PHILADELPHIA, PA.- Rosenbach Museum & Library
visitors will have one more chance to see a new group of Maurice Sendak pieces before There's a Mystery There: Sendak on Sendak closes in May. 130 new pieces will be introduced on January 27 in this major retrospective of the work of Sendak – famed author and illustrator of Where the Wild Things Are and 108 other books.
There's a Mystery There: Sendak on Sendak, which opened on May 6 of last year and runs through May 3, 2009, has presented three different installments of items, totaling over 300 objects pulled from the Rosenbach's vast Sendak collection.
Hailed as "a splendidly evocative exhibition" (The Philadelphia Inquirer) "going far past the well-worn Where the Wild Things Are" (Humanities Magazine), There's a Mystery There continues to garner critical acclaim and rising visitor attendance. The Rosenbach's entire Maurice Sendak collection – the largest collection of "Sendakiana" in the world – includes over 3,000 works of art and over 7,000 other working materials. There's a Mystery There is the largest and most ambitious exhibition of Sendak's work ever created and features original artwork, rare sketches, never-before-seen working materials and exclusive interviews. Visitors can take a self-guided tour through the artist's prolific imagination by exploring the characters, influences and settings of his richest stories, as well as his quest to illustrate what he calls "the Other Story," the hidden meanings of a text. The exhibition website can be viewed at www.rosenbach.org
The objects included in the January 27 installment of new Sendak work will literally include bigger Sendak materials, such as large drawings from Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, Higglety, Pigglety, Pop! and many other books.
The upcoming selection of Sendak materials also represents the most diverse media of the three installments. "Sendak favored watercolors and pen and ink," says curator Patrick Rodgers. "In the upcoming rotation, the Rosenbach will feature more of his acrylic paintings and etchings, rough pencil sketches and crayon line drawings."
New exhibition highlights include:
Unique drawings from the sketchbook Sendak kept while working on his first children's book, The Wonderful Farm, in 1951
Unpublished scenes from Brundibar
A Spanish-language edition of Where the Wild Things Are (Donde Viven Los Monstruos)
Original watercolors from Where the Wild Things Are (1963)
A ghostly sketch of a goblin with a mysterious note written in the margins by Sendak
A rare etching by Sendak for Outside Over There
A rare acrylic painting for The Moon Jumpers by Sendak, who usually works in watercolor and/or pen and ink
Original pen and ink drawings for In the Night Kitchen (1970)
Sendak's illustrated version of E.T.A. Hoffman's The Nutcracker
Early "dummy" books hand-made by Sendak and filled with lively preliminary sketches for The Griffin & the Minor Canon (featuring a serpent-like griffin), Dwarf Long-Nose, The Bee-Man of Orn, and The Sign on Rosie's Door, among others
The Rosenbach has also released a companion DVD featuring exclusive recent interview footage with Sendak at home and in his studio, segments of which are featured within the exhibition via touch-screen panels in each gallery. Thanks to a grant from the federal Institute of Museum & Library Services, and the work of filmmaker Michael O'Reilly, these interviews document Sendak's life and work, as well as some of his remarkable collections. The DVD is available for purchase at the Museum Gift Shop.
There's a Mystery There: Sendak on Sendak is curated by Traveling Exhibitions Coordinator and former consulting curator Patrick Rodgers with the support of the Rosenbach's exhibition team. After completing its Philadelphia run in May, this exhibition will travel to three other American venues over the next several years.
Maurice Sendak chose the Rosenbach Museum & Library 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 and has been enjoyed by visitors of all ages. One of the most famous creators of contemporary children's books, Maurice Sendak has challenged the norms of children's literature over time and continues to entrance both children and adults to this day. His innovative techniques and honest portrayal of childhood emotion are celebrated worldwide and have earned him several prestigious honors, including the Caldecott Book Medal (1964), the international Hans Christian Andersen Medal (1970), the National Medal of Arts (1996), a Library of Congress "Living Legend" medal (2000) and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Literature (2003).