Greenville County Museum of Art

Greenville, SC



David Wiesner at Greenville County Museum of Art


Enter a fantastical world of flying frogs and leaves that mutate softly into animals at the Greenville County Museum of Art this fall, as author and artist David Wiesner is featured in the Museum's annual exhibition of children's book illustration, on view through January 7, 2001. (left: Except for the Peppers)

A New Jersey native, David Wiesner began drawing as a child, copying pictures from action comics and Mad Magazine when he was in grade school. He studied art as a young adult at the Rhode Island School of Design, where he began developing a storytelling technique that relies on pictures alone, using words sparingly, if at all. His picture books are filled with the result of that effort: cool and precise watercolors establish storyline and challenge the imagination of young readers.

Wiesner is perhaps best known for the visual storytelling in Tuesday, a nearly wordless book which won the Caldecott Medal in 1932 and was named a "Notable Children's Book" by the American Library Association. The exhibition, which takes its title from Tuesday, includes watercolors, a pencil drawing, and an unfired clay sculpture telling this story of frogs that levitate from a pond one Tuesday evening, soaring around town until they fall to the ground at sunrise. But, we are told, there is more excitement in store for Tuesdays to come.

Organized by the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature, the exhibition also includes works from Free Fall, June 23, Sector 7, Hurricane, and Night of the Gargoyles. Free Fall, another Caldecott winner, takes us on a magical journey of free association: the checkerboard bed quilt segues into a landscape, chess pieces fade into animated creatures, and trees morph into books. It is a concept Wiesner first explored as a design school student, when he created a ten-foot long painting he called an experiment in metamorphosis. Sector 7 is the story of a boy who makes friends with a cloud during a visit to the Empire State Building, beginning a charming journey that takes him to a "cloud dispatch center" that has all the trappings of a whimsical Penn Station.

June 23, Night of the Gargoyles, and Hurricane make greater use of the written word, but the visuals that awaken the stories are key features in the exhibition. In June 23, we're treated to images of giant avocados in Vermont and rutabagas over New York City, the result of a child's science experiment run amok. Night of the Gargoyles, created with author Eve Bunting, is the imaginative story of stone gargoyles that escape from their inanimate lives to roam their cities. Hurricane is an autobiographical tale in which a tree felled by a storm serves as a ship that carries two boys to high adventure.

Read more about the Greenville County Museum of Art in Resource Library Magazine

This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 4/6/11

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