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Exhibitions

Over the course of the academic year there will be various programs and exhibitions that will provide a political and cultural view of the era that produced The Great Gatsby.

20's fan and purse
Purse and Fan, c. 1920, from the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection.

The Cornell Costume and Textile Collection has mounted an exhibition based on The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tragic tale of love and loss in the Jazz Age is full of vivid representations of the dress and appearance of his characters. Fitzgerald, like many other writers, frequently used descriptions of dress as a means of developing character. See the exhibit Gatsby's Closet, Dress and Character in the The Great Gatsby from August 18th to November 1st at the Elizabeth Schmeck Brown Costume and Textile Gallery on the third floor, Martha Van Rensselaer Hall. See also Charlotte Jirousek's essay on Dress and Identity: the study of dress as an intellectual pursuit.

The Johnson Art Museum's exhibition of American prints and photography from the 1920s through the Great Depression years. American Art from The Great Gatsby Era, August 18 through September 5, 2006. Cornell news release on the exhibit from the Chronicle Online.

Tatkon Center
"Each and every Freshman shall wear at all times, except on Sundays, a cap..."

Throughout the academic year, the Carol Tatkon Center will have exhibitions on topics related to The Great Gatsby. On August 29, The Roaring Twenties: Cornell & the Community, opened and featured photos and artifacts from the era. An exhibit of the art work of Zelda, wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald; Zelda by Herself: The Art of Zelda Fitzgerald, is planned for March of 2007.

  • The Cornell University Library

Far Above Paradise: F. Scott Fitzgerald and Cornell
Rotunda, Level 2B Kroch Library
August 7, 2006 - September 23, 2006

Cornell alumnus, George Jean Nathan, Class of 1904, launched F. Scott Fitzgerald's literary career by buying one of his short stories for the magazine, The Smart Set . Cornell English professor, Arthur Mizener, was the author of The Far Side of Paradise (1951), the first critical biography of Fitzgerald, which helped to restore his lost reputation and establish him as a major American writer. Included here are Fitzgerald's related books, magazines, and photographs from the Nathan and Mizener archives in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. Level 2B, Kroch Library.

Great Neck 1927
Great Neck 1927
Click here or on the image above to view a zoomable version of the map.

Maps and The Great Gatsby: The Geography of Privilege
Lower Level Lobby, Olin Library
August 15, 2006 - October 14, 2006

Geography provides a defining framework for The Great Gatsby. New York City, the two Eggs and the Valley of the Ashes are the geographic core, but places on the periphery, "the vast obscurity beyond the city"- Louisville, Chicago, Minnesota, even the Nevada goldfields and the Lake Superior shore, are equally important. Midwestern values clash with those of the East and are transformed and distorted in their new environment. Between the great set pieces, the protagonists move from the periphery to the center and back again: trains and the views from trains are critical to the novel, as are automobiles and the routes they take. The maps of this exhibit have been selected to bring the geography to the fore and give new insights into the structure and meaning of The Great Gatsby.