Sylvia Plath’s artwork is on display at the Smithsonian, and road trip?
We were excited earlier this year when new Sylvia Plath poems were discovered, so imagine how we feel now that we’ve learned Plath’s artwork is being shown in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. (that would be very excited). “One Life: Sylvia Plath” is a retrospective that runs June 30th, 2017 to May 20th, 2018, so you have plenty of time to see it, and we hope you do.
According to Vice, Plath was an art major when she began college at Smith, but she switched to English when her writing talent was encouraged by professors. Even before and after college, however, she drew both formally and informally. With this in mind, the exhibit includes both early and later drawings, from childhood illustrations to classroom assignments.
Besides formal drawings, the exhibit includes sketches, collages, and memorabilia — from diaries and manuscripts to one of Plath’s typewriters and a lock of hair from her first haircut.
Dorothy Moss, curator of sculpture and painting at the National Portrait Gallery, joined co-curator Karen Kukil, associate curator of rare books and manuscripts at Smith College, to present the exhibit.
"This is the first time that a national museum has presented such a body of work, and we hope to shed new light on Plath’s visual imagination, her efforts at self-fashioning, and the ways in which her artistic contributions are continuously reimagined and preserved," wrote Moss in Face to Face, the National Portrait Gallery blog.
So if you have already read the new poems (These Ghostly Archives has been released in the U.K., but you can get it on Amazon now) and are waiting impatiently for Kirsten Dunst’s movie of The Bell Jar to come out next year, a road trip to D.C. may be in order.