Last year I joined Rutgers’ (the State University of New Jersery, USA) Child_Lit service. This is a free, unmoderated discussion group convened for the express purpose of examining the theory and criticism of literature for children and young adults. For anyone interested in any aspect of children’s literature, I highly recommend signing up. The service provides a wealth of information and also makes my job a bit easier when looking for events that can be added to our Eventful World calendar.
Last week there was a post on Child_Lit that talked about Drawing from a Story: Illustrations by Selected Caldecott Medal Winners, an exhibit taking place though May 23rd at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, PA, USA.
Myths, fables, fairy tales, and folk tales are usually a child’s first steps into the world of literature, and the illustrations that often accompany the text when such stories are published for children stir the imagination and provide entrée to magical worlds. First awarded in 1938, the Caldecott Medal is considered the most prestigious award for children’s illustration. This exhibition will feature the works of selected Caldecott winners from seven decades, including Maurice Sendak, Dorothy Lathrop, David Wiesner [see image at right], Paul O. Zelinsky, Leo and Diane Dillon, Robert McCloskey, and 2010 medal winner, Jerry Pinkney, among many others.
Deidre Johnson responded on Child_Lit with the following comments which she has also allowed us to share with our readers :
I’ve seen it twice and can’t praise it enough. There’s material from most of the major archival collections, such as the Kerlan and deGrummond, as well as a generous sampling from the illustrators’ private collections.
The display is arranged beautifully — sometimes thematically (fairy tales grouped together, for example), sometimes by medium. There’s even an entire corner devoted to art from David Wiesner’s three winners. The exhibit includes not only art from the first Caldecott (and one of Caldecott’s own sketches for John Gilpin’s Ride!) but also from the two most recent winners. Some of the other materials show process (the McCloskey studies for Make Way for Ducklings seen in Marcus’s Caldecott Celebration are on display, and there are also studies for Rohmann’s My Friend Rabbit).
The Brandywine has hosted some fine exhibits associated with children’s literature in the past, but I think this is one of the best.