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One Life: Sylvia Plath


  • National Portrait Gallery 8th and F Streets NW Washington, DC 20001 (map)
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“One Life: Sylvia Plath” is the first exploration of the poet and writer’s visual imagination in an art and history museum. The exhibition reveals how Plath shaped her identity as she came of age as a writer in the 1950s and early 1960s.

The exhibition highlights Plath’s struggle to understand the traumas in her life—the early death of her father, psychiatric breakdown in college and collapse of her marriage—and to navigate the societal pressures placed on women as she made her way in the professional world.

The exhibition features a carefully selected array of images and objects from the Mortimer Rare Book Collection and the Smith College Historic Clothing Collection at Smith College in Northampton, Mass., the Lilly Library at Indiana University in Bloomington and private collections. It is on view through May 20, 2018. 

Earlier Event: November 11
Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image
Later Event: November 11
Antebellum Portraits by Mathew Brady