In 1867, Mark Twain departed New York Harbor on the steamship Quaker City for a five-and-a-half-month excursion, with stops in Europe and around the Mediterranean. His humorous, opinionated, and revealing observations of the local sites and inhabitants first appeared as a series of letters in a San Francisco newspaper, two years before New York publisher Elisha Bliss released the book The Innocents Abroad, or The New Pilgrims’ Progress. Using original documents, photographs, artwork, and costumes, as well as an interactive media experience, this exhibition commemorates the 150th anniversary of one of the best-selling travelogues of all time as it illuminates Twain’s fabled journey and explores his and other Americans’ perceptions of the Holy Land in the postbellum era. (Organized by the New-York Historical Society in partnership with the Shapell Manuscript Foundation, and curated by Michael Ryan, vice president and director of the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library, and Cristian Petru Panaite, associate curator of exhibitions)
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Exhibitions at New-York Historical are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the Seymour Neuman Endowed Fund, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. WNET is the media sponsor.