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Greenwich's Bruce Museum Exhibit Explores Animals In Children's Art

“North American Black Bear,” 2012, from Wild About Bears
“North American Black Bear,” 2012, from Wild About Bears Photo Credit: Jeannie Brett
The Raccoon and the Ladybug, 2015
The Raccoon and the Ladybug, 2015 Photo Credit: Brendan Wenzel

GREENWICH, Conn. – The Bruce Museum in Greenwich offers a new adventure into the world of animals beginning Saturday, March 26 when the exhibition “Wild Reading: Animals in Children’s Book Art” opens.

Through more than 30 contemporary and historic illustrations, the show explores the colorful lives of wild animals, both realistic and exaggerated. Original works by artists such as Quentin Blake (illustrator of books by Roald Dahl and others), Eric Carle, Wendell Minor, Maurice Sendak and others demonstrate the wide range of styles and visual elements used in children’s literature – from color, line and shape to texture and composition.

A highlight of this exhibition will be taxidermy specimens including a fox, groundhog, rabbit, chipmunk, squirrel, raccoon, birds and insects from the museum’s natural history collection, which will be paired with their illustrated counterparts. Comparisons drawn between the illustrations and specimens address the characteristics that make each animal unique and the artistic techniques used to emphasize these features. For example, a mounted gray wolf will be matched with John Hassall’s original 1926 drawing of Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf from “Mother Goose's Book of Nursery Stories, Rhymes and Fables,” while the museum’s black bear associates with Fred Banbery’s “Paddington Bear” and more naturalistic illustrations by Jeannie Brett and Carin Berger.

An accompanying family gallery guide and family day will foster cross-generational experiences for museum visitors of all ages.

“Wild Reading: Animals in Children’s Book Art,” which is curated by Bruce Museum staff members Kathleen Holko and Mia Laufer, will be on view at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich through Sunday, July 3.

The Bruce Museum is located at 1 Museum Drive, Greenwich.

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