IN THE Central Gallery
A Taste for Adventure: The Art of William Pène du Bois
This exhibition marks the centenary of William Pène du Bois’s birth (1916-1993). Featured are illustrations from his 1947 Newbery Award-winning book, The Twenty-One Balloons, the fantastic story of Professor William Waterman Sherman’s around-the-world balloon voyage of 1883. Also on view are illustrations of Giant Otto, a large yellow hound who uses his size and strength to perform good deeds. Other endearing Pène du Bois characters come to life in Elizabeth the Cow Ghost, The Horse in the Camel Suit, and Porko von Popbutton. Pène du Bois’s illustrations animate text by such legendary authors as Isaac Bashevis Singer and local professor and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Wilbur.
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 East Gallery
Americana on Parade: The Art of Robert McCloskey
In celebration of the 75th anniversary of Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings (1941), The Carle is organizing a retrospective highlighting much of the original art from this beloved book. While significant emphasis will center on Make Way for Ducklings, the exhibition considers McCloskey’s entire career ranging from his early publications Lentil (1940), Homer Price (1943), and Centerburg Tales (1951), which recall the artist’s youth in rural Ohio, to the family-based stories set in his adopted home state of Maine, such as Blueberries for Sal (1948) and Time of Wonder (1957). A selection of independent work—watercolors and paintings that connect McCloskey to such prominent American painters as Thomas Hart Benton and Edward Hopper—will also be showcased. The recipient of two Caldecott Medals and three Caldecott Honors, McCloskey was a major force in twentieth-century picture book art. Americana on Parade: The Art of Robert McCloskey will feature over 90 original artworks, ephemera, and rare preliminary book materials.