Author and children's picture book historian Leonard Marcus recently curated an exhibition at the Pratt Institute's Manhattan Gallery that celebrates the art of children's literature as well as the influence two major New York institutions have had on the creation of picture books over the past eight decades. Marcus also curated the New York Public Library's The ABC of It in 2014, which explored why children's picture books matter.
The current show features books and original artwork created by alumni and faculty from both the Pratt Institute and the Bank Street College of Education. The Odyssey: A Pop-Up Book (Sterling, 2011) illustrated by Pratt graduate and paper engineer Sam Ita, and The Noisy Book (1939) by Bank Street Writer's Lab member Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Caldecott Medal winner (and Pratt alumnus) Leonard Weisgard are just two of the seventy books, manuscripts, and illustrations dating from the 1930s through today that demonstrate the literature of children's picture books and the dedication of those who create them.
Margaret Wise Brown. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
As an interactive component, Pratt commissioned an art student to create a children's reading room dubbed the Noisy Room, where young visitors may relax and read copies of the books on display. An adjoining pop-up shop offers books for purchase as well.
"The Picture Book Reimagined: The Children's Book Legacy of Pratt Institute and Bank Street College of Education" runs now through Sept. 15.
Pratt Manhattan Gallery, 144 W. 14th St., 2nd Fl.