The Rosenbach Museum & Library is proud to host an iconic new exhibition as part of its annual Bloomsday celebration. Thy Father’s Spirit: A Bloomsday Exhibition of Contemporary Art and Literary Manuscripts will feature pages from James Joyce’s original Ulysses manuscript—which is part of The Rosenbach collection—in addition to a contemporary installation by artist Jessica Deane Rosner. Titled The Ulysses Glove Project, Rosner’s work features the entire text of Ulysses handwritten on 310 yellow kitchen gloves.

Rosner’s visually striking exhibition was created in honor of her father, an ardent fan of Ulysses. This is especially fitting as this year Bloomsday—celebrated each June 16 to mark the day on which Ulysses protagonist Leopold Bloom made his fictional “odyssey” through Dublin—falls on Father’s Day. As such, Thy Father’s Spirit explores the theme of fathers found in the novel, while the contemporary installation by Rosner explores the artist’s relationship with her own father.

For me, yellow rubber gloves suggest the simplicity and quietness of most people’s lives—especially women’s lives. As cleaning tools they come into contact with the filth we generate on a daily basis, and are designed to protect us from it, to keep our hands pristine, dirt and germ free. Rubber gloves are the objects that not only distance us from the byproducts of human existence, but help us (help working women) make those byproducts—the waste, dirt, dust, stains, stools, footprints— invisible. By contrast, Joyce’s Ulysses called the very same muck to the fore of literature, put it on display, and told us that this is it: This is who we are and what we make. This is life.”

Thy Father’s Spirit will be on display at The Rosenbach from June 5 – September 1, and entry is included in admission to the museum. In addition, the public is welcome to attend a free conversation with artist Jessica Deane Rosner on June 13, at 6:00 p.m. Registration is requested, and individuals should call 215-732-1600, ext. 123 or e-mail rsvp@rosenbach.org to respond.

In addition to the manuscript of Ulysses, The Rosenbach’s Joyce holdings include several pages of proofs, first and early editions of nearly all his published works, portraits of Joyce by artists such as Man Ray, and contemporary photographs of locations mentioned in Ulysses. Selections from the Rosenbach collection will be shown together with Rosner’s work.

Comments are closed.