With Frankenstein and Dracula, Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker created two of history’s most memorable monsters. Two hundred years after Frankenstein was published, pages from Mary Shelley’s manuscript will make their only appearance in the United States, to be displayed for the first time alongside Philadelphia’s famed Rosenbach Museum and Library’s collection of Bram Stoker’s notes for Dracula, accompanied by 19th-century scientific, medical, and literary works. These Gothic literary giants emerged from the technological developments, medical breakthroughs, and environmental disasters that characterized the beginning and end of the 19th century, when the novels were written.
Frankenstein & Dracula: Gothic Monsters, Modern Science will explore the pressing scientific and ethical questions that compelled these authors to imagine their monsters, creating stories that still haunt us today.The exhibition gallery features an interactive experience designed to emphasize the connection between the novels by Mary Shelley and Bram Stoker and the scientific and ethical questions of the present day.The experience begins at a kiosk in the gallery that places the visitor in the role of a scientist tasked with defeating one of three modern monsters by creating new technology or modifying a living organism. After concluding an experiment, visitors may opt into learning more about the medical history that influenced Bram Stoker’s tale or about the science and ethics of contemporary epidemiology.
The Rosenbach, which is located on Delancey Place in the Rittenhouse Square district, is an all too frequently overlooked gem. If you love books, be sure to make time for this extraordinary institution.
h/t to the Rosenbach for the information on this special exhibition and the images.