Original Illustrations from Children’s Books Spotlighted

June 6, 2013

Original Illustrations from Children’s Books on View This Summer

at Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers

New Brunswick, NJ – The Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers invites families to visit two exhibitions that showcase the art of book illustration from the museum’s extensive collection of original artwork from children’s literature. “Lynd Ward Draws Stories: Inspired by Mexico’s History, Mark Twain, and Adventures in the Woods” is on view through June 30. “Maples in the Mist: Chinese Poems for Children Illustrated by Jean & Mou-sien Tseng” opens Wednesday, July 10, with a curator-led tour and family art activity during a specially scheduled Art After Hours, from 5 to 9 p.m. Both exhibitions are located in the Duvoisin Gallery at the Zimmerli, which is open to the public on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. In addition, class or group tours can be scheduled for Tuesdays through Sundays by contacting the Education Department at education@zimmerli.rutgers.edu or 848.932.6766, at least two weeks in advance.

The Zimmerli pays tribute to Lynd Ward (1905-85), one of America’s great artist-storytellers of the 20th century. Ward illustrated more than 100 books, most of them for children and young adults. Featured in the exhibition are 37 captivating original and printed illustrations from such works as “The Biggest Bear” (1952), “The Mexican Story” (1953), “America’s Mark Twain” (1962), “Nic of the Woods” (1965), “Early Thunder” (1967), and “Go Tim Go!” (1967). A prolific draftsman and printmaker, particularly in wood engraving, Ward pioneered the American graphic novel without text. “Lynd Ward Draws Stories” closes June 30.

Opening July 10, “Maples in the Mist: Chinese Poems for Children Illustrated by Jean & Mou-sien Tseng” is a journey inspired by some of the most celebrated poets of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). The Tsengs’ vibrant illustrations enchant children – and the young at heart – with timeless insights about the world’s wonders. Many Chinese children have learned to read by reciting poetry; a repertoire of simpler Tang-era poems has been particularly popular since the 18th century. The poems published in the Tsengs’ illustrated book titled “Maples in the Mist” (1996) were translated into English by Minfong Ho, who sought to engage her children and other readers with China’s traditions. Each image in the exhibition is accompanied by the poem that inspired it.

Born in Taiwan, Jean and Mou-sien Tseng met while studying art at the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei. After graduating, they married and embarked on careers that included teaching and design. Since they immigrated to the U. S. in 1974, the couple has illustrated more than 30 books. The Tsengs, who live on Long Island, New York, have remarked that they are “constantly amazed that two minds can have so much in common and yet be so different, but we strongly believe that two minds are better than one.”

“Lynd Ward Draws Stories” and “Maples in the Mist: Chinese Poems for Children Illustrated by Jean & Mou-sien Tseng” were organized by Marilyn Symmes, Director of the Morse Research Center for Graphic Arts and Curator of Prints and Drawings, with Beth McKeown, former Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings. Lynd Ward’s illustrations were donated by his wife May McNeer Ward, on her husband’s behalf, to Rutgers; in 1985 the Rutgers University Libraries transferred them to the Zimmerli Art Museum. The Tsengs donated their illustrations to the Zimmerli Art Museum in 1998.


The Zimmerli Art Museum’s collection includes more than 60,000 works of art, ranging from ancient to contemporary art. The permanent collection features particularly rich holdings in 19th-century French art; Russian art from icons to the avant-garde; Soviet nonconformist art from the Dodge Collection; and American art with notable holdings of prints. In addition, small groups of antiquities, old master paintings, as well as art inspired by Japan and original illustrations for children’s books, provide representative examples of the museum’s research and teaching message at Rutgers. One of the largest and most distinguished university-based art museums in the nation, the Zimmerli is located on the New Brunswick campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Established in 1766, Rutgers is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and a premier public research university.


The Zimmerli Art Museum is supported by Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, as well as the income from the Avenir Foundation Endowment Fund, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Endowment Fund, and the Voorhees Family Endowment Fund, among others. Additional support comes from the Estate of Victoria J. Mastrobuono and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Contributions from other corporations, foundations, and individuals, as well as earned income, also provide vital annual support for the Zimmerli’s operations and programs.


The Zimmerli Art Museum is located at 71 Hamilton Street at George Street on the College Avenue campus of Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The Zimmerli is a short walk from the NJ Transit train station in New Brunswick, midway between New York City and Philadelphia.

Hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., and the first Wednesday of each month (except August), 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays, major holidays, and the month of August.

Admission is $6 for adults; $5 for 65 and over; and free for museum members, children under 18, and Rutgers students, faculty, and staff (with ID). Admission is free on the first Sunday of every month. For more information, call 848.932.7237 or visit the museum’s website: www.zimmerlimuseum.rutgers.edu


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