IN THE East Gallery
Magician of the Modern: The Art of Leonard Weisgard
Leonard Weisgard (1916–2000) was an award-wining illustrator of over 200 children’s books. He is perhaps best remembered for his productive collaboration with author Margaret Wise Brown, beginning with their popular Noisy Books series (1939). Influenced by both mid-century modernism and American folk art, Weisgard incorporated different media—gouache, poster paint, crayon, chalk, decoupage, stenciling, and pen and ink—to create a new kind of children’s book.
Weisgard won the Caldecott Medal in 1947 for The Little Island, the product of another partnership with Wise Brown. He worked with other authors and wrote a handful of books himself. Original art from Cinderella (1939), Red Light/Green Light (1944), The Little Island (1946), The Golden Egg Book (1947), Pelican Here/Pelican There (1948), The Important Book (1949), and The Funny Bunny Factory (1950), among others, will be on display. The Museum recently restored twenty seminal paintings by Weisgard to their original splendor; they will make their public debut in the exhibition.
IN THE Central Gallery
Louis Darling: Drawing the Words of Beverly Cleary
The museum will mark Beverly Cleary’s 100th birthday with the exhibition Louis Darling: Drawing the Words of Beverly Cleary. Darling’s iconic images brought Cleary’s beloved characters Ramona, Beezus, Henry Huggins, Ellen Tibbets, and Ralph S. Mouse to life. As an illustrator at William Morrow and Company, Darling was assigned to Cleary’s first book, Henry Huggins, in 1950. Thus began their twenty-year association. Darling illustrated most of Cleary’s early books—twelve in total—before his untimely death. Though Cleary’s stories have since been re-illustrated, it was Darling’s vision–matched with Cleary’s words–that helped define these stories as modern classics. Louis Darling: Drawing the Words of Beverly Cleary will feature preliminary sketches, finished artwork, correspondence between author and illustrator, and period photographs.
Support for this exhibition has been generously provided by HarperCollins Children’s Books.
IN THE West Gallery
The Art of Eric Carle: Hide and Seek
Eric Carle has made many pieces of unforgettable art during a 50-year career that includes more than 70 books. Unbeknownst to most readers, however, Carle has left behind a trail of “Easter eggs” in his illustrations, and in doing so has created a subtext of secret allusions. He often hides “C” and “R” in his images, denoting the first letters of his children’s names. “A few times,” he says, “I have even incorporated the names of friends into my books; these names will be hard to find; they are camouflaged.”
This exhibition entices visitors to take a closer look at Carle’s art to uncover these hidden references. Flip labels reveal some of the people and places important to him.
This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Hsin-Yi Foundation.
From the Collection: Dog Days
Artists and authors have long explored the special bond between humans and their canine companions. From the Collection: Dog Days features 16 ink and watercolor illustrations of man’s best friend, dating from the early 20th century to the present. The artists represented include Hilary Knight, Arnold Lobel, Barry Moser, William Steig, and Suzanne Suba, among others.