O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center at the University of St. Thomas is one of the stops for a traveling exhibition organized by the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Odense, Denmark, and brought to the United States by the Royal Danish Embassy in Washington, D.C.
The exhibit, open Dec. 1 through Jan. 4, is titled “Hans Christian Andersen: His Life, Works and Travels in the 19th Century.” Its 20 panels display text, photographs and facsimiles of the author’s original literary and quirky art work, helping to bring viewers closer to the world-famous creator of “The Ugly Duckling,” “The Little Mermaid,” “The Little Match Girl,” “The Princess and the Pea” and other classic children’s stories and fairy tales.
The exhibit’s opening reception will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12, in O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library Center. The reception and the exhibit are free and open to the public.
Andersen, whose children’s tales catapulted him to national fame in the 1840s, also was the author of plays, novels, poems, travel books, several autobiographies and even science fiction. Born in 1805 in a slum in Odense, a city near Copenhagen, Andersen had had a difficult time breaking through the rigid class structure of his time; part of what made his stories so compelling was their identification with the unfortunate and outcast. He also was an innovative storyteller and one of the first to use idioms and constructions of spoken language in his stories.
Because Andersen rarely destroyed anything he wrote, his diaries and thousands of his letters remain available to researchers today, much of it at the museum that is now located in his ancestral home. Andersen died in 1875 in Copenhagen.
The Andersen exhibit’s appearance at St. Thomas is sponsored by the university’s Art Exhibitions Committee.
For further information, call the St. Thomas Art History Department, (651) 962-5560.