This past weekend I had the great honor of speaking at the Mazza Museum's Summer Institute. And I really mean it when I say honor, because it truly was. I had always heard great things about the Mazza Museum but have never been there before. It is quite a haven for children's book illustrators and anyone who loves children's book art. I had a lovely time, my only gripe being that I had to speak after the eloquent, entertaining and super talented Brian Pinkney:
who also played the drums! Not fair!
But I was able to soothe my nerves by getting immersed in the incredible art in the museum. I was just astounded by the collection, and the museum could only show a tiny fraction of it.
They let me see their high tech storage area and the art just goes on and on. It's amazing.
Because the art they have is quite priceless. For example, original art by HR Rey:
and originals from Madeleine:
As I was walking through the museum, I was filled with such gratitude that a place like this exists. A place that preserves and treasures children's book art for the art it is.
My other favorite part of the museum is the hallway. I know that seems weird, but they are making the hallway into a tile wall with tiles by children's illustrators such as:
my favorite illustrator Elisa Kleven
and good friend (and great artist!) Mary Newell DePalma.
I think art schools that teach children's book illustration should have field trips here! I regret not seeing all of this when I was in school. However, at least now I have my next trip to the Mazza Museum to look forward to.