The New Brunswick Free Public Library is honored that we were selected as one of 35 libraries in the country, and one of three libraries in New Jersey, to receive the grant for an exciting new exhibition through the American Library Association. "In a Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak," a national traveling exhibition which explores the influence of the Old and New worlds in the work of renowned illustrator Maurice Sendak, opened to the public at the New Brunswick Free Public Library on September 7 and remained open until October 13, 2011.
Maurice Sendak is best known as the illustrator of more than 100 picture books, including Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen. He was born to Polish immigrants in Brooklyn in 1928, and his childhood was typically American in a number of ways. At the same time, he became fascinated as a child with the worn black-and-white photographs of his European relatives, and the influence of both of these worlds – the threads of Jewish family, geography, and culture – can be seen in his imaginative works.
"In a Nutshell" was organized by the Rosenbach Museum & Library, Philadelphia, and developed by Nextbook, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Jewish literature, culture, and ideas, and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The national tour of the exhibit has been made possible by grants from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the Righteous Persons Foundation, the David Berg Foundation, and an anonymous donor, with additional support from Tablet Magazine: A New Read on Jewish Life.
Opening Reception, featuring exhibit curator Patrick Rodgers
Wednesday, September 7
7pm in the Carl T. Valenti Community Room. The Many Worlds of Maurice Sendak
To celebrate the arrival of the exhibit In a Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak at the New Brunswick Free Public Library, this free lecture will explore the imaginative terrain of Sendak’s picture books, from the Old Europe of his parents’ generation to his own native Brooklyn. Fans of Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen will enjoy new insights into their favorite artwork and stories, aided in part by recent interview footage with Sendak.
This event is sponsored by the Friends of the Library. More about the presenter:
Patrick Rodgers is the Traveling Exhibitions Coordinator at the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia, the home of Maurice Sendak’s picture book artwork. Rodgers has curated exhibitions of Sendak’s artwork since 2007 and has interviewed Mr. Sendak extensively. He will present some of that interview footage during the course of his presentation.
An interview clip of Maurice Sendak speaking about the illustration of the devil he did for the book Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories.
Patrick Rodgers talking about a connection between Sendak's work to New Brunswick.
To see some more interviews with Sendak, please visit the Rosenbach Museum's YouTube channel: click here for a clip shown during Patrick Rodgers' presentation, of Sendak talking about the "Where the Wild Things Are" opera!
Monday, September 19
7pm in the Carl T. Valenti Community Room. Researching Your Roots This workshop connects to one of the themes that so inspired Sendak: family history. The evening will be an introduction and review of resources and methods for finding information about friends and relatives now gone. Try thinking, "Did Aunt Willa’s husband have a sister?" or "Was my mother born in Duluth?" Our experienced librarian Jackie Oshman and the very experienced genealogist Janet Riemer will show you how to get started and where to look as you begin to unravel the family unknowns and mysteries. Basic approaches and tips will be demonstrated to launch your search and you will go home with a handout to help you continue on your own. More about the presenters:
Jacquelyn Oshman, Senior Librarian and Genealogical Specialist
From the Reference Desk here at the NBFPL, Jackie specializes in Local History. Her interest in her own family history has coupled with the needs of a host of patrons trying to locate obituaries, graves and pieces of family history to produce our "Genealogy Specialist." Currently a Senior Librarian, Jackie has been employed at the New Brunswick Public Library since 2006. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Literature from Ramapo College and a Masters Degree in Library and Information Science from Rutgers University. One of her recent tasks included an inventory of headstones located in the Willow Grove Cemetery Complex for a new library website. She has been actively working on her own family tree and volunteering for the website www.FindAGrave.com for the past three years.
Janet Riemer, Genealogist
Janet has conducted genealogical research for over forty years as well as lecturing and presenting slide programs on various aspects of genealogy for thirty of those years. Among her many accomplishments she has served as the president of the Genealogical Society of New Jersey, is a long-time member of their Board of Trustees and is current Corresponding Secretary. She is also a former co-editor of the Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey. Although retired as the former Head of Preservation at Rutgers University Libraries Special Collections and University Archives, she still works there one day a week on preservation projects and genealogical research. When not fully immersed in genealogy and archives, she grows wonderful African violets and lives in Pennington, NJ.
Saturday, September 24
2pm in the Carl T. Valenti Community Room. Writing as Catharsis
Sendak used his work as an outlet, as many artists do, and that is the focus of this program. BJ Ward will present a 45-minute Poetry Prompt Writing Session for those who want to write, followed by a 30- to 40- minute reading.
This event is sponsored by Ian Buchanan, MA Oxon., Pacific Director of Booz Allen Hamilton. More about the presenter:
BJ Ward is a recognized New Jersey poet and teacher. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and two Distinguished Artist Fellowships from the NJ State Council on the Arts. For his teaching, he has received the Governor’s Award in Arts Education from the State of New Jersey and was named Teaching Artist of the Year by the New Jersey Writers Project. In January 2011, the Star-Ledger named Mr. Ward one of the "10 Dynamic Jersey Artists Not Named Springsteen" who are "making a difference," as published in its monthly magazine Inside Jersey. For more, see his website.
Thursday, October 6
6pm in the Carl T. Valenti Community Room.
Kids and adults alike will enjoy this Maurice Sendak storytime. We'll
be reading three of his classics, with the illustrations projected on
to the big screen! Kids, feel free to wear your PJs and bring your
favorite stuffed friend to this family storytime.
Closing Reception, featuring exhibit curator Patrick Rodgers
Tuesday, October 11
7pm in the Carl T. Valenti Community Room. Drawing the Other Story: The Cathartic Art of Maurice Sendak
Maurice Sendak may be best known as the creator of the 1963 picture book Where the Wild Things Are, but did you know that his more than 90 illustrated books have confronted themes as diverse and difficult as the Holocaust, the abduction of children, and his own family conflicts? For more than 60 years, Sendak’s mission as an illustrator has been to explore the jubilant fantasies of childhood while acknowledging the harsh realities in which kids grow up. His use of picture book art as a way to confront, question, and understand those realities will be the subject of this talk accompanying the final days of the exhibition In a Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak at the New Brunswick Free Public Library. More about the presenter:
Patrick Rodgers is the Traveling Exhibitions Coordinator at the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia, the home of Maurice Sendak’s picture book artwork. Rodgers has curated exhibitions of Sendak’s artwork since 2007 and has interviewed Mr. Sendak extensively.
Opening Remarks by Senior Librarian Joye Crowe-Logan.
The beginning of Patrick Rodgers' presentation.
The first Sendak interview clip of the evening, insight into some of Sendak's inspirations, and some discussion of what it means to be an illustrator.
Another interview clip of Sendak, with further discussion of what it means to him to be an illustrator and what makes him unique.
If you would like to view a DVD of the entire Reception, please come to the Reference Desk to ask!