux for Spectrum News 1

A Massive Collection of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Manuscripts Is in Milwaukee by Tea Krulos for Milwaukee Magazine

How to see the rare J.R.R. Tolkien manuscripts on display in Milwaukee by Dan Reiner for Radio Milwaukee

WISN interview with the co-curators by Derrick Rose, August 12, 2022

Tolkien Exhibit Brings Middle-Earth to Marquette University by David Luhrssen for the Shepherd Express

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript is presented through generous support from Premier Sponsor Wintrust.

Wintrust Wisconsin's bank

Additional support is provided by Travel Wisconsin and Contributing Sponsors The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and Dr. Mary Anne Siderits.
sponsor logos

image credit: Marquette MS. Tolkien 3/4/12/1a. ©The Tolkien Estate Limited