First-Ever Exhibition of the Life and Writings of Ernest Hemingway
In July 1918, Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961) was serving as a volunteer with the Red Cross on the Italian Front during World War I when he was seriously wounded by mortar fire. He was just eighteen.
Later he would write, “When you go to war as a boy you have a great illusion of immortality. Other people get killed; not you ... Then when you are badly wounded the first time you lose that illusion and you know it can happen.”
Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars is the first museum exhibition devoted to one of the most celebrated writers of the twentieth century. His direct, spare style influenced successive generations of authors around the world. And tens of millions would read his books and never forget the stories and characters in such masterpieces as The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea.
Organized in partnership with Boston’s John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the exhibition explores the most dynamic period of Hemingway’s creative life, from 1918 to the aftermath of World War II, and his recurrent theme of confronting the fullness of life—and the finality of death—with grace and courage. Utilizing almost one hundred rarely exhibited manuscripts and letters, photographs, drafts and typescripts of stories, first editions, and artifacts from the author’s life, the exhibition reveals the man behind the myth, his struggles and triumphs. Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars is on view at the Morgan Library & Museum from September 25, 2015 through January 31, 2016.
“It is difficult to capture in a single quotation the importance of Ernest Hemingway to literary history,” said Peggy Fogelman, acting director of the Morgan. “His influence on writers is multi-generational, ongoing, and worldwide. His stories and novels form the very foundation of modern literature. His life, itself, from expatriate Paris in the 1920s to Key West and Cuba is the stuff of legend. The Morgan is deeply honored to partner with the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum to present this landmark exhibition and offer an intimate view of one of the great icons of American literature.”
Tom Putnam, Kennedy Library Director, said, “We are thrilled to collaborate with the Morgan on this first-of-its-kind exhibition capturing Hemingway as he revolutionized the literary landscape. The Nobel-Prize laureate is often portrayed as a larger than life figure. The materials on display— most for the very first time—will serve to humanize the man and edify his creative talent.”
SHOWN: Ernest Hemingway on crutches while recovering in Milan, Italy,
September 1918. Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection. John F.
Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.