Hungry Like the Wolf: Animals As Muse

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There’s no relationship quite like the one that humans have with animals. Without a common language, we often project our own thoughts and feelings onto our creature companions. Now, a new exhibit at The Morgan Library and Museum looks at the ways that animals have inspired artists of all kinds – and includes some surprises about the work of Edgar Allen Poe, Claude Debussy, T.S. Eliot and more. The exhibition's curator, Clara Drummond, joins us to discuss the animal as muse.

Jacob Hoefnagel (1573–ca. 1632) Orpheus Charming the Animals, 1613
Jacob Hoefnagel (1573–ca. 1632) Orpheus Charming the Animals, 1613 ( The Morgan Library and Museum )
John James Audubon (1785–1851) Gray Rabbit: Old male, female, and young, 1841
John James Audubon (1785–1851) Gray Rabbit: Old male, female, and young, 1841 ( The Morgan Library and Museum )
Claude Debussy (1862-1918) La Boîte à Joujoux: Ballet pour Enfants
Claude Debussy (1862-1918) La Boîte à Joujoux: Ballet pour Enfants ( The Morgan Library and Museum )
Jean de Brunhoff (1899–1937) Dummy with illustration for Histoire de Babar, le petit éléphant
Jean de Brunhoff (1899–1937) Dummy with illustration for Histoire de Babar, le petit éléphant ( The Morgan Library and Museum )
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) Le livre de la jungle
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936) Le livre de la jungle ( The Morgan Library and Museum )
William Blake (1757–1827) From Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul, ca. 1795
William Blake (1757–1827) From Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Shewing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul, ca. 1795 ( The Morgan Library & Museum )
Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) Letter signed "Poe": [New York], to John Augustus Shea, February 3, 1845
Edgar Allan Poe (1809–1849) Letter signed "Poe": [New York], to John Augustus Shea, February 3, 1845 ( The Morgan Library & Museum )
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