5 Curious Reasons to Visit Alice 150 – Opening October!

As we are putting the final touches on our exhibit opening this October, we wanted to show you a couple of our favorite reasons to visit! Come celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland  with our exhibition: Alice 150 Years and Counting…The Legacy of Lewis Carroll: Selections from the Collection of August and Clare Imholtz.


5. Did you know Lewis Carroll was a mathematician and logician? Here’s a game invented by Carroll called “Doublets”. The object is to transform one word into another in as few steps as possible, changing only one letter at a time. The first “puzzle” in the book is “Drive Pig into Sty.” Carroll says in the Preface that he invented the game on Christmas Day 1877 for two bored young ladies, who had begged him to send them some riddles. Having none at hand, he instead invented this game, which he originally called “Word-Links.”


4. Did you know Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has been translated into over 170 languages? Here’s one of our favorites! Alitjinya ngura Tjukurtjarangka/ Alitji in the Dreamtime illustrated by Byron W. Sewell 1975, is a bilingual edition, with Alice translated into Pitjantjatjara and also adapted into Australian English. When this book was produced, the aboriginal Pitjantjatjara language had only recently been given a written form. Byron’s illustrations are brilliantly modeled on the mystical bark painting of the indigenous peoples of the Northern territory.


3. Did you know all the Queen needed was some chocolate EX-LAX? Come see all your favorite characters transformed in advertisements! Joan and Alice in Wonderland from 1933 features an Orphan Annie-like little girl named Joan who meets Alice in a dream in which she is threatened by the Queen of Hearts. She wakes up and tells her mother (who blames the Queen’s bad behavior on needing EX-LAX), that she just loves chocolate EX-LAX.

Andrea42. Among our many illustrated versions of Alice, we couldn’t help but notice that this caterpillar looks an awful lot like Jared Leto to us! What else will you find hidden in the illustrations? Les Aventures d’Alice au Pays des Merveilles illustrated 2006 by the Dutch-born neo-expressionist artist Pat Andrea, has created a polymorphous, somewhat eroticized, and often startling series of watercolor, colored pencil, and collage illustrations to Alice and her world of Wonderland. He has been called“a modern master of magical realism.” There is a muted realism to his Alice, always drawn in charcoal with a revealingly short skirt—no pinafore for this Alice.


1. What better place to start then at the very beginning! Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland published in 1866 by D. Appleton and Co. is known as the “Appleton Alice,” and is a first edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, second issue. The first 2,000 copies of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, printed in Oxford in the summer of 1865, were rejected by the illustrator, John Tenniel. As a result, Carroll ordered a new printing done in London. To recoup part of his financial loss, Carroll asked Macmillan, his London publisher, to sell the initial printed copies to the firm of D. Appleton in the U.S. The copies were then published with a new title page.

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