Plath’s “Marilyn” shot, 1954, by Gordon Ames Lameyer (The Lilly Library, Indiana University)
Sylvia Plath was one of the most dynamic and admired writers of the 20th century. A new exhibition at the Portrait Gallery, One Life: Sylvia Plath, is the first exploration of her life in an art and history museum. The exhibition reveals how Plath shaped her identity visually as she came of age as a writer in the 1950s, through a carefully selected array of images and objects from the Plath archives at Smith College and the University of Indiana’s Lilly Library, the first time materials from these collections have been brought together in a museum.
Hear from Dorothy Moss, curator of painting and sculpture at the Portrait Gallery, and guest co-curator Karen Kukil, associate curator of rare books and manuscripts at Smith College, as they present an overview of the exhibition. Through personal letters, her own artwork, family photographs and relevant objects, Moss and Kukil discuss Plath’s struggle to understand her own self and to navigate the societal pressures placed on young women during her time.
The Portrait Gallery is open until 7 p.m., so consider coming early and viewing the exhibition before the program.