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From Goodnight Moon to Art Dog: The World of Clement, Edith and Thacher Hurd

May 29 - September 5, 2004                     


Calling all children -- from 2 to 102! Come and have fun at the Orlando Museum of Art (OMA) this summer with Art Dog, the Runaway Bunny and other beloved characters from such favorite picture books as "Goodnight Moon," "Runaway Bunny," "Art Dog" and "Mama Don't Allow." From Goodnight Moon to Art Dog: The World of Clement, Edith and Thacher Hurd is on view at the OMA from May 29 through September 5, 2004. This exhibition, which features more than 60 original illustrations by artist/illustrator Clement Hurd and his son artist/author Thacher, is sure to delight audiences of all ages. This is the OMA's first exhibition that focuses on children's literature. 

Among the material included in the exhibition are watercolors, pen and ink sketches, woodcuts, drawings and tempera paintings. Ranging from early sketches to final illustrations, these works provide a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the steps involved in creating a picture book. 

In addition to the original works of art, From Goodnight Moon to Art Dog also includes an inviting reading area to encourage children to discover the joy of reading. In addition, the exhibition features a life-size, bright red "Brushmobile," the special vehicle used by Art Dog during his daring adventures, and a mural-size reproduction of the "great green room" from "Goodnight Moon."


About the Artists

For more than six decades, the Hurd family has delighted children and adults with their stories and illustrations. From the 1930s to the present, they have produced more than 100 children's books, including such classics as "Goodnight Moon," "Runaway Bunny" and "Art Dog." 

Artist/illustrator Clement (1908-1988) and author Edith (1910-1997) Hurd married in 1939 and collaborated on more than 50 books from 1940 to 1985. Clement Hurd began his career as a freelance decorative artist and muralist in the early 1930s before being encouraged by children's author Margaret Wise Brown to take up illustration. His engaging semi-abstract style became world-famous with the publication in 1942 of "Runaway Bunny" and "Goodnight Moon" in 1947 -- collaborations with Brown that became two of the 20th-century's most well known children's books. Among the many works produced by the husband-and-wife team are two of the most popular children's titles of the 1960s, "Johnny Lion's Book" (1965) and "Come and Have Fun" (1962).

Clement and Edith's son Thacher (b. 1949) began his artistic career in fine art before becoming interested in authoring and illustrating children's books. Thacher's artistic style is exuberant, characterized by large bursts of color and busy details. Thacher's entertaining stories engage a wide range of topics, from the rhythm of jazz music in "Mama Don't Allow" (1982) to alien abduction in "Moo Cow Kaboom" (March, 2003). Thacher's most popular titles include "Art Dog" (1997), about a super-hero canine museum security guard, and "Zoom City" (1998), in which dogs hurtle through city streets in high-powered automobiles.

As Jim Horne, commissioner of education, put it, "Essential reading skills can't take a summer vacation."  Research has shown that school-age children can lose one month or more of learning over the summer if they don't spend time reading. Reading throughout the summer helps children retain the information they have gained throughout the year and advance their reading ability. Instill a love of reading at a young age to serve as a foundation for lifelong learning and success.  

This exhibition is organized by the Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont. The Presenting Sponsor is The Grant & Tamia Hill Foundation.

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