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Maurice Sendak exhibit features 'Wild Things' art and the author's script notes

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Mary Altaffer/AP

(Read caption) “I think it’s safe to say that no other private collection touches [this], or even comes close,” Leonard Marcus, a children’s literature historian, said of the exhibit of Maurice Sendak’s work and possessions now open at New York's Museum of American Illustration.

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Soon after what would have been the author’s 85th birthday, an exhibit of writer Maurice Sendak’s work and possessions will open at the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators in New York City.

The show will be open to the public on June 14 and will run through Aug. 17. It includes drawings created for, but not published in, Sendak’s book “Where the Wild Things Are,” furniture designed by Sendak, and some of the author’s notes, among other items.

“I think it’s safe to say that no other private collection touches [this], or even comes close,” Leonard Marcus, a children’s literature historian, said.

One of the attractions in the exhibit drew particular praise from Shelf Awareness writer Jennifer M. Brown. 

“Do not miss the cow sculpture downstairs,” Brown wrote of a piece of artwork which features the faces of Bernard and the other Wild Things of “Where the Wild Things Are.” Beneath the cow is Max, the story’s hero.

Other items include etchings of stone that the writer created as he was designing sets for the Houston Grand Opera’s production of “The Magic Flute.” Also on display are notes he made on a script when he produced a TV special titled “Really Rosie” which was based on several of his books, including “Chicken Soup with Rice.” The TV special was based off the musical of the same name which featured music by Carole King; Sendak took charge of the script and lyrics. 

“Rosie should have look of exaggerated suffering,” he writes in one suggestion.

As part of the exhibit, a catalogue titled “Maurice Sendak: A Celebration of the Artist and His Workhas also been published. Written by Justin G. Schiller and Dennis M.V. David, the curators of the exhibit, it also includes 12 original essays about Sendak penned by writers such as Steven Heller and Iona Opie.


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