SUart Galleries Opens ‘Maurice Sendak: 50 Years; 50 Works; 50 Reasons’
Now on view at The Syracuse University Art Galleries is the exhibition “Maurice Sendak: 50 Years; 50 Works; 50 Reasons,” a comprehensive retrospective of select works by the late artist. The original work is supplemented with accompanying comments by celebrities, authors and noted personalities such as Bill Clinton, Spike Jonze and author Tony M. DiTerlizzi. Organized by Steven Brezzo, and toured by Opar Inc, the exhibition celebrates the 50th anniversary of the publication of “Where the Wild Things Are” with original drawings, prints, posters and more from one of the greatest children’s authors of the 20th century. The exhibition will run through Oct. 23, in the Shaffer Art Building. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; and Thursdays 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are” has sparked the imaginations of generations of readers since its publication in 1963. As an artist, illustrator and author, Sendak expanded the scope of children’s literature to acknowledge children as intelligent individuals with powerful emotions–boredom, anger, fear and of course, the need to be where someone loved them best of all. Sendak’s love of art and books began as a child, when he was often sick and confined to bed. He would later infuse his stories and illustrations with these early experiences of illness and family tragedy, but also the joy and magic of his astounding imagination.
Works included in the exhibition have been selected from private collectors, friends of the artist and numerous media sources to offer a survey of Sendak’s range as an artist and author, as well as his influence on generations of readers and young adults. Sketches and finished works in a variety of media offer insights into the artist’s biography and evolution of content.
The SUArt Galleries will host a variety of family programming centered on the exhibition, including two SUArt Kids events. On Saturday, Oct. 1, and Sunday, Oct. 2, at 2 p.m. the gallery will hold a Sendak Gallery Adventure & Art Activity. This interactive art gallery experience will include a guided exhibition tour and art related activities, designed specifically to engage families with the exhibition. SUArt will also offer a special “Where the Wild Things Are” Storytime and Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 2 p.m. The SUArt Kids events are geared toward kids ages 5-10, and reservations are required. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit suart.syr.edu for up to date information.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Sendak (American 1928- 2012) illustrated more than a 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 father, a tailor. Aside from a few night classes in art after graduating high school, Sendak was a largely self-taught artist. Throughout his career, he took characters, stories and inspirations from his among his own neighbors, 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 and enjoyed all over the world