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

The lectures and programs will be free of charge, but visitors who wish to view the exhibition must also purchase a ticket. Exhibition tickets are available here and costs are:

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

September 2022

Thursday, September 8 and Friday, September 9, 2022
Virtual Symposium Mythical Pasts, Fantasy Futures: The Middle Ages in Modern Visual Culture
To attend the Day 1: September 8 keynote panel, register here.
To attend the Day 2: September 9 symposium, register here.

The visual and conceptual relationships between modern fantasy, popular culture, and the medieval era are a lively area of inquiry in a variety of cultural studies disciplines. They are also the focus of two current or upcoming exhibitions: The Fantasy of the Middle Ages (Getty Museum) and J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript (Haggerty Museum of Art). This online symposium brings together an interdisciplinary group of academics and museum professionals to examine how the Middle Ages appear in the contemporary imagination, and how its aesthetics have inspired a wide variety of media.

Co-organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles and the Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee. Panelists TBA. Registration opens August 1, 2022.

Thursday, September 22, 2022 (Hobbit Day!), 5 p.m. *Lecture Series*
Carl Hostetter will present Editing the Tolkienian ManuscriptRegistration button
Carl Hostetter is a computer scientist at NASA who has earned a reputation as one of the leading experts on J.R.R. Tolkien’s invented languages. He is a key member of the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship, an elite group of four Tolkien scholars whom the Tolkien Estate has entrusted with special access to the author’s unpublished linguistic manuscripts. These linguists have published extensively on Tolkien’s invented languages, including in Vinyar Tengwar, a peer-reviewed journal that Hostetter edits. 

Hostetter is one of the most experienced students of Tolkien’s manuscripts. His ability to read and interpret Tolkien’s notoriously difficult handwriting is second to none. Christopher Tolkien (1924-2020) entrusted Hostetter with editing his father’s last volume of published writings, released in 2021 under the title, The Nature of Middle-earth. Hostetter’s work is highly regarded by Tolkien scholars. His volume Tolkien’s Legendarium—co-edited with Verlyn Flieger—is considered one of the best collections of essays on the history of Tolkien’s secondary world.

Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25, 2022
Doors Open Milwaukee/Marquette University Parents Weekend
Registration button
The Haggerty Museum of Art is, once again, pleased to participate in two simultaneous events for our internal and external art lovers with a weekend featuring free admission, self-guided tours, compelling exhibitions, and more! Even though the weekend is free, registration is required here.

  • Doors Open Milwaukee is a two-day public celebration of Milwaukee’s art, architecture, culture, and history that offers behind the scenes tours of more than 160 buildings throughout Milwaukee’s downtown and diverse neighborhoods.

Friday, September 30, 10 a.m. to noon
Tolkien Reading Gathering featuring The Hobbit
registration button
Presented in collaboration with Marquette University's On Your Marq program
Relax in a bean bag chair in the exhibition gallery while listening to an excerpt from The Hobbit audio book.

October 2022

Saturday, October 8, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Community Day: J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript
registration button
A fun, engaging free day for all ages presented in collaboration with Milwaukee Public LibraryFirst Stage Children’s Theater, and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s ArtsECO program. Taking inspiration from the work of J.R.R. Tolkien, partnering organizations will lead interactive activities and experiences including bookmaking, world-building, gaming, and artmaking.

Tuesday, October 11, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Tolkien Reading Gathering featuring The Lord of the Rings
registration button
Presented in collaboration with Marquette University's On Your Marq program
Relax in a bean bag chair in the exhibition gallery while listening to an excerpt from The Lord of the Rings audio book.

Thursday, October 13, 2022, 5 p.m. *Lecture Series*
Holly Ordway will present Tolkien’s Faith and the Foundations of Middle-earthRegistration button
Holly Ordway is a rising star among Tolkien scholars. Her 2021 book Tolkien’s Modern Reading is a tour de force destined to become a classic in Tolkien studies. Ordway demonstrated that Tolkien, usually pigeonholed as a medievalist, was remarkably well-read in modern literature. Her work shows how many modern works affected Tolkien’s creative output. Currently on faculty at Houston Baptist University, Ordway has taught English at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and MiraCosta College. She specializes in J.R.R. Tolkien and, more generally, in mythopoeic literature. Ordway’s current research project is a book-length treatment of Tolkien’s Catholicism, fitting for a Catholic, Jesuit university such as Marquette. 

November 2022

Saturday, November 5, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
World-Building: Dungeons & Dragons
Registration button
Take a journey with us as we explore new realms, fight evil creatures, and attempt to save a Tolkien inspired world. Learn how to play D&D with expert hosts, then join a game yourself! Participation and spectating tickets are both available.

  • 10 to 10:30 a.m. Intro to Dungeons & Dragons
  • 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dungeons & Dragons game sessions

Presented in collaboration with Milwaukee Public Library

Thursday, November 17, 2022, 5 p.m. *Lecture Series*
John Garth will present Whispering leaves: How Tolkien’s manuscripts reveal the secrets of his creativity
Registration button
Trained as a journalist, John Garth has gained an international reputation as a leading writer about J.R.R. Tolkien and a popular commentator on Tolkien’s works and life. His published works include the recent The Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien (2020). His earlier masterpiece, Tolkien and the Great War (2003), is universally acknowledged as a classic in the field of Tolkien Studies. Garth, who has made a special study of Tolkien’s manuscripts, will focus his lecture on a manuscript that is part of Marquette’s collection and has never previously been exhibited or published. He will demonstrate his renowned historical research skills by analyzing the manuscript and using it to tease out insights about Tolkien’s experiences during the Second World War.

All lectures will be held at the Haggerty Museum of Art and will be followed by a question and answer period. The lectures will be streamed for audiences that wish to attend virtually. Due to limited capacity, advanced reservations will be required and can be made here.

Monthly Noon Gallery Talks, dates TBD

These free exhibition gallery talks will be open to the public and feature speakers including the exhibition curators, Haggerty Museum of Art staff, and Marquette University faculty members. The gallery talks will be free of charge, but visitors who wish to view the exhibition must also purchase a ticket here.

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