The exhibit, “In a Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak,” will be on display at Fort Bend County Libraries’ George Memorial Library, 1001 Golfview in Richmond, beginning March 8, and continuing through April 20, in the Bohachevsky Gallery. George Memorial Library is the only library in Texas selected to host this traveling exhibition.
An Opening Reception for the exhibit will take place on Thursday, March 8, beginning at 7:00 pm, in the library’s Bohachevsky Gallery. Dr. David Brenner will be the guest speaker.
Maurice Sendak is best known as the illustrator of more than 100 children’s picture books, including Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen. He was born to Polish immigrants in Brooklyn in 1928. As a child, he became fascinated with the worn black-and-white photographs of his European relatives. Illustrations in his works are populated with friends, family, and the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in New York in the 1930s.
Sendak’s imaginative artwork reflects the brilliant mingling of his European background, his American childhood, and his Jewish culture. In turn, this exhibition reveals the push and pull of New and Old Worlds in Sendak’s work, and shows how Sendak’s artistic journey has led him deeper into his own family’s history and his Jewish community.
The exhibit is an exploration of Sendak’s illustrations and children’s picture books, revealing connections between these iconic works and Sendak’s childhood, family, and the popular culture of the time. The colorful exhibit panels feature illustrations of ferocious creatures, curious children and vibrant neighborhoods, alongside thematic explorations of the Jewish culture and history – and Sendak’s own family experience – that influenced his work.
“We are delighted to have been selected as a site for this exhibition,” said Library Director Clara Russell. “A study of Sendak’s work proves that his illustrations and stories aren’t just for children. He explores immigration, urban life, nostalgia, the New World, even the legacy of the Holocaust, weaving these seemingly adult themes into his imaginative and playful illustrations. Our library is thrilled to host this exhibition and to present a more thorough look at the life of a talented author and illustrator beloved by fans young and old.”
The exhibit “In a Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak” was organized by the Rosenbach Museum & Library, Philadelphia, and developed by Nextbook, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Jewish literature, culture, and ideas, and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The national tour of the exhibit has been made possible by grants from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the Righteous Persons Foundation, the David Berg Foundation, and an anonymous donor, with additional support from Tablet Magazine: A New Read on Jewish Life.
Fort Bend County Libraries is sponsoring free programs and other events for the public in connection with the exhibit. Visit the library’s website – www.fortbend.lib.tx.us – for more information on upcoming programs.
The exhibit is free and may be viewed during regular library hours. For more information, call the library’s Public Information Office at 281-341-2677.