MHS News

MHS Announces "A More Interior Revolution"

Detail from Margaret Fuller’s letter portfolioOn Monday, 22 March, to commemorate the bicentennial of Margaret Fuller’s birth, the MHS will open a new exhibition titled “A More Interior Revolution”: Elizabeth Peabody, Margaret Fuller, and the Women of the American Renaissance. Guest curator Megan Marshall, author of the acclaimed biography The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism, has selected letters and journals written by Fuller and Peabody, together with writings and works of art created by other women who participated in the literary renaissance in New England between 1830 and Fuller’s death in 1850. The exhibition draws upon the collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Concord Free Public Library. 

During this period of intellectual and social ferment, a remarkable cohort of women writers, poets, and artists emerged in the Boston area.  Fuller would later leave Boston for a career in journalism in New York and then go on to participate in the social upheaval in revolutionary Europe, before dying in a shipwreck during her return voyage to America. Elizabeth Palmer Peabody remained here and, as she wrote to William Wordsworth, saw “a more interior revolution in the making” in which “grand souls indeed [both men and women] … would do in the republic of letters, in the temple lofty sciences,” what the founding fathers had accomplished “fifty years since in politics.”

The MHS will host a special Fellows-and-Members-only opening reception on 20 March as well as two public gallery talks in conjunction with the exhibition.  "The Lost Letters of Margaret Fuller" by Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey will be held on Saturday, 27 March, at 11 AM and 1 PM as part of the MHS Annual Open House.  On Friday, 23 April, at 2 PM, Leslie Perrin Wilson, Curator of the William Munroe Special Collections at the Concord Free Public Library, will give a talk entitled "No Worthless Books": Elizabeth Peabody's Foreign Library and Bookstore, 1840-1852.  The MHS also will sponsor a three-day conference, Margaret Fuller and Her Circles, 8-10 April 2010.  For information on the conference program, please visit the conference webpage.

“A More Interior Revolution” is free and open to the public from 22 March until 30 June, Monday through Saturday, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM. 

Image: Detail from Margaret Fuller's letter portfolio, Italy, c. 19th century, lacquer with nacre inlay


Published: Thursday, 25 February, 2010, 11:01 AM