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Exhibitions were held in the USA, the UK, the Netherlands and Iran


"Omar Khayyám. Een boek in de woestijn. 150 jaar in Engelse vertaling" was the title of an exhibition by Museum Meermanno, in cooperation with the Dutch Omar Khayyám Society. The exhibition ran from January 31 until April 5, 2009.
Two important developments in publishing and printing the Rubáiyát were highlighted: typographical aspects in a number of private press editions, and the various ways in which the Rubáiyát have been illustrated. Two unique editions were exhinited for the first time in the Netherlands: the rare and famous first edition of FitzGerald's translation (London, 1859) and a manuscript of the Rubáiyát by William Morris, calligraphed on vellum with illustrations by Edward Burne-Jones (1872).
Parallel to the exhibition a book was published Omar Khayyam in Deventer" was an exhibition in Stadsarchief en Athenaeumbibliotheek in Deventer, from October 31 till December 31, 2009. Main aspect of the exhibition was the interest of Dutch poets and translators in Khayyám's rubáiyát, notably J.H. Leopold and P.C. Boutens. Also exhibited was a selection of foreign translations and a number of illustrated and typographically important editions. A catalogue was produced as well, also titled 'Omar Khayyam in Deventer'.
See the pictures below.

Deventer Exhibition

Click here for the Gallery


Elihu Vedder's drawings for the Rubáiyát
Organized by The Smithsonian American Art Museum, the exhibition in Phoenix, Arizona, showed 54 complex drawings made by artist Elihu Vedder to accompany Omar Khayyám’s Rubáiyát. The exhibition ran from November 15, 2008 - February 8, 2009.

"The Persian Sensation" in the Harry Ransom Center, Austin, Texas, explored how a translation of a Persian poem went from obscurity to celebrity in British and American culture.
The exhibition was held from Feb. 3 to Aug. 2, 2009, at the Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin.
Images from the exhibition show a number of rare and remarkable editions of the Rubáiyát, old manuscripts, works on Khayyám, parodies, advertisements, menucards and souvenir items.

Other exhibitions that were held:
The Special Collections Department of the Cleveland Public Library, displayed some of the illustrated editions of the Rubáiyát, to commemorate Edward FitzGerald and his Rubaiyat, from February 15th - May 15th 2009.
From January 22nd - March 13th 2009. "Edward FitzGerald (1809-1883) & the Rubaiyat (1859)": A Double Anniversary from the collection of Nicholas B. Scheetz at the Grolier Club, New York.
Details of these exhibitions are no longer available online.


'Edward FitzGerald and his Rubaiyat 1809–2009', held in Cambridge University Library, Cambridge, from February 18th to April 18th 2009. Also a catalogue was issued as a guide to the exhibition.

The Bodleian Library, Oxford, displays some treasures from its collection in a virtual exhibition: http://www.odl.ox.ac.uk/digitalimagelibrary/oriental_exhibition.html.
On display are the Ouseley MS 140, a transcript by FitzGerald from the copy that E.B. Cowell made from the Ouseley MS, and FitzGerald's first edition of 1859.

The firm of Bernard Quaritch, London, held a small exhibition of archive items relating to the history of Quaritch's relationship with The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, from June 4th to July 17th 2009. For the occasion, a facsimile edition of the first edition of 1859 was produced, in a limited edition of 250 copies.

The Wren Library of Trinity College, Cambridge, exhibited a number of documents relating to FitzGerald and to the Omar Khayyam Club, of which Trinity possesses substantial archives, July 2009.

Smaller exhibitions relationg to FitzGerald were held in The Ipswich Record Office, from June 1st-30th 2009, and in Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich, from June 20th to September 27th 2009.

The British Library had an exhibition on The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, from 14 Dec 2009 - 21 Feb 21 2010. Among the exhibits are The Great Omar, the third version of the magnificent binding by Sangorki and Suttcliffe, that went down with the Titanic, the Madras pirate edition of 1862 and the original illustrations by Niroot Puttapipat for the recently published Folio Society edition of the Rubáiyát. More details from the British Library Press room.


An exhibition of calligraphy works was held, starting December 14 2009, in Tehran’s Niavaran Cultural Historical Complex, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the translation of Khayyam’s Rubaiyat into English by Edward FitzGerald.