Storybook Capital of Texas Hosts Exhibition Dedicated to Garth Williams

As part of a year-long celebration of two decades in existence, the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature of Abilene, Texas, is hosting a summer exhibition dedicated to beloved children’s picture book illustrator Garth Williams (1912-1996).

                                                                                                                                                                                                

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                                                                                                                                                           Showcasing over one hundred works of original art, including preliminary drawings for various children’s books and other drafts, Garth Williams: Illustrator of the Century offers visitors an unexpected glimpse at the work of a perfectionist whose renderings of people, places, and things continue to elicit powerful emotional responses from readers of all ages.


Born in New York City and raised in London, Williams illustrated dozens of now-classic children’s books such as E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little as well as the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. For a while, Williams also illustrated for the New Yorker and various postwar advertising campaigns, which the exhibition explores as well.


“Williams made it all look so easy,” said children’s picture book critic Leonard Marcus. It certainly seems all great masters have that gift.


Garth Williams: Illustrator of the Century is on view at the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature at 12 Cedar Street in Abilene. Why Abliene? The city has spent the last twenty years transforming itself into a mecca for children’s book aficionados. For example, the city touts its impressive collection of outdoor storybook-themed sculptures and regularly hosts children’s literature-centric festivals and events.


More information about the exhibit is available at https://www.nccil.org/.

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