Picture Play: Illustrations Made for Young Booklovers

Roger Duvoisin: Color study for A Little Boy Was Drawing, ca. 1932
Sep 02, 2008 - Jan 11, 2009
Duvoisin Gallery

Images made to delight the very young as well as the young at heart selected from the Rutgers Collection of Original Illustrations for Children’s Literature include works by Frank Asch, Maginel Wright Barney, Tony Chen, William Pène du Bois, Roger Duvoisin, Shari Halpern, Ward Schumaker, Art Seiden, and Catherine Stock. The illustrations explore various themes beloved by young children include counting, rhymes and games, animals, fantasy, and images from everyday life.

Cheerful, witty illustrations by Catherine Stock for Trot Trot to Boston enliven a collection of play rhymes for very young children and their parents and caregivers to enjoy together. Ward Schumaker’s preparatory drawings for Toddler Two-Step offer a dynamic visual interpretation of a counting rhyme that is also a dance.

Art Seiden’s precise, detailed illustrations of vehicles for All Kinds of Trucks appeal to children who love all things with wheels, while illustrations by Tony Chen for The Cozy Book and by Shari Halpern for What Shall We Do When We All Go Out? celebrate the joyful activities of everyday life. Illustrations by Maginel Wright Barney for Thumbelina, by William Pène du Bois for Otto at Sea, and preparatory gouache paintings by Roger Duvoisin for A Little Boy Was Drawing explore imaginary worlds in which the hero, with whom the child may identify, may be tiny, gigantic, or cast in an unusual new role. In these fantasies, the hero always possesses special qualities that allow him or her to transcend the environment.

While the illustrations exhibit diversity in style and medium, each artist employs composition and color to appeal to very young audience and express the varied texts in vibrant visual images.

Organized by Gail Aaron, Assistant Curator of Original Illustrations for Children's Books

Roger Duvoisin

Color study for A Little Boy Was Drawing, ca. 1932

Gouache, ink, and graphite on paper

Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

Gift of Louise Fatio Duvoisin

© 1932 Charles Scribner’s Sons, renewed © 1960 by Roger Duvoisin

Used by permission of the Estate of Roger Duvoisin