The Walt Disney Family Museum Presents Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons

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The Walt Disney Family Museum, an interactive museum in San Francisco, will be presenting a special 50th anniversary exhibition featuring the work of legendary author and illustrator, Maurice Sendak. The special exhibition is on view in San Francisco for six weeks.

Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons will be on display at The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco from May 23 to July 7, 2013

Perhaps no one has done as much to show the power of the written word on children, not to mention on their parents, as Maurice Sendak

From May 23 to July 7, 2013, The Walt Disney Family Museum presents the special exhibition Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons, featuring 50 works by the legendary author and illustrator, accompanied by 50 statements from celebrities, authors, and noted personalities on the influence of Sendak’s work. These works will be on display at The Walt Disney Family Museum, an interactive museum in San Francisco, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sendak’s universally revered book, Where the Wild Things Are.

The art exhibition includes 50 original works from Where the Wild Things Are in a variety of mediums including sketches, illustrations, and works on paper, and showcases highlights from Sendak’s career and the diverse art forms in which he was renowned. Many of the works are from private collections and friends of the artist, offering a survey of his range as an artist and author. It is widely known that Sendak decided to become an illustrator at the young age of 12 after watching Disney’s film Fantasia (1940) and amassed a collection of Mickey Mouse and other Disney memorabilia throughout his lifetime.

From children’s literature, animated films, and textbooks to Broadway and opera, Sendak garnered worldwide acclaim for his genius and insight. Among the contributing commentators to the exhibition are playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner, comedian Stephan Colbert, artist Robert Crumb, director Spike Jonze, President Barack Obama, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, actor/director Tom Hanks, and author Lemony Snicket. Other notable figures have also offered warm words and memories when describing Sendak and his legacy. Former President Bill Clinton says, “Perhaps no one has done as much to show the power of the written word on children, not to mention on their parents, as Maurice Sendak.” Bonnie Erickson, Executive Director of The Jim Henson Legacy shares, “Early collaborations on Sesame Street and a shared appreciation for the inventive possibilities of monsters launched a life-long relationship between Jim Henson and Maurice Sendak, infused with imaginative thinking, daring creativity, and their mutual admiration for the expansive world view of children.”

About Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak has illustrated more than one hundred picture books throughout his 60-year career. Some of his best known books include Chicken Soup with Rice, Where the Wild Things Are, and In the Night Kitchen. Born in Brooklyn in 1928 to Jewish immigrant parents from northern Poland, Sendak grew up idolizing the storytelling abilities of his father, Philip, and his big brother, Jack—as a child he illustrated his first stories on shirt cardboard provided by his tailor-father. Aside from a few night classes in art after graduating high school, Sendak is a largely self-taught artist. Throughout his career, he has taken characters, stories, and inspirations from his among his own neighbors, family, pop culture, historical sources, and long-held childhood memories. Sendak began a second career as a costume and stage designer in the late 1970s, designing operas by Mozart, Prokofiev, Ravel, and Tchaikovsky, among others. He has won numerous awards as both an artist and illustrator, including a Caldecott Award, a Newberry Medal, the international Hans Christian Andersen Award, a National Book Award, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, and a National Medal of Arts. His books continue to be read by millions of children and adults and have been translated into dozens of languages and enjoyed all over the world.

About The Walt Disney Family Museum

The Walt Disney Family Museum presents the fascinating story and achievements of Walt Disney, the man who raised animation to an art form, transformed the film industry, tirelessly pursued innovation, and created a global and distinctively American legacy. Opened in October 2009, the 40,000 square foot animation museum features the newest technology and historic materials and artifacts to bring Disney’s achievements to life, with interactive galleries that include early drawings and animation, movies, music, listening stations, a spectacular model of Disneyland and much more. The Walt Disney Museum is open Wednesdays through Monday from 10 am to 6 pm.

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Andi Wang
Walt Disney Family Museum
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