Leopold exhibit: A must-see for lovers of wild things

Binoculars and fly-fishing reel owned and used by Aldo Leopold. (Photo by Tim Eisele)

For those who find it hard to live apart from wild things, there is now an exhibit in Madison that is a must-see.

Highlighting the 70th anniversary of the publishing of Aldo Leopold’s wonderful book, “A Sand County Almanac,” the University of Wisconsin-Madison Library of Special Collections is featuring a special exhibit of the Aldo Leopold archives.

“Aldo Leopold: Life, Land, Legacy” presents information and artifacts from Leopold’s life as he grew up in Iowa, became the first professor of game management at UW-Madison, and spent time at his shack on the Wisconsin River outside of Baraboo.

There he experimented with managing land while sharpening his thinking about flora, fauna and human interaction.

Leopold (1887-1948) was a skilled writer and he drafted his articles and then let them sit, to cool off, in a desk drawer. Later, he finished reworking and editing.

He gave his originals to his secretary to type and afterwards the original was discarded into a waste basket, but one of his graduate assistants, Robert McCabe, noticed the originals and saved many of them.

Following McCabe’s death, his wife, Marie McCabe, donated many of the materials to the UW Library of Special Collections for the public to study. It is a unique experience for someone today who has read and re-read “A Sand County Almanac” to now see the actual drafts by Leopold, with his penciled corrections. These and other Leopold artifacts are on display.

This is the first-ever large-scale exhibit of Aldo Leopold manuscripts at the library. The exhibit is open until May 24 at the UW Memorial Library, on the ninth floor, 728 State Street, Madison, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For information, click here.

On Saturday, March 30, a special viewing will be held from 2-5 p.m. At 3 p.m., Curt Meine, Leopold biographer and Aldo Leopold Foundation senior fellow, will lecture on the making of “A Sand County Almanac.” Reservations are requested – click here.

The exhibit is presented in partnership with the Aldo Leopold Foundation and the Friends of the UW-Madison Libraries.

Categories: Wisconsin – Tim Eisele

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