The Eric Carle Museum Presents: Eighty Years of Caldecott Books

LOBEL.jpgAmherst, MA--The Caldecott Medal, an annual award bestowed upon "the most distinguished American picture book for children," is one of the most prestigious prizes in children's literature. Next month, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the distinguished award in the exhibition Eighty Years of Caldecott Books, on view December 12, 2017 through May 13, 2018.

First conferred in 1938, the Caldecott Medal is named in honor of nineteenth-century British illustrator Randolph Caldecott, acknowledged as the father of the modern picture book for his lively drawing style and sense of humor. Each year the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)--a division of the American Library Association--selects the fifteen members that form the Caldecott committee. This group reads, critiques, and discusses hundreds of picture books before voting on a winner.

Eighty Years of Caldecott Books presents a chronological look at the winning titles from 1938 to the present. It also represents The Carle's first book-focused exhibition. "While we always have books available for visitors to read in our galleries, the books in this exhibition are the art objects themselves. As first editions, they are valuable historical artifacts," says Ellen Keiter, the Museum's chief curator. Keiter organized the exhibition with Barbara Elleman, former editor-in-chief of Book Links, published by the American Library Association and, Distinguished Scholar of Children's Literature at Marquette University. While these rare books cannot be handled, guests will be able to read copies available in the Museum's Reading Library.

The exhibition will change on February 12, 2018 when the ALSC announces the winner of the 2018 Caldecott Medal and a new book is added to the display. In the interim, guests can cast their votes in the gallery for the book they believe should win the coveted honor. Online visitors to the Museum's website can vote too. 

"Eighty Years of Caldecott Books is a celebration of artistic achievement," says Keiter. "We have included original illustrations from several winning titles, many drawn from The Carle's permanent collection." On view are three artworks by Marcia Brown, one from each of her three Caldecott Medal books: Cinderella, or The Little Glass Slipper (1955), Once a Mouse (1962) and Shadow (1983). [Brown won an unprecedented three Caldecott Medals, a feat matched only by David Wiesner.] The other artists and artworks on display are: Ed Emberley, Drummer Hoff (1968), Uri Shulevitz, The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship (1969), Arnold Lobel, Fables (1981), Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express (1986), David Macaulay, Black and White (1991), Emily Arnold McCully, Mirette on the High Wire (1993), Paul O. Zelinsky, Rapunzel (1998), Simms Taback, Joseph Had a Little Overcoat (2000), Mordicai Gerstein, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (2004), and Javaka Steptoe, Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (2017). 

PROGRAMMING:

The Best of the Best in 2017 

December 16, 11:00am 

Free with Museum Admission 

In anticipation of the 2018 American Library Association Book & Media Awards, including the Newbery and Caldecott Medals and the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, join Susan Bloom and Cathryn M. Mercier from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College as they share their favorite books of the past year.

Meet Javaka Steptoe 

December 16, 1:00pm 

Free with Museum Admission

Artist and author Javaka Steptoe won the 2017 Caldecott Medal for his book, Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Hear Steptoe discuss his research and art for Radiant Child, and what his year has been like following a Caldecott win.

Book signing to follow program. Can't make it to the event? You may reserve signed books online or contact The Carle Bookshop at shop@carlemuseum.org.

Randolph Caldecott: The Man Who Could Not Stop Drawing

with children's book historian, author, and critic Leonard S. Marcus              

April 7, 2018, 1:00pm 

Free with Museum Admission

This illustrated talk introduces the sly, fun-loving Victorian whose kinetic drawing style and keen feeling for life culminated in the invention of an art form the world has come to embrace: the children's picture book. Celebrate this true original as the American Library Association marks the 80th anniversary of the coveted prize named for him: the Randolph Caldecott Medal.

The 8th Annual Barbara Elleman Research Library (BERL) Lecture 

Celebrating the Caldecott: The stories behind some of the great Caldecott Medal and Honor Books with editor, author, and scholar Anita Silvey

Saturday, April 28, 2:00 pm 

Free with Museum Admission

The Barbara Elleman Research Library (BERL) Lecture is an annual event featuring the country's preeminent scholars, book collectors, researchers, editors, authors, and illustrators in the field of children's literature.

About The Carle

The mission of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. A leading advocate in its field, 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 Carle and his wife, the late Barbara Carle, co-founded the Museum in November 2002. Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Since opening, the 43,000-square foot facility has served more than 750,000 visitors, including 50,000 schoolchildren. The Carle houses more than 11,000 objects, including 7,300 permanent collection illustrations. The Carle has 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 and Master's degree programs in children's literature with Simmons College. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm. 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) 559-6300 or visit the Museum's website at

www.carlemuseum.org

Image: Arnold Lobel, Illustration for Fables [Harper & Row, 1980]. Gift of Adrianne and Adam Lobel (The Estate of Arnold Lobel). © 1980 Arnold Lobel.

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