Few American writers have achieved the cultural impact of Herman Melville, author of the eternal classic Moby–Dick. Yet he died unrecognized for his genius by his contemporaries. To commemorate the two hundredth anniversary of Herman Melville’s birth, The Rosenbach’s new exhibition will explore the life, works, and legacy of this iconic but under-read author. Making use of The Rosenbach’s extensive Melville holdings and numerous loans from partner organizations, including rare manuscripts along with first editions of his works, the exhibition will examine how Melville fled to the watery fringes of nineteenth-century life to grasp core truths about American society—and even human nature itself. The exhibition will challenge visitors to consider what Melville’s writings have to say about modern America through the lens of marine conservation, globalization, social justice, and LGBTQ+ identity.