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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002


  • Tuesday- Friday10 am - 4 pm
  • Saturday 10am – 5pm
  • Sunday 12 pm - 5 pm

Accessibility Information

Visit the carle


Current Exhibitions

IN THE East Gallery

The Picture Book Odysseys of Peter Sís

Peter Sís invites readers on incredible journeys. His picture book biographies recount the real-life travels of British biologist Charles Darwin and French pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. He depicts the life and persecution of 17th-century Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei. Born in Czechoslovakia, Sís transports readers to the ancient city of Prague in The Three Golden Keys and explores its political past in The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain. He chronicles his father’s two-year odyssey in the Himalaya Mountains in Tibet Through the Red Box, and creates a modern-day fairytale in Madlenka. This exhibition showcases more than 90 original illustrations from 26 picture books, ranging from Sís’s exquisitely detailed paintings of historical narratives to the bold graphics of his early readers. A selection of painted objects and public art projects showcase other facets of his award-winning career.

View a short video about the exhibition

This exhibition is made possible with generous support from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

Exhibition design by Katie Craig


Peter Sís, Illustration for Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilei (Frances Foster Books). Collection of the artist. © 1996 Peter Sís. Reprinted with permission from Farrar, Straus, Giroux Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

IN THE West Gallery

Under the Sea with Eric Carle

Dive in for an underwater adventure! This exhibition showcases original art from 11 Eric Carle picture books, including his popular titles A House for Hermit Crab (1987) and Mr. Seahorse (2004). See penguins in arctic waters and jellyfish in tropical seas, along with playful dolphins, seals, turtles, and whales. Also on view are Carle’s illustrations of mythological sea creatures—mermaids, leviathans, and the legendary kraken. A reading rowboat and an immersive puppet stage provide inspiration for creative play.

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Hsin-Yi Foundation.

Exhibition design by Katie Craig


Eric Carle, Illustration for A House for Hermit Crab (Simon & Schuster). Collection of Eric and Barbara Carle. © 1987 Eric Carle.

IN THE Central Gallery

William Steig's Sylvester and the Magic Pebble: A Golden Anniversary

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble has held a special place in readers hearts for 50 years. Contemporary illustrators often cite the book as their greatest childhood influence. The Carle is fortunate to have in its permanent collection Steig’s preliminary sketches, story boards, and dummy books related to the seminal publication, thanks to the generosity of Jeanne Steig who donated over 1,000 artworks by her late husband. The artist’s daughter Maggie Steig is lending the original published illustrations along with her father’s paints, tools, personal family photographs, and his prized Caldecott Medal. The Carle designed a charming tableau vivant of Steig’s picnic scene—including a “Sylvester boulder”—to engage visitors of all ages.

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

William Steig, Preliminary illustration for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1969). Gift of Jeanne Steig. © William Steig.

IN THE Reading Library

Ireland's Eye: Picture Book Views of Ireland

An exhibition of digital reproductions

While the music and literature of Ireland have reached audiences worldwide, few of the country’s picture book are known beyond its shores. Ireland’s Eye highlights the traditions, stories, and landscapes of Ireland, and the unending inspiration artists have found on the island nation.

Curated by Elizabeth Goldrick, 2019 Trinkett Clark Intern


Patrick Donnelly, Illustration for The President’s Glasses (Gill Books). Courtesy of the artist. © 2017 Peter Donnelly.
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