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      Exhibition

      Draw Me Ishmael: The Book Arts of Moby Dick

      On view June 1, 2024 to January 4, 2026

      Today's hours:

      Closed

      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 persistently pictured of all American novels.

      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 intimate gallery space explores 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 untraditionally and independently about Moby Dick, appreciate the variety of approaches to visualizing the novel and explore copies of more than 50 books on display.

      Follow along on social media using #DrawMeIshmael

      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. Courtesy of Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Rowley, MA. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.
      Henry M. Johnson, Acushnet (Whaler) logbook, 1845-1847. Log 1234. Ink, pencil, and watercolor on paper. Phillips Library, Gift of Augustus P. Loring, 1957.

      Henry M. Johnson, Acushnet (Whaler) logbook, 1845-1847. Log 1234. Ink, pencil, and watercolor on paper. Phillips Library, Gift of Augustus P. Loring, 1957.

      Herman Melville, author; Barry Moser, illustrator, Moby Dick: or, The Whale, 1979. Arion Press. Phillips Library purchase, the Elizabeth Rogers Fund, 2023. PS2384 .M6 1979 +. © Barry Moser, with permission from the artist. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      Herman Melville, author; Barry Moser, illustrator, Moby Dick: or, The Whale, 1979. Arion Press. Phillips Library purchase, the Elizabeth Rogers Fund, 2023. PS2384 .M6 1979 +. © Barry Moser, with permission from the artist. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      Luis Martínez, Othón Luna, and Victaleano León, illustrators; Eduardo Baez A. and Enrique Cárdenas Jr., text; Editorial Colecciones (Atzcapotzalco, Mexico), publisher. Moby Dick, 1957. Graphic novel. Phillips Library purchase, 2023. PZ73.7 .M6 M45 1957.

      Luis Martínez, Othón Luna, and Victaleano León, illustrators; Eduardo Baez A. and Enrique Cárdenas Jr., text; Editorial Colecciones (Atzcapotzalco, Mexico), publisher. Moby Dick, 1957. Graphic novel. Phillips Library purchase, 2023. PZ73.7 .M6 M45 1957.

      Moussa Kone, illustrator and Harpune Verlag, publisher. Etymology, 2012. Ink on paper. Phillips Library purchase, 2023. PS2384.M6 H37 Ch A. © Moussa Kone and Harpune Verlag. © 2024 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Bildrecht, Vienna. Photo by Kathy

      Moussa Kone, illustrator and Harpune Verlag, publisher. Etymology, 2012. Ink on paper. Phillips Library purchase, 2023. PS2384.M6 H37 Ch A. © Moussa Kone and Harpune Verlag. © 2024 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Bildrecht, Vienna. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      Emma Tomblin Marca, Whale, 2020. Book. Ink, collage, acrylic on paper with pop-up illustrations. Phillips Library purchase, 2021, N7433.4 .M37 2020. © Emma Tomblin Marca. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      Emma Tomblin Marca, Whale, 2020. Book. Ink, collage, acrylic on paper with pop-up illustrations. Phillips Library purchase, 2021, N7433.4 .M37 2020. © Emma Tomblin Marca. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      Herman Melville, author; Barry Moser, illustrator, Moby Dick: or, The Whale, 1979. Arion Press. Phillips Library purchase, the Elizabeth Rogers Fund, 2023. PS2384 .M6 1979 +. © Barry Moser, with permission from the artist. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      Herman Melville, author; Barry Moser, illustrator, Moby Dick: or, The Whale, 1979. Arion Press. Phillips Library purchase, the Elizabeth Rogers Fund, 2023. PS2384 .M6 1979 +. © Barry Moser, with permission from the artist. Photo by Kathy Tarantola/PEM.

      Had a whale of a time at this small but mighty exhibit. Super fascinating.
      I had hoped for an extraordinary exhibit – it far exceeded my great expectations.
      Thank you for celebrating Melville’s creative gift to the world.
      Beautifully curated collection of approaches to celebrate this book.

      Event

      Illustrating Moby Dick

      Sunday, July 21, 2024 from 1—3 pm

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