Tompkins County Public Library

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Birds, Beasts and Books: Animal Illustrations in Literature

Jabberwocky by Barry Moser
Many artists have set their hand to illustrating children’s books and what better way to catch a child’s attention than with fantastical birds and animals, often doing very human, ordinary things. In this exhibition we see the work of four artists: Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975) with illustrations for Tom Sawyer and Life on the Mississippi; Barry Moser (born 1940) with his imaginative interpretation of Alice in Wonderland; Antonio Frasconi (born 1919) with his distinctive creatures for Aesop’s Fables; and Fritz Eichenberg’s beautifully rendered wood engravings for Edgar Allen Poe’s stories.

All encourage us to see these classic stories in new ways.

This exhibition, curated by Nancy E. Green,
The Gale and Ira Drukier Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Johnson Museum of Art, complements two shows on the Cornell University campus: Wardrobes and Rabbit Holes: A Dark History of Children’s Literature, currently on view in Kroch Library, and Beauties and Beasties in Children’s Book Illustrations which opens February 2 at the Johnson Museum of Art.

Birds, Beasts and Books is displayed in conjunction with the exhibit Animalia in Art curated by Jenny Pope and featuring the work of six local artists who feature wildlife in their art.  An opening reception is being held during Gallery Opening Night on Friday, January 4, 2013.

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