Strange Mr. Satie Comes to the Zimmerli: Children's Book Illustrations by Petra Mathers

Petra Mathers, Illustration for Strange Mr. Satie, 2003
Feb 18, 2006 - Jul 16, 2006
Duvoisin Gallery


A biography for children about the life and times of the brilliant, eccentric composer Erik Satie inspired noted children’s book illustrator Petra Mathers to research the world of avant-garde artists in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Paris. Her investigations led to rich resources, including, to her surprise, the Zimmerli Art Museum, to which she already had donated original art for two of her children’s books. Eventually, a copy of the book inscribed “Strange Mr. Satie comes to the Zimmerli” accompanied the artist’s gift of original art and preparatory materials for Strange Mr. Satie to the Rutgers Collection of Original Illustrations for Children’s Literature. The exhibition offers complete original illustrations, selected research and preparatory materials, and examples of art and ephemera from the Zimmerli’s collection of materials related to the Chat Noir Café and the Parisian avant-garde ballet.

A video of a recent revival of the ballet Parade is being shown in the gallery.

Petra Mathers

Illustration for Strange Mr. Satie

Gouache, watercolor, and graphite on paper

© 2003 by Petra Mathers

Collection Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers