Children’s books have always had a dual purpose: first, they are created to educate and entertain young readers – to start them off on a lifetime of reading enrichment and enjoyment; second, they are historical touchstones, reflecting and visualizing the history and the values of the era they are written in. This exhibition presents the illustrations and the illustrators that brought these stories to life.
With over 140 original works included from over 75 books, the exhibition explores the history of children’s books from the turn of the century pen and ink Mother Goose art of Sarah Noble Ives, to the most popular works of today including the digital creations of Mo Willems. The exhibition features the original art of Dr. Seuss, the iconic Wild Things of Maurice Sendak and the perennial heroism of Garth Williams’ Stuart Little. Among the many classic illustrators featured are Rosemary Wells, Richard Scarry, Chris Van Allsburg and Hilary Knight. Fondly remembered characters of literature include Babar, Eloise, Madeline, the Cat in the Hat and Dick & Jane. Extensive wall labels illuminate the works.
Childhood Classics was curated by Lois Sarkisian and Lee Cohen, the co-founders of Every Picture Tells A Story. They have written and lectured on illustration art at UCLA, Harvard University, and at schools and museums throughout North America. The exhibition was organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions in association with Art Kandy.