Melville: Finding America at Sea | Newberry

Melville: Finding America at Sea

Illustration from Matt Kish, Extracts, c. 2015.

Illustration from Matt Kish, Extracts, c. 2015.


The Life, Writings, and Influence of Herman Melville, Author of Moby-Dick
Friday, January 18, 2019Saturday, April 6, 2019

Roger J. Trienens Galleries

Free and open to the public
Open to the Public

Plan your visit to the Newberry to see the exhibition.

Melville: Finding America at Sea will be open for the duration of the Newberry’s Moby-Dick Read-a-Thon from Saturday, January 19, at noon to Sunday, January 20, at 1pm.

For the 200th anniversary of Herman Melville’s birth, this exhibition will highlight the many facets of his work, illustrating how he has been perceived and repurposed over the past 200 years.

Drawing on the Newberry’s huge collection of Melville’s works, gathered during the work of editing the definitive 15-volume Northwestern-Newberry Edition of The Writings of Herman Melville, the exhibition will invite viewers to explore Melville’s interests in democracy, spirituality, Indigeneity, morality, sexuality, labor, nature, and human consciousness. It will contextualize his works as the product of a period of spectacular growth, rapid change, horrifying trauma, and grave injustice in the United States, and also demonstrate the ways his work continues to resonate for artists and writers today.

Melville: Finding America at Sea is curated by Will Hansen, the Newberry’s Curator of Americana, and is sponsored by Elizabeth Amy Liebman and The Gladys Kreible Delmas Foundation.

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Starting January 26, the Newberry will offer docent-led tours of the exhibition every Saturday at 2 pm. These tours are free to attend.

Private tours can be arranged for groups of 10 or more. Private tours can be scheduled during exhibition hours based on staff and docent availability. Please schedule a private tour at least two weeks in advance. To schedule a private tour contact Rebecca Haynes, Manager of Volunteers, at or (312) 255-3526.

Cost and Registration Information 

Free and open to the public.