The Walt Whitman Birthplace Association has received an $82,000 grant from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation to refurbish its Interpretive Center exhibit and to execute 2019 programming in celebration of Walt Whitman’s Bicentennial Birthday.
Whitman was born at the birthplace on May 31, 1819, and much of his work extols his Long Island roots. WWBA was established in 1949 to steward Whitman’s wide-reaching legacy. The Walt Whitman Birthplace Interpretive Center was built in 1999 to provide a location for the Birthplace’s exhibits, which were originally housed on the second floor of Whitman’s Birthplace.
The Interpretive Center is comprised of numerous panels detailing Whitman’s life and times. The restoration will refresh the panels that have been bleached by light and will add a new panel describing Whitman’s school teaching years on Long Island. Throughout 2019, WWBA plans to hold various historic and literary events, including an operatic and theatrical Whitman-inspired performance in May, an international academic Whitman conference in August, and monthly lectures by notable Whitman scholars.
The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation supports the study of New York State history. Robert David Lion Gardiner was, until his death in August 2004, the 16th Lord of the Manor of Gardiner’s Island, NY. The Foundation is inspired by his personal passion for New York history, and encourages the preservation, collection, restoration, and exhibition of documents and artifacts of this history, as well as educational programs focused on this history.
“This restoration would not be possible without the generous donation from the Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation,” said WWBA Executive Director Cynthia Shor. “We are again working with Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) who designed the original exhibits. William T. Walter, PhD., Board President, has contributed many hours to preparing detailed specifications for RAA. Additionally, he has taken an important lead in our Capital Campaign to obtain all the necessary funds to support this renovation. We are grateful and appreciative of the Gardiner Foundation which gives us major support with this grant for our Bicentennial historic celebrations in 2019.”
For more information on this project and to learn how you can make a contribution, please contact WWBA at 631-427-5240 ext. 111, or online at www.waltwhitman.org.