Coming Soon! Mark Twain and the Holy Land

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New-York Historical Society Library and Museum
170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street) New York, NY
October 25, 2019 - February 2, 2020


In 1867, Mark Twain was on assignment from a San Francisco newspaper. He would depart New York Harbor on the steamship Quaker City for a five-and-a-half-month excursion, with stops in Europe and around the Mediterranean. This would be the first organized tourism trip of its kind in American history. During this time, Twain would send back weekly reports of his travels to be published in the newspaper’s columns. His humorous, opinionated, and revealing observations of the sites he visited, the local inhabitants, and their effect on him would soon after be transformed into the book that catapulted him to national fame: The Innocents Abroad, or The New Pilgrims’ Progress.

Using original documents, photographs, artwork, and costumes, as well as an interactive media experience, this exhibition commemorates the 150th anniversary of one of the best-selling travelogues of all time as it illuminates Twain’s fabled journey and explores his and other Americans’ perceptions of the Holy Land in the postbellum era.

Physical exhibition organized by the New-York Historical Society in partnership with the Shapell Manuscript Foundation, and curated by Michael Ryan, vice president and director of the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library, and Cristian Petru Panaite, associate curator of exhibitions. This digital exhibition features the materials contributed by the Shapell Manuscript Foundation.