Monday, January 30, 2012

COLLECTION #153: The Illustrations of Maurice Sendak

I can't think of a living artist other than Maurice Sendak, who has captivated me, from an artistic point of view, from my very young childhood until today.  Maurice Sendak began illustrating children's books around the time I was born/ early toddler years, and is still active and grabbing my attention today. I read his books, and bought them for myself as a child. I bought his books when I was a young adult for myself, and I bought them for my children when they were little. Today I have given them to my grandsons, and my children have bought his newer work for me. So, you can see why I feel Maurice Sendak is a significant influence on my life.

From What Can You Do with a Shoe, copyright 1955
From Dear Milli, copyright 1988
 I still have my Nutshell Library I bought when I was in the 6th grade. I suppose by that time most children might have outgrown his child-like artistic style and simple prose or poetry. But not me. I fell in love with the four tiny books, and memorized each one. I can still recite all of "Chicken Soup with Rice".... In January it's so nice, while slipping on the sliding ice, to sip hot chicken soup with rice... sipping once, sipping twice, sipping chicken soup with rice.... Aren't you impressed? I guarantee I can do each month! But I digress!

My copy of Chicken Soup With Rice, and the rest of the Nutshell Library, copyright 1962

 When Where the Wild Things Are came out in the early '60s too, and I was aware of its enchanting story, although I didn't buy it for myself for another decade. I bought In the Night Kitchen in college, and in the years before our marriage, bought several others that inspired me, building up my children's book library for our future children.
Awesome Wild Thing collectible figure
 When I worked for Hasbro in the 1980s, a group of us went to the Rhode Island School of Design to hear Maurice Sendak speak. He was known as a bit reclusive and didn't lecture often, so we jumped at the chance.  He didn't disappoint.

From the Maurice Sendak Poster book

From the Nutcracker, copyright 1984

Copyright 1995
From the Miami Giant

Although I don't consider myself anything close to a Maurice Sendak collector, I do have a fair smattering of titles, and a few have somehow slipped away (Kids? You borrow any of my books? Ian? Annie?) I used to have Higgelty Piggelty Pop, and In the Night Kitchen, and the Juniper Tree, and the Bat Poet.  (Hint hint, I'd like them back!) But this is what's left of my collection, for what it's worth.

From the fabulous pop-up book, Mommy, copyright 2006 (Given to me by my kids Ian & Jessica)

I hope you like Maurice Sendak as much as I do! (Click on any of the images for a closer view).

1 comment:

Brother James Bradshaw said...

Cool Beans! I love your blog & your Collections. I too love to collect "stuff!"

Rev. Brother James Bradshaw