[CANCELLED] Here Lies the Heart: Mercedes de Acosta and the Power of Queer Storytelling | Behind the Bookcase tour (in-person)

Date / Time

  • March 9, 2023
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm


2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103, United States

Behind the Bookcase tours are sponsored by William and Anna Marie Petersen



Both tragic and triumphant, the remarkable life and passionate loves of lesbian playwright Mercedes de Acosta are chronicled in her spellbinding memoir Here Lies the Heart (1960), the typescript and proofs of which survive in the collections of the Rosenbach, alongside de Acosta’s letters, library, and other personal effects. In this participatory, workshop-style Behind the Bookcase tour, we will unpack de Acosta’s writing process and investigate how she used the art of the memoir to record her Queer experiences of life in New York and Hollywood. After a short presentation to contextualize de Acosta’s life, struggles, and literary accomplishments, we will dive into the typescript, proof pages, and published first editions of the memoir to discuss de Acosta’s creative process, romantic relationships, spirituality, and professional challenges as an openly Queer figure navigating 20th-century American life. Finally, we will engage in a little storytelling of our own as we consider the importance of Queer people’s narrating their own life experiences  

About Behind the Bookcase: Hands-on Tours at The Rosenbach

Behind the Bookcase: Hands-on Tours offer unparalleled access to see, and even touch, rare and important items not usually on view to the public. Each program is dedicated to a different author, theme, or topic and grants a truly hands-on experience with materials in The Rosenbach’s inspiring collection.

See all upcoming tours hereSpace is limited and advance registration is strongly recommended.