Burton Barr Central Library Celebrates 50 Years of Maurice Sendak

Maurice Senak 02by Nicole Royse
Arts Editor

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Maurice Sendak’s children’s classic, Where the Wild Things Are, The Burton Barr Central Library is bringing the Valley a delightful collection of 50 artworks!

Maurice Sendak is an acclaimed author and illustrator who pioneered the children’s genre. Sendak was primarily a self-taught artist who had an incredible career spanning over 60 years, producing more than 100 books! 50 Years of Maurice Sendak: Where the Wild Things Are is a whimsical and amusing collection of art that is prominently displayed on the second floor of the library.

The Burton Barr Central Library is architecturally stunning and not to mention offers incredible city views providing great natural light, the perfect backdrop for this exhibition. An eclectic selection of artwork is showcased along three wall displays highlighting sketches, pencil drawings, watercolors, original illustrations, and even a bronze sculpture!

Through his artwork viewers are able to see this fantastic book and others through Sendak’s eyes offering a glimpse of his process and genius. A bit of history and insight to this author and his illustrations are presented through quotes from celebrities, the president, and others which cap off the exhibition. Exploring the animation cells as well as his earlier magazine work help to better illustrate the creative magic that Sendak possessed. Displayed along with the artwork are several publications by Sendak, inviting patrons to sit and read some of these beloved children’s classics.

This exhibition has been traveling across the country to libraries and museums since 2013 celebrating and sharing Sendak and his enchanting work. The Friends of the Phoenix Public Library, Mercy Care Plan, Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care, and AFA NYC generously sponsored this exhibition. More info can be found here. Special activities are planned throughout the remaining weeks of the exhibition and can be found online on the Phoenix Library Calendar here.

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