Why is a raven like a writing desk? Lewis Carroll never gave us an answer to the Mad Hatter’s famous riddle in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” but the answers to plenty of other questions about the author and his iconic work can be found this fall at museum and library events in New York and around the world. This year marks 150 years since Alice’s journey down the rabbit hole was first published in 1865. Having inspired countless film adaptations, theatrical stagings, translations, parodies and even video games, its legacy today is unmistakable. Historians and librarians are taking the opportunity to pay homage to the beloved children’s book by showcasing artifacts, rare editions, performances and other exhibits related to Carroll and “Alice.” Here’s a list of highlights in the New York City area. From now through Oct. 11, the Morgan Library and Museum is hosting the original manuscript of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” usually held at the British Library in London. Rare editions of the book, original letters and drawings, and never-before-seen items are also featured in the exhibit,“Alice: 150 Years of Wonderland.”
A century and a half after its publication, Carroll’s “Alice” is still being translated into different languages around the world. A unique exhibit at the Grolier Club book society in Manhattan will showcase translations of the work. “Alice in a World of Wonderlands: The Translations of Lewis Carroll’s Masterpiece” opens Sept. 16 and runs through Nov. 21. At Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Library branch, the Lewis Carroll Society will give a dramatic reading of the “The Mad Tea Party,” one of the most memorable chapters of the book. Set for Sept. 19, it’s part of the “bookend events” for this year’s Brooklyn Book Festival. FOLLOW THE PAGE VIEWS BLOG ON TWITTER At the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, a free multimedia exhibit will present the history of Carroll’s Alice stories on the stage, starting with the first theatrical performance in 1886. Playbills, ads and photos will be displayed alongside audio and video to illustrate these performances, with an emphasis on productions in New York. “Alice Live!” will be at the Donald and Mary Oenslager Gallery at Lincoln Center from Oct. 2 through Jan. 16. MoMath, the Museum of Mathematics, will explore the art, magic and math of “Alice in Wonderland” at one of their “Unbounded” adult-only theme nights on Oct. 2.
On Oct. 8, Mark Burstein, president emeritus of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America and editor of several books about Carroll, will appear at92nd Street Y for a talk on the legacy of “Alice in Wonderland,” with a focus on his Salvador Dali-illustrated edition of the book. The Disney movies based on “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” are perhaps even more well-known than the book.Sony Wonder Technology Lab in New York City is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the book with screenings of some of the iconic films it has inspired, including the 1951 animated “Alice in Wonderland” and Tim Burton’s 2010 live-action version. They’ll also host a Wonderland-themed workshop on animation, where participants can create their own short animated movie. Those events will be held Oct. 10, but throughout October, they’re also showing a 14-minute behind-the-scenes short film about the 2010 movie. The Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia is honoring “Alice” with several events and exhibitions starting in October, including “Alice in Philly-land,” which explores the city’s connections to the work. There’s also a “Croquet in Wonderland” party at Dilworth Park Oct. 15, and an interactive gallery at the museum will let visitors try to solve some of Carroll’s famous riddles and puzzles. On the Web, a group of 12 Carroll scholars have been picking apart the book chapter by chapter. Follow their annotations and see some animated “remixes” of the illustrations on Medium. Other events are being held throughout the U.S. and the world. Check out Alice150.com andLewisCarrollResources.net for more..