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Exhibit of J.R.R. Tolkien’s manuscripts for “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” coming to Milwaukee

The Haggerty Museum of Art and Raynor Memorial Libraries at Marquette University recently announced a collaborative exhibition for the public, featuring items from the beloved creator of Middle-earth in “J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript.”

The exhibition will feature the original manuscripts created by Tolkien for his literary classics “The Hobbit,” “The Lord of the Rings,” and other works. Ticket sales begin on National J.R.R. Tolkien Day – January 3, a celebration of the author’s birth.

On view at the Haggerty Museum of Art August 19 through December 12, the exhibition derives from a partnership between the Museum, the Department of Special Collections and University Archives at Marquette’s Raynor Memorial Libraries, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), and the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries.

Anchoring the exhibition is Marquette’s collection of Tolkien manuscripts, including original manuscripts and multiple working drafts for three of the author’s most celebrated books — “The Hobbit” (1937), “Farmer Giles of Ham” (1949), and “The Lord of the Rings” (1954-1955) — as well as the original copy of the children’s book “Mr. Bliss,” published in facsimile form in 1982.

The exhibition also includes Tolkien manuscripts and artworks borrowed from the Bodleian Libraries. It will include more than 100 items, many that have not previously been exhibited or published.

“J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript” makes a unique contribution to both Tolkien scholarship and popular understanding by considering the work of Tolkien through the lens of manuscripts — in terms of both the materials that Tolkien studied as a medieval philologist, and the influence of those materials on Tolkien’s own creative process.

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