Search

      Buy tickets

      Exhibition

      Draw Me Ishmael: The Book Arts of Moby Dick

      On view June 1, 2024 to January 4, 2026

      Today's hours:

      10 am–5 pm

      Monday

      10 am–5 pm

      Tuesday

      Closed

      Wednesday

      Closed

      Thursday

      10 am–5 pm

      Friday

      10 am–5 pm

      Saturday

      10 am–5 pm

      Sunday

      10 am–5 pm

      Monday

      10 am–5 pm

      Tuesday

      Closed

      Wednesday

      Closed

      Thursday

      10 am–5 pm

      Friday

      10 am–5 pm

      Saturday

      10 am–5 pm

      Sunday

      10 am–5 pm

      Herman Melville’s Moby Dick is the most continuously, frequently and diversely depicted of American literary works.

      The novel and its timeless themes continue to inspire artists, designers and creatives of all types. Its first sentence: “Call me Ishmael.” is one of the most iconic and best-known opening lines in all of literature.

      Draw Me Ishmael: The Book Arts of Moby Dick is the first exhibition focused on the book arts of the hundreds of editions published since 1851: the illustrations, binding designs, typography and even the physical structures. Drawn almost entirely from the Phillips Library collection, this exhibition will explore decades of creative approaches to interpreting the novel visually in book form. It will shed some light on Melville’s original inspiration and include a contemporary update through recent artists’ books, graphic novels, a translation into emoji and pop-up books. Think differently about Moby Dick, appreciate the variety of approaches to visualizing the novel and explore copies of more than 50 books on display.

      Draw Me Ishmael: The Book Arts of Moby Dick is organized by the Peabody Essex Museum. This exhibition is made possible by Carolyn and Peter S. Lynch and The Lynch Foundation. We thank James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes, Chip and Susan Robie, and Timothy T. Hilton as supporters of the Exhibition Innovation Fund. We also recognize the generosity of the East India Marine Associates of the Peabody Essex Museum.

      TOP IMAGE Chaim Ebanks, bookbinder, and Susan Ebanks, designer, of Exeter Bookbinders (Devon, England), Moby Dick; or, The Whale (detail), published 1930. Custom binding in white Chieftain Goatskin leather with blind tooling, gilt lettering and glass prosthetic eye, 2023. Phillips Library purchase, Library Acquisition Fund, made possible by Arthur and Judi Rubin, 2023. PS2384.M6 E23 1930.

      Keep exploring

      Maritime Art

      Exhibition

      Maritime Art

      Ongoing

      Exhibition

      Maritime Art

      Ongoing

      Salem Stories

      Exhibition

      Salem Stories

      Ongoing

      Exhibition

      Salem Stories

      Ongoing

      Bethany Collins, America: A Hymnal

      Exhibition

      Bethany Collins, America: A Hymnal

      Ongoing

      Exhibition

      Bethany Collins, America: A Hymnal

      Ongoing

      Written on the Waves: Shipboard Journals and Logbooks

      Past Exhibition

      Written on the Waves: Shipboard Journals and Logbooks

      October 2, 2010 to July 15, 2012

      Past Exhibition

      Written on the Waves: Shipboard Journals and Logbooks

      October 2, 2010 to July 15, 2012

      Michael C. McMillen: The Pequod II

      Past Exhibition

      Michael C. McMillen: The Pequod II

      October 10, 2020 to September 11, 2022

      Past Exhibition

      Michael C. McMillen: The Pequod II

      October 10, 2020 to September 11, 2022