June 2015 | Rebecca Rego Barry

The Art of Fred Marcellino on Exhibit

On June 30, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts, will open A Renaissance Man: The Art of Fred Marcellino. Faithful readers of FB&C will recall our 2012 feature on Marcellino, a book jacket designer turned children's book author and illustrator. The Carle's exhibit will showcase 90 pieces that span Marcellino's career, from early works of Abstract Expressionism and album covers to the sketches he finished just before his death in 2001.

Marcellino's most famous book covers include Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities, Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, and Anne Tyler's The Accidental Tourist. Having acquainted myself with Marcellino's style, I picked up a copy of Tobias Wolff's Back in the World, correctly guessing that he had designed its jacket, featuring a cool, blue, empty swimming pool with a bicycle parked at the bottom. (Original art for the jackets Marcellino designed has been spotted at auction, too.)

Marcellino.jpgIn special focus at the Carle exhibit will be the original art for Puss in Boots (1990; seen above), Marcellino's first attempt at picture book illustration, which won a Caldecott Honor. He went on to illustrate Hans Christian Andersen's The Steadfast Tin Soldier (1992) and E.B. White's The Trumpet of the Swan (2000). He also wrote and illustrated I, Crocodile (1999).  

A Renaissance Man will be up through October 25.

Illustration © 1990 by Fred Marcellino. Courtesy of the Eric Carle Picture Book Museum. 
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