Our exhibitions have changed over for the season–not just the new Drawn Together, which is in the main gallery in the Sendak building, but also the selection of objects in the highlights gallery, the partner desk in the Doctor’s library, the dining room table, and the Marianne Moore Room vestibule. [The radio you see here–a gift to the Doctor from Major Bowes, is now on display in Highlights.
We have also–for the first time in recent memory–installed in the Moore room a recording of Miss Moore reading some of her poetry. The poems are “A Face” and “What Are Years,” and I hope to be hearing them several times a day, as my office shares a door with the room. (I’m behind the door with the chin-up bar.)
I’ve thought for a long time that the Moore room would benefit from having the sound of her voice animating the space. There is already a very particular quality to the room that is so different from what comes before it, but yet also serves as a perfect little diorama of the whole Rosenbach experience–beautiful and rare things in a lived-in, domestic space. [Eileen Neff’s incredibly affecting temporary installation in the Moore room, called “The Whole World Including the Poet,” brought this quality out in ways that I hope the new audio component might come close to.
I was recently showing a visiting curator some of Joseph Cornell’s letters to Marianne Moore, including one dated June 21, 1944 in which he describes a new project where “romantic material […] combined with a little writing and ‘hommages’ (in the form of objects)” will be assembled and “boxed in a little album-chest that will exhale a ‘romantic vapor,’ in the words of Marcel Duchamp.” Moore and Cornell shared certain artistic sympathies that can perhaps be best discovered by the Moore room itself–a kind of large Cornell box whose arrangement was important enough to Moore to stipulate that it be reconstructed, lock, stock, and baseballs, here at the Rosenbach.
Anyway. We have a lot of new stuff in familiar places–good reason for you to stop by…