Eric Carle: Family and Friends

April 5 - September 4, 2011
West Gallery

To mark the 40th anniversary of the publication of Do You Want to Be My Friend? (1971), The Carle mounted an exhibition featuring the theme of friendship. The book is dedicated to Eric Carle’s boyhood friend from Syracuse, Carlton Mayer. Despite an almost 20-year hiatus, their friendship remained true; they re-united when Eric returned to America in 1952. Carle has long acknowledged this book as his favorite, and a group of works from it and several others where friendship is an underlying theme make up this exhibition. In some cases these bonds are between people, as in The Tiny Seed (1987); in others, such as The Lamb and Butterfly (1988), animals befriend each other. In his Where Are You Going? To See My Friend (2002), friendship connects two countries—Japan and America. It also seemed appropriate to point out the folly of not wanting friendship, so wonderfully captured in The Grouchy Ladybug (1977).