Together again 2021

The Horn Book editors have been together exactly twice since March 2020: at Katie Bircher's beautiful wedding; and last week (masked and vaxxed), when we saw the magnificent special exhibit Paper Stories, Layered Dreams: The Art of Ekua Holmes at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts (we just missed her next-day, in-person visit to the museum with her Dream Street book collaborator -- and cousin! -- author Tricia Elam Walker). 

On view through January 24, 2022, the exhibit consists of original artwork from Holmes's Boston Globe-Horn Book, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King Book Award, and Sibert-honored picture books, along with portraits, collages, three-dimensional installations, a documentary video, and more.

A longtime community-arts leader, mentor, and activist, Holmes worked with teen curators (through the MFA's Curatorial Study Hall program) who wrote insightful text introducing the exhibit and accompanying the picture-book art.

Post-exhibit, we had a surprise (semi)retirement lunch for our beloved outgoing Editor in Chief Roger Sutton, but that's a story for another day -- and we'll be continuing to celebrate Roger, with your help, after the new year (here's a preview). 

Thanks to Meghan Melvin and Sarah Drumm from the MFA for coordinating our visit. Exhibition curator Melvin also curated Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic, which we visited in 2018

...and she co-curated (with Friend of the Horn Book H. Nichols B. Clark, Founding Executive Director of the Ashley Bryan Center and Director and Chief Curator Emeritus of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art -- go visit!) the exhibit Animals Are Us: Anthropomorphism in Children's Literature at the Houghton Library at Harvard University (though January 7, 2022, but closed until after the new year).

The exhibit is neatly arranged by theme, including historical and contemporary book examples: Beginnings, Fables, Innovation, Adaptation, Endurance, Rhymes, Literacy, and Controversy. And...what's up there on the wall? To the left of the original Sendak art? Why, it's the fabled Beatrix Potter letter handwritten and printed in The Horn Book in May 1941! 

Salley Mavor's traveling exhibit Bedtime Stitches is at the New England Quilt Museum through December 31. And the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, MA, with its extensive original illustration collection, is a short drive from the Carle Museum. There lots to find online, too -- see Grace Lin-curated Asians, Everyday for the Carle, for example -- if geography, COVID, and everything else are keeping you away. 

All photos by Cindy Ritter unless otherwise indicated.

Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is acting editor in chief / executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons University and a BA from Oberlin College.

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