PHILADELPHIA, PA.- The Rosenbach Museum & Library will present Theres a Mystery There: Sendak on Sendak from May 6, 2008 through May 3, 2009. This major retrospective of over 130 pieces pulled from the museums vast Maurice Sendak collection the biggest collection of Sendakiana in the world is the largest and most ambitious exhibition of Sendaks work ever created and will feature original artwork, rare sketches, never-before-seen working materials and exclusive interview footage. The exhibition will draw on a total of over 300 objects, with new works on display every four months, providing a unique experience with each set of illustrations.
Sendak, famed author and illustrator of Where the Wild Things Are and 108 other books, once praised Herman Melvilles writings, saying, Theres a mystery there, a clue, a nut, a bolt, and if I put it together, I find me. The Rosenbach invites visitors to discover the mystery and magic of Sendaks work for themselves with an exhibition that unveils an intimate portrait of a masterful storyteller engaging with challenging themes such as childhood anxiety, war, poverty, and the Holocaust.
The Rosenbach Museum & Library is located at 2008-2010 Delancey Place in Philadelphia and is open Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and groups of 10 or more, $5 for students and children ages 5-18, and free for children under 5. For more information, please call (215) 732-1600 or visit www.rosenbach.org. After completing its Philadelphia run in May 2009, this exhibition will travel to three other American venues over the next several years.
Programs and events such as the Sendak in Spring festival, gallery talks, a teacher workshop, and a celebration in honor of Sendaks 80th birthday will complement the exhibition throughout the spring and summer of 2008 (see below for a list of scheduled events and programs).
Theres a Mystery There will take visitors on a tour through Sendaks prolific imagination by exploring the characters, influences and settings of his richest stories, as well as his quest to illustrate what he calls the Other Story, the hidden meanings of a text. From his simplest sketches to his most complex books, visitors will confront the most poignant, humorous and haunting aspects of Sendaks work throughout four galleries and two floors of the historic house and museum the Rosenbachs largest exhibition to date.
To better understand the complexities of Sendaks creative identity over his 60-year career, visitors will be able to access new interview footage with the artist via touch-screen panels in each gallery. These interviews and Sendaks original art will take visitors through his unique vision of illustrating and his mental landscape of influences that range from Herman Melville and William Blake, to family photographs and the nightly news. The exhibition will trace his origins and impact as a storyteller while treating visitors to rare stories of the artists own life, work and inspirations.
Maurice Sendak chose the Rosenbach to be the repository for his work in the early 1970s thanks to shared literary and collecting interests. His collection of nearly 10,000 works of art, manuscripts, books and ephemera, has been the subject of many exhibitions and has been enjoyed by visitors of all ages. One of the most famous creators of contemporary children's books, Maurice Sendaks work has challenged the norms of children's literature over time and continues to entrance both children and adults to this day. His innovative techniques and honest portrayal of childhood emotion are celebrated worldwide and have earned him several prestigious honors, including the Caldecott Book Medal (1964), the international Hans Christian Andersen Medal (1970), the National Medal of Arts (1996), a Library of Congress "Living Legend" medal (2000), and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for Literature (2003).