Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Wild Things Lurk In Philly

“That’s the best fun in all of this—the layers of meaning, the layers of storytelling.”- Maurice Sendak
I don't think anyone in our generation hasn't been on an adventure with Max in his wolf costume through the wild forest conquering the "wild things" by staring into their yellow eyes without blinking once. Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak, was a staple in our household, my brother's favorite ( I even bought him a t-shirt with the cover illustration on it for his 21st birthday last year) and was read over and over and over again. So many people enjoy this story that Mr. Spike Jonzes made a feature film of the book, which is supposedly hitting theatres this October.

But enough with the movie talk, since we've already got Lorax on our to-do list. Maurice Sendak is one of the most famous illustrators/authors of our time, having over 80 books to his name and winning almost every children's literature award . As much as the story of the Wild Things was entertaining, it was the whimsical and large illustrations that captured your imagination. But where are all of these manuscripts, drawings and illustrations? I found out today, they aren't too far away at Philadelphia's Rosenback Museum of Art. Sendak chose the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia, PA to be the repository for his work in the early 1970s thanks to shared literary and collecting interests. His collection of nearly 10,000 works of art, manuscripts, books and ephemera, has been the subject of many exhibitions at the Rosenbach and has been enjoyed by visitors of all ages.

Unfortunately, we all missed a huge exhibition of his works, There's a Mystery There: Sendak on Sendak (which I believe is heading to San Fran) , however, a new show of Maurice's illustrations, A Sendakian Sample: Drawings A to z,. This exhibition features 26 different themes (as in the 26 letters of the alphabet, duh), from Acrobatics for A and Zilch for Z. Something is featured from almost all 80 of his books and offers great insight into the themes that ties his works together. It's only on view through September 13th, so be sure not to miss. On that note, I think I might have some Chicken Soup with Rice for lunch today.

1 comment:

Larry Knox said...

As an ardent admirer of Maurice Sendak's work for many years, I was lucky enough in 2003 to catch an amazing exhibit of his work at the Brandywine River Museum ( If you ever get the opportunity to see his work up close I would highly recommend it. Amazing!