When I heard that the Columbus Museum of Art was going to have a Maurice Sendak exhibit, I knew that I wanted it to be an adventure date. We wanted to go during the week to avoid crowds, but Sundays ended up being our least busy days. So, we got free admission to the museum and only had to pay for the exhibit. This was both wonderful and also a little bit unfortunate. Wonderful to save money (you all saw my create date post, right?), but a little unfortunate that we were there on the most crowded day. Thankfully, the Wild Things Are Happening exhibit was not too crowded and we were able to enjoy that. We can always go back to see the rest of the exhibits (and I’m sure we will).
The exhibit was amazing, encompassing Sendak’s entire body of work and quite a bit about his personal process and life. Some of my favorite highlights follow, but there is so much more that I couldn’t capture or express in this blog post. I know that my favorite discovery was that Sendak would do a process he called Fantasy Sketches. He would put on a piece of classical music an draw a story before the music ended. Here are a couple of examples:
The first is a sketch based on Through the Looking Glass, and the second is called Boy in Ship and contains the very first Where the Wild Things Are sketches. We see the monster that likely became Moishe, the most famous of the Wild Things.
I also loved seeing Little Bear sketches and drawings, especially on the dramatic book cover wall paper.
I was also thrilled to learn that Sendak had designed shows for the stage – posters, sets, curtains. It was amazing (and a little bit scary in the case of the giant Goose of Cairo).
I also enjoyed seeing characters from Sendak’s life, including Really Rosie based on a neighborhood girl, Higglety Pigglety Pop! based on his dog Jennie, art he did based on his partner of 50 years, Dr. Eugene Glynn, and, of course, Mickey Mouse (they were born the same year).
Of course, the thing I enjoyed most was seeing the Where the Wild Things Are section. They had books in different languages, original artwork, movie memorabilia, an even a piece of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon’s eye. My favorite has always been the part where they swing from the trees, so I was really excited to see that. 🙂
All in all, I give this exhibit 5 stars and recommend that everyone goes to see it. At $10 per person admission, it is definitely one of the more affordable adventure dates we have had, and we learned a great deal about one of our favorite illustrators. If you have seen it, or if you end up going, be sure to leave your favorite part in the comments below.