OMAHA, NB.- The Joslyn Art Museum presents A David Small World, on view through May 24, 2009. David Small's artistic gifts were obvious quite early to his parents and teachers. He began drawing at the age of two and later took art lessons at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Being at the Institute, wandering through the galleries and absorbing the art there, including murals by Diego Rivera, had a profound effect on him. As a child, he decorated the walls of the family basement with murals and in school he became known as "the kid who could draw good".
With an MFA from Yale, Small taught college-level art for many years. Approaching tenure, he wrote and illustrated a picture book, Eulalie and the Hopping Head, which was published in 1981. Tenure at the college did not follow, though many picture books did, as well as extensive work for national magazines and newspapers such as The New Yorker and The New York Times. Today Small has illustrated over 40 picture books, and he has won many of the top awards accorded to illustration, including the 1997 Caldecott Honor for The Gardener and the 2001 Caldecott Medal for So, You Want to Be President?.
A David Small World presents more than 60 original artworks in watercolor, pen and ink, and pastel. Eighteen books are represented, including Eulalie and the Hopping Head; Imogene's Antlers; Paper John; Ruby Mae Has Something to Say; George Washington's Cows; Fenwick's Suit; The Christmas Crocodile; So, You Want to Be President?; The Mouse and His Child; The Friend; So, You Want to Be An Inventor?; So, You Want to Be An Explorer; My Senator and Me; and Once Upon a Banana. Four titles Small created in partnership with his wife are in the exhibition: The Money Tree, The Library, The Gardener, and The Journey.
A copy of each of the books featured in the exhibition will be available in the gallery for visitors to browse. Many of David Small's books are available for purchase in Joslyn's Hitchcock Museum Shop. A video of the artist talking about his work will be on continuous loop in the gallery.
This exhibition was organized by The National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature, Abilene, Texas. In Omaha, A David Small World is sponsored by
Rachael and Ken Moreano.