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Storybook Stars: Illustrations from the Mazza Collection


A new exhibition featuring approximately 75 enchanting original illustrations for children’s books opens Oct. 9, 2009, at the Toledo Museum of Art.


Storybook Stars: Award-Winning Illustrations from the Mazza Collection will be shown through Jan. 31, 2010 in the Works on Paper Galleries. Admission to both the Museum and the exhibition is free.

The new exhibit features works produced over the past 50 years by such celebrated artists as Maurice Sendak, Eric Carle, Arnold Lobel, and Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss). All of the works have been honored with well-known (as well as lesser-known) honors, ranging from the Hans Christian Andersen International and Caldecott medals to the Coretta Scott King and Ohioana Book awards.

Arnold Lobel
(American, 1933-1987),
Frog and Toad Together
Watercolor, pen and ink, and graphite, 1970. From the collection of The Dr. Jerry J. Mallett Institute's Mazza Museum, The University of Findlay.


All but three illustrations were selected from more than 3,000 works in the collection of the Dr. Jerry J. Mallett Institute’s Mazza Museum at the University of Findlay. Founded in 1982, the Mazza is the largest teaching museum devoted to literacy and the art of children’s picture books. The three illustrations not from the Mazza Museum are by artist Mo Williams, who loaned his works for display.


Edward T. Hill, together with Benjamin E. Sapp, director of the Mazza Museum, and Jerry J. Mallett, curator and founder of the Mazza Museum, took on the daunting task of choosing which award-winning book illustrations to include.


Hill, the works on paper assistant at the Toledo Museum of Art, said the organizers sought to present culturally diverse stories, a variety of artistic styles and techniques, and something about the process involved in creating art for books.


He noted, “In addition to the original art, examples of many of the published books are part of the exhibition. This gives visitors an opportunity to compare the artists’ original work with the final rendition,” he explained.


Along the same lines, Hill said the exhibit includes some storyboards and a dummy book (a workup of the final book before printing) to show the progression of work leading up to publication. Because the exhibit is expected to appeal to all ages, the illustrations are hung slightly lower than normal, making them somewhat easier for children to view, he added.






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