For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development

Parkway Central Library’s Rare Book Department Exhibits Work of Popular Illustrator and Author

Not Just for Children: The Art of Robert Lawson engages fans of all ages

PHILADELPHIA, December 11, 2012—The Free Library of Philadelphia’s Rare Book Department presents Not Just for Children: The Art of Robert Lawson, an exhibition featuring original art, etchings, and published works from the Frederick R. Gardner Collection of famed illustrator and author Robert Lawson, running January 14 through May 3, 2013. Winner of both the Caldecott and Newbery awards in children’s literature, Lawson’s work as an illustrator and author is thoroughly documented in this large collection of works, including personal copies of his books.

The collection includes drawings for 47 book titles, including Lawson's well-known illustrations for Mr. Popper’s Penguins (1938) and the original dummy for The Story of Ferdinand (1936). The collection dates between 1900 and 1983 and consists of more than 1,200 matted illustrations for published and unpublished works, an audiotape, correspondence, clippings, drafts, photographs, promotional materials, slides, and typescripts. The books and drawings from the collection were primarily compiled by rare book dealer Fredrick R. Gardner and given to the Library between 1969 and 1977.

“With more than 1,200 original works of art, the Frederick Gardner Collection of Robert Lawson is the premier collection of the works of this talented and successful author and illustrator in the country,” says Janine Pollock, head of the Rare Book Department. “Though he is best known for his charming illustrations for The Story of Ferdinand and Mr. Popper’s Penguins, this exhibition highlights some of his earliest illustrations, lesser-known works and advertising designs. Seeing these works in person reveals the mastery Lawson brought to his art.”

The Rare Book Department is open from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday. While the public may visit at any time during those hours, a tour of the department is available at 11:00 a.m. every day.

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The Free Library of Philadelphia system consists of 49 branches, three regional libraries, the Parkway Central Library, and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. With more than six million visits annually, the Free Library is one of the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia.


Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850