The Children’s Literature Research Collection is abuzz with activity this week as we prepare to loan artwork to two upcoming exhibitions of Tomi Ungerer’s work. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Northampton, Massachusetts, will show “Tomi Ungerer, Chronicler of the Absurd” from June 21st to October 9th, 2011. The exhibition will showcase Ungerer’s career as an illustrator of children’s books, just in time for his 80th birthday. The CLRC spent some time last month consulting with Michael Patrick Hearn, a guest curator at the Eric Carle Museum and an expert in children’s literature, about the items he intends to borrow for the show. We are lending over 60 items to this exhibit, including some of our favorite items from Alfaro the Wheeled Pirate, Rufus, and Moon Man. We’ve also heard that some very important private collectors will be loaning little-seen items to this exhibit, so there will be a lot to look forward to! If you’re in the Boston area this summer, we highly recommend making a detour to the Eric Carle Museum – it’s a great experience for the whole family.
A little farther afield, the Tomi Ungerer Museum in Strasbourg, France, will be displaying an exhibition entitled “Ogres, brigands, et compagnie. . .” from April 7th to August 7th, 2011. Also showcasing Ungerer’s work for children, the exhibit will draw on the museum’s own extensive collections, as well as previously unseen works from the Free Library of Philadelphia's collection. The Children’s Literature Research Collection will be lending 100 drawings to the show, including artwork from The Three Robbers, The Mellops Go Flying, and The Clambake Mutiny.
We are thrilled that the items we love so much will now be seen by a much wider audience, and are very grateful for the CLIR Hidden Collections grant that funded the processing and cataloguing to make them available. And remember that if you can’t make it to Massachusetts or France this summer, we'll still have our own exhibit of Tomi Ungerer’s artwork on display at the Parkway Central Library in June. Stop by and see these marvelous things right here in Philadelphia!
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- Adrienne Pruitt