Medieval Tarot Deck, Webster’s Dictionary Manuscript Among Treasures On Display In New York

tarotThe Morgan Library & Museum in New York City has opened its annual summer exhibition of rare items from its collection. These include everything from a draft of George Washington’s inaugural speech to a deck of medieval tarot cards, including the one shown here in this Wikimedia Commons image.

This card is the Wheel of Fortune, and comes from the Visconti-Sforza tarot deck, made in Milan c. 1450. The tarot cards are some of the oldest of 29 items on display. Much of the collection is more recent but no less interesting.

One item of interest to any reader is Noah Webster’s original manuscript for his first dictionary. The dictionary was first published in 1828 after Webster spent 27 years and learned 26 languages to complete it. Webster had the distinction of creating the first American dictionary, and he was the last to tackle the massive task alone.

Other items include Oscar Wilde’s manuscript for “The Picture of Dorian Gray,” including homoerotic passages excised from the print version; a letter from Ernest Hemingway to The Paris Review; and Edgar Allen Poe’s manuscript of “Tamerlane.”

The collection will remain open to the public through September 8.