Maurice Sendak Exhibit

by Kate

Last week, I got to add a new skill to my resume: construction paper artistry. It’s a valuable skill; one I feel will definitely help my chances of getting into grad school. It’s just one of the many facets of my job. Others include (but are certainly not limited to): analyzing mustaches to determine from what decade a photo originates, heavy lifting, handwriting deciphering, deftly maneuvering through a maze of boxes and getting paper cuts. However, as the launch of our Maurice Sendak exhibit drew ever closer, I was asked to put down the paper clips and pick up the scissors.

But I get to learn a lot too! Like, for example, about Maurice Sendak. His picture books often explore a child’s nighttime consciousness, which usually contain an intriguing mix of the uncanny and comic. He collaborated with Tony Kushner (the guy who wrote Angels in America) on Brundibár, the picture book whose story was originally a children’s opera. His surreal kids’ picture book, In the Night Kitchen is still on some “Most Challenged/Banned Books” lists for drawings of little Mickey running amok naked. In We Are All in the Dumps With Jack and Guy, Sendak offers social commentary on issues like poverty and AIDS in the form of nursery rhymes and illustrations that offer clues to the book’s message.

In addition to a number of display panels in our lobby that, er, display interesting factoids about a variety of Maurice Sendak’s classic kids books and his Polish-Brooklynite upbringing, we have two display cases chock-full of little cardboard figures nestled in among, you guessed it, construction paper grass and trees made to resemble the jungle from Where the Wild Things Are. Come meet Max and the monsters, Little Bear, the Alphabet Alligator and more!

Exhibit runs through December 16th.

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