Friday, September 2, 2011

Maurice Sendak's Work Preserved at Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia

Original drawings, papers and memorabilia from the prolific life of famed illustrator Maurice Sendak are maintained in a little known museum and library in Philadelphia, PA. The Rosenbach Museum and Library is the sole repository of Sendak's original artwork and a foremost authority on all things Sendak. Sendak chose the Rosenbach to be the permanent home of his work in the early 1970s thanks to shared literary and collecting interests. The Rosenbach's Sendak collection is the largest collection of Sendakiana in the world, with over 10,000 preliminary sketches, final drawings, manuscripts, books, and ephemera.

The Rosenbach Museum and Library Traveling Exhibitions Coordinator, Patrick Rodgers (left), has created a traveling exhibit (right) highlighting Sendak's work that is currently at the Rohrbach Library on the campus of Kutztown University of Pennsylvania through Ocotber 14, 2011. As a result of his research into the collection of Sendak's work, Rodgers has collected numerous anecdotes and video conversations with Sendak in his home in Connecticut.

In addition to Sendak's original illustrations, the Rosenbach collection includes James Joyce’s manuscript for Ulysses and:
• Bram Stoker: notes and outlines for Dracula;
• George Washington: more than one hundred personal letters;
• Lewis Carroll: more than 600 letters, his rarest photographs, books, and more;
• William Blake: original drawings and books;
• Cervantes: an extremely rare copy of the first edition of Don Quixote and documents in Cervantes’s hand;
• Phillis Wheatley: first editions of the first book published by an African American;
• Thomas Jefferson: an inventory of his slaves;
• Charles Dickens: the largest surviving portions of the manuscripts for Pickwick Papers and Nicholas Nickleby;
• Joseph Conrad: manuscripts for two-thirds of his literary works, including Lord Jim, Nostromo, and The Secret Agent;
• Mercedes de Acosta: letters, photographs, and ephemera relating to cinema and lesbian history;
• Dylan Thomas: the manuscript and typescript for Under Milk Wood;
• Girolomo da Carpi: more than 150 drawings from his Roman sketchbook;
• Fragonard: original drawings for Orlando Furioso;
• George Cruikshank: over 4,000 caricatures and book illustrations, many of them signed;
• Samuel Yellin: a pair of elaborate grillwork doors; over a dozen drawings.

Click on the heading above to see an interview with Sendak produced by the Rosenbach Museum and Library.

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