Emily Dickinson, drama queen
As such, the research required consulting the 1,023 Dickinson Archives at the Houghton Library, where Smith struck up a friendship with Christine Jacobson, Assistant Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts. When the series ended, as a thank you, Smith asked if Jacobson would like anything from the set, which led to the Houghton acquiring many items, including exquisite reproductions of Dickinson’s delicate fascicles – these grouped poems that Dickinson sewed together with needle and thread. (Every stain and inkblot on the reproductions is courtesy of graphic designer Derrick Kardos, who worked on the film Black Swan and helped restore some of the works of Frederick Douglass North Star journals for the Smithsonian.) Jacobson said the new acquisitions will likely serve as teaching aids. “Reproductions are a treasure. Students can handle them and we don’t have to worry about them like the originals,” she said.
Smith was also thrilled that the Dickinson Museum had received “really, millions of dollars worth of physical items from the exhibit – rugs, curtains, dishes, an entire kitchen – that otherwise would have gone in the trash. “. It’s show business, but Smith was thrilled to find a happier ending. “It’s so fleeting. You usually can’t hang on to that much once you’ve done the show,” she said.
Jane Wald, executive director of the Emily Dickinson Museum, welcomed the acquisition. “We have a lot of Dickinson family furniture, but not everything we need. We selected parts that would help meet our needs. fans of Dickinson who visit the museum after it reopens will no doubt appreciate recognizing pieces from the show, including the carriage of death.
Although Emily Dickinson has been a cultural touchstone for scholars and aficionados, it seems the current fascination dates back to 2017, when a retrospective at New York’s Morgan Library & Museum sought to reassess the life and works of a poet once labeled “the Myth” and “the Beauty of Amherst”; a recluse who never left the house, who whispered to visitors through the doors and whose only companion was a faithful Newfoundlander named Carlo Dickinson led a far more nuanced life than previously believed, and Dickinson is the last contemporary revaluation.