The first-ever exhibition to celebrate the extraordinary heritage of children’s books created in northern New England. Imagine That! The Power of Picture Books. Featuring original artwork by over thirty illustrators, a bookmaking station, play space, toy theater and reading nook! Open to the public daily fromMay 6 through September 25, 2022, at Discover Portsmouth. Admission is free to children under 18, military, those over 70 and Society members; $10 for adults. First Fridays are free to everyone. The ticket price includes admission to the John Paul Jones House Museum.
Guest curator Nina Maurer has assembled a collection of stellar illustrations from children’s picture books, by beloved illustrators, including Maxfield Parrish, N. C. Wyeth, Robert McCloskey (Make Way for Ducklings), H. A. Rey (Curious George), and Dr. Seuss. Artists who have shaped the field of children’s books, such as Eric Carle (Very Hungry Caterpillar), Chris Van Allsburg (Polar Express), and Ashley Bryan, are represented alongside popular contemporary artists, including Grace Lin, Melissa Sweet, Chris Van Dusen and Mo Willems. In all, more than a hundred illustrations (including new work reflecting the diversity of children’s books) offer a springboard for children and adults to explore the creative process of imagining new worlds and the pleasures of shared reading.
Picture books are not only entertaining, but as the exhibition title suggests, they are powerful in their ability to ignite children’s imaginations, to reaffirm the connections that come from reading aloud, and to inspire art lovers of all ages.