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Amherst’s Emily Dickinson Museum receives hundreds of set pieces from ‘Dickinson’

Dresses from the Apple TV+ show "Dickinson" that were donated to the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst.Courtesy of The Emily Dickinson Museum

The Emily Dickinson Museum, on the birthday of its namesake, announced a poetic gift.

The Amherst house museum, which honors the life and work of the 19th-century rhymester, revealed Friday that Apple TV+ and wiip Productions donated over 400 costume, prop, and set pieces from the TV show “Dickinson” to the museum.

The “several trucks’ worth” of anachronistic bounty from the show includes lighting fixtures, elaborate dresses, and the carriage ridden by the character of Death (played by rapper Wiz Khalifa), according to The New York Times.

Meanwhile, the show’s production archive — including scripts, costume and set designs, and paper props — will go to Harvard University’s Houghton Library, which already has a sizable collection of rare Dickinson ephemera, the Times reported. Among the paper props are re-creations of Dickinson’s writing, like manuscripts recorded in hand-sewn books.


The critically acclaimed half-hour comedy series, which stars Hailee Steinfeld as Dickinson and debuted on the Apple TV+ streaming service in 2019, will premiere the last episode of its third and final season on Christmas Eve.

Hailee Steinfeld as Emily Dickinson in "Dickinson."Apple TV+

“I can’t imagine a more meaningful conclusion to the journey of making Dickinson than giving this gift to the Dickinson Museum,” said the show’s creator and showrunner, Alena Smith, in a press release from the museum. “It is the greatest end to the story I wanted to tell, and makes me feel so proud that these pieces of our production will contribute to Emily’s legacy and help the Museum in its mission of deepening scholarly and historic preservation.”

The donated items were shown in a live virtual program Friday during the museum’s 191st birthday celebration for the poet.

The museum, owned by Amherst College, is made up of two houses — The Homestead, Dickinson’s birthplace and home, and The Evergreens next door, where her brother Austin and his family resided — both of which were re-created for the show. “Dickinson” often sought the help and expertise of the museum over the show’s run, from examining the floor plans of the two homes to principal actors touring the premises to develop their characters, according to the museum.


The Homestead of the Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, the birthplace and home of the 19th-century poet.Courtesy of The Emily Dickinson Museum

Though the set pieces are not genuine period pieces, the museum said the likenesses will “imbue the rooms of the Museum with greater immersive power,” the release said.

Those hoping to sneak a peek at the show’s spoils, though, will have to wait a little longer — the museum is currently undergoing a major restoration and will not reopen to the public until spring of next year.

“Just to know that in 20 years fans can come to the Museum and see a lasting piece of the Dickinson world we built is amazing to me,” said Smith, the showrunner. “It makes my heart sing.”

Dana Gerber can be reached at Follow her @danagerber6.