The Art of Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons
Maine College of Art & The Portland Public Library Present
The Art of Maurice Sendak:
50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons
On view at Portland Public LIbrary’s Lewis Gallery
September 6 – October 25, 2013
Portland, Maine –
September 6 to October 25, 2013,
Maine College of Art and The Portland Public Library will present the special exhibition
Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons.
The exhibition features 50 works by the legendary author and illustrator, accompanied by 50 statements from celebrities, authors, and noted personalities on the influence of Sendak’s work, all in celebration the 50th anniversary of his universally revered
book, Where the Wild Things Are.
The exhibition includes 50 original works from
Where the Wild Things Are
in a variety of mediums including sketches, illustrations, and works on paper, and showcases highlights from Sendak’s career and the diverse art forms in which he was renowned. Many of the works are from private collections and friends of the artist, offering
a survey of his range as an artist and author.
From children’s literature, animated films, and textbooks to Broadway and opera, Sendak garnered worldwide acclaim for his genius
and insight. Among the contributing commentators to the exhibition are playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner, comedian Stephan Colbert, artist Robert Crumb, director Spike Jonze, President Barack Obama, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, actor/director Tom
Hanks, and author Lemony Snicket.
“Perhaps no one has done as much to show the power of the written word on children, not to mention on their parents, as Maurice Sendak.”
―Former President Bill Clinton
About Maurice Sendak
Maurice Sendak has illustrated more than one hundred picture books throughout his 60-year career. Some of his best known books
include Chicken Soup with Rice,
Where the Wild Things Are,
and In the Night Kitchen.
Born in Brooklyn in 1928 to Jewish immigrant parents from northern Poland, Sendak grew up idolizing the storytelling abilities of his father, Philip, and his big brother, Jack. As a child he illustrated his first stories on shirt cardboard provided by his
tailor-father. Aside from a few night classes in art after graduating from high school, Sendak is largely a self-taught artist. Throughout his career, he has taken characters, stories, and inspirations from his among his own neighbors and family, pop culture,
historical sources, and long-held childhood memories. Sendak began a second career as a costume and stage designer in the late 1970s, designing operas by Mozart, Prokofiev, Ravel, and Tchaikovsky, among others. He won numerous awards as both an artist and
illustrator, including a Caldecott Award, a Newberry Medal, the international Hans Christian Andersen Award, a National Book Award, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and a National Medal of Arts. His books continue to be read by millions of children and
adults and have been translated into dozens of languages
to be enjoyed all over the world.