Happy Hobbit Day: J.R.R. Tolkien exhibition coming to Haggerty Museum of Art in 2022

Sept. 22, 2021

Haggerty Museum of ArtMILWAUKEE — The Haggerty Museum of Art and Raynor Memorial Libraries at Marquette University are partnering to produce “J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript,” an exhibition of manuscripts from the celebrated author and artist J. R. R. Tolkien, best known for his literary classics “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings.”

The Haggerty Museum of Art will host the exhibition Aug. 19-Dec. 12, 2022, the foundation of which will be Marquette’s extensive collection of Tolkien manuscripts housed within the library’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives. The exhibition will also include items borrowed from other repositories, including a significant number of Tolkien manuscripts and artwork from the Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford.

The exhibition will include over 100 items, many of which have not been exhibited or published. It is being curated in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The co-curators are William Fliss, Tolkien Archivist in Marquette’s Department of Special Collections and University Archives, and Dr. Sarah Schaefer, assistant professor of art history at UWM.

“J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript” considers Tolkien’s work through the lens of manuscripts, both in terms of the materials he studied as a medieval philologist and the manuscripts he created while developing his legendarium. Tolkien was deeply immersed in the complexities of manuscripts, and this exhibition will illustrate how different aspects of the manuscript tradition found expression within Tolkien’s scholarly life and in his creative writing.

Additional details are available in a brief FAQ. More information will be made available as the exhibition’s opening approaches.

The collection of J.R.R. Tolkien housed at Raynor Libraries contains the original manuscripts and multiple working drafts for three of the author's most celebrated books, “The Hobbit,” “The Lord of the Rings” and “Farmer Giles of Ham,” as well as the original copy of the children's book “Mr. Bliss.” The collection includes books by and about Tolkien, periodicals produced by Tolkien enthusiasts, audio and video recordings, and a host of published and unpublished materials relating to Tolkien's life, fantasy writings and the fandom that sprang up around his legendarium.

The Haggerty Museum of Art advances Marquette’s mission by enriching the intellectual and creative lives of students and communities at large through engagement with the museum’s collections, exhibitions and programs.

The Raynor Memorial Libraries provide access not only to vast collections of recorded knowledge but also to services, expertise, technology, and collaborative spaces in support of the university’s teaching, research and service mission.

About Kevin Conway

Kevin Conway

Kevin is the associate director for university communication in the Office of University Relations. Contact Kevin at (414) 288-4745 or kevin.m.conway@marquette.edu