Educational Programs | February 28, 2012

Eric Carle Museum to Celebrate Tenth Anniversary

[February 28, 2012, Amherst] In November 2012, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, will kick off its 10th anniversary with a year of special events, including parties, exhibitions, festivals, professional workshops, and family activities. The Carle, which opened its doors November 22, 2002, has become a major cultural resource in its young life, drawing more than a half million visitors from around the world and engaging audiences of all ages in picture books.
“Our founders, Eric and Barbara Carle, dreamed of creating a museum that would celebrate picture books and inspire a love of art and reading,” says Alexandra Kennedy, executive director. “We’re very proud of the many ways the Museum has fulfilled that mission. In just ten years The Carle has become a vital center for artists, writers, teachers, librarians, scholars, and families — a place where important conversations about the future of art, books, and education happen every day.”
On November 10, 2012 the Museum will host its anniversary launch party, inviting back the many renowned artists who have exhibited their work in its galleries. The evening will include tours of Iconic Images: Ten Years of Collecting, the first major exhibition drawing on the Carle’s permanent collection of more than 10,000 illustrations. Guests will have a chance to view works by William Steig, Ludwig Bemelmans, Maurice Sendak, and many more. The other special exhibitions on view will be Eric Carle’s Independent Art — a look beyond his famous book illustration — and an exhibition of the work of British artist Lucy Cousins and her beloved Maisy character. Other exhibitions slated for the anniversary year include Garth Williams’s rarely viewed original drawings from Charlotte’s Web and a major exhibition of work by Mo Willems.
The night’s event will include the debut of a bronze Very Hungry Caterpillar commemorative maquette created by renowned sculptor Nancy Schön. Best known for her “Make Way for Ducklings” sculpture at the Boston Public Garden, Schön is offering the maquettes for sale throughout the Museum’s anniversary year and contributing all profits to The Carle.
All events are in the planning stage and dates are subject to change.
June 9, 2012: Children’s Family Book Festival: Baseball Bonanza and press announcement for the year of anniversary events
October 2012: Educator Night with Speaker Howard Gardner, plus anniversary year
information for attending teachers and librarians
November 10, 2012: Anniversary Kick-off Party with Eric Carle and Friends, including tours of two new exhibitions, Beyond Books: The Independent Art of Eric Carle and Iconic Images: 10 Years of Collecting
December 11, 2012: Some Book! Some Art!: Selected Drawings by Garth Williams for Charlotte’s Web exhibition opens
March 2013: Study Tour of the Early Childhood Centers of Pistoia, Italy with Museum Educators
March 12, 2013: Latino Folk Tales: Cuentos Populares - Art by Latino Artists
June 8, 2013: Children’s Book Festival celebrating The Carle’s 10th anniversary and its
community of artists
June 22, 2013: Seriously Silly: A Decade of Art & Whimsy by Mo Willems exhibition opens
October 2013: Educator Night
November 2013: Anniversary closing ceremony
The mission for The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading in young children through picture books. The only full-scale museum of its kind in the United States, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture book illustrations from around the world. In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books and their art form, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy.
Eric and Barbara Carle founded the Museum in November 2002. Eric Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Since opening, the 40,000-foot facility has served more than half a million visitors, including 30,000 schoolchildren. Its extensive resources include a collection of more than 10,000 picture book illustrations, three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries, and educational programs for families, scholars, educators, and schoolchildren. Educational offerings include professional training for educators around the country. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 12 noon to 5 p.m. Open Mondays in July and August and during MA school vacation weeks. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children under 18, and $22.50 for a family of four. For further information and directions, call 413-658-1100 or visit the Museum’s website at
The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art: By the Numbers
Since it’s opening, The Carle has hosted more than a half-million visitors from around the world, including 30,0000 school children.

The Museum has more than 1,500 paid members, both local and international, from Amherst to Australia.

The Carle is home to three major sculptures: Imaginary Garden by Leo Lionni, Tome by Tom Patti, and The Red Elephant by Mo Willems.

The Carle’s permanent collection includes more than 10,000 illustrations from major picture book artists, including works from William Steig, Ludwig Bemelmans, and Maurice Sendak.

Since its inception, The Carle has created more than 50 exhibitions, highlighting work by such iconic figures as Beatrix Potter, Dr. Seuss, and A.A. Milne. Many of the exhibitions have traveled throughout the U.S. as well as to Europe and Asia, providing museums everywhere the opportunity to introduce young audiences to the importance of picture book art.

Family friendly programming includes more than 300 special programs a year, including art-making classes, films, story times, book signings with artists and writers, and live theater and music performances.

Since opening, The Carle has engaged more than 5,000 teachers and librarians in workshops and lectures that encourage arts integration and early literacy.

Simmons College and The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art offer four graduate programs in children's literature at The Carle: M.A. in Children's Literature, M.F.A. in Writing for Children, M.A. in Children's Literature/M.F.A. in Writing for Children, M.A. in Children's Literature/M.S. in Library Science.

The Carle opens its doors to the clients of more than 100 local agencies serving at risk families and children. In 2011 the Museum received its first National Endowment for The Arts grant, providing arts and literacy programs to second graders at a Title One school in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

The Carle proudly supports the efforts of established and up and coming artists and authors. Since opening, more than 500 of them have signed books and presented their books, art, and art-making at the Museum.

The Carle regularly collaborates with the five colleges in its region — Smith, Amherst, Mt Holyoke, Hampshire and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst — through academic courses and through Museums10, a consortium of area museums including those from all five colleges. The Museum also partners with Smith College’s Department of Education and the world-renowned early childhood educators of Pistoia, Italy, to create exciting educational opportunities for teachers.