01 May 2016 12:00 AM | Deleted user

For my blog posts in May, I will be featuring two unusual museums which focus on different aspects of the art of the book. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is an intimate, light filled space located across from the Hampshire College campus in Amherst, MA whose mission is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books.

It is a museum that invites interaction and exploration of the elements of picture book art with energy, engagement and excitement. This is achieved by including much more than just the final polished, framed artwork which are reproduced in the books. The visitor’s experience is more of an immersion into the artist’s creative process and a window into their practice in shaping the book experience.

Over the last few years, I have seen some very inspiring exhibits of picture book artists, including Leo Lionni, Eric Carle, Uri Shulevitz, Leonard Weisgard and William Pene du Bois. Besides featuring the original artwork used for their picture books, the exhibits also may include storyboards, sketches and different versions of pages by the artist revealing aspects of the development of the book as a whole. One is able to gain some insight into how the artist worked through the flow of images, the composition and interaction of text and image, and the building of page spreads for some of the books. I have also seen color separations (acetate layers), color testing and revisions, and sheets with printing instructions which shed light on the complexities of the process of developing and finalizing the art of the picture book. Some examples from the current exhibitions are shown below.

Final illustrations for “WHAM! The dogcatcher’s wagon upset a wheelbarrow where two men were building a house.” And “SMASH! The dogcatcher’s wagon ran into a junk dealer’s cart.”
Down Huckleberry Hill by Leonard Weisgard.

Final illustration for “Father played his recorder for her.”
The Sick Day by Patricia MacLachlan. Illustration by William Pène du Bois.

Final illustration for “What big teeth you have…”
Little Red Riding Hood by William Pène du Bois.

(All photos by the author, courtesy of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA.)

One of the galleries usually has an in-depth exhibit on Eric Carle’s early work and the development of his signature style and mixed media/collage techniques that are now so familiar from The Hungry Caterpillar and his many other works.

The Carle museum offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy. It houses an art studio (which has a full shelf of resources for book art related projects for all ages), a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries (with a full collection of Caldecott winners), and educational programs for families, scholars, educators, and schoolchildren. They also offer professional training for educators around the country and four onsite graduate programs in Children's Literature in collaboration with Simmons College (see for more information.)

Exhibitions in May include:

A Taste for Adventure: The Art of William Pène du Bois ends May 1, 2016

Magician of the Modern: The Art of Leonard Weisgard exhibit continues through June 5, 2016.

The Art of Eric Carle: Hide and Seek exhibit continues through August 28, 2016.

Louis Darling: Drawing the Words of Beverley Cleary is showing from May 17- June 5, 2016.

Additional information on the exhibitions, programs, events and educational workshops can be found at the museum website


  • 11 Nov 2019 9:42 PM | Anonymous
    College book association and artillery are here for the establishment and opening for the students. The hoisting of the books and is marked for the judgment. The variety of books is loved and liked for the use of the officials for students. the material of the book is parent and present for the strict audience for the formation of the terms for all new pupils in the college.
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