Philadelphia, PA Beloved children’s book character Madeline has grown up to overshadow everything else her creator, Ludwig Bemelmans, accomplished during his long, varied, and highly productive career. In the spirit of reclamation, the Penn Libraries is proud to announce the exhibition “Covered in Vines: The Many Talents of Ludwig Bemelmans.” The exhibition seizes the opportunity to show the Ludwig Bemelmans collection built by Jean Johnson Kislak, a longtime Bemelmans admirer and Madeline aficionado, presenting printed books, manuscripts, and art to recover a Bemelmans now largely forgotten.
The exhibit is broken into parts devoted to Bemelmans as writer, Bemelmans as artist, and Bemelmans as creator of Madeline, with hope of removing some of the vines that block a clearer view of Bemelmans’s many talents. In addition to Madeline, Bemelmans wrote other children’s books, autobiographical memoirs, travel literature, a lengthy profile of American interior decorator Elsie de Wolfe, and numerous novels for adult readers. He had an extremely active and successful career as a commercial artist, producing numerous advertisements, illustrations, and magazine covers. The work of Ludwig Bemelmans appeals to a vast array of curiosities related to mid-twentieth-century American writers and culture.
Events surrounding the exhibition include:
• An RSVP-required opening reception on Wednesday, October 14th, 2015, at 5pm
• A family-friendly reading of Madeline by Kislak Center Director Will Noel and exhibition curator Daniel Traister, with milk and cookies, at 10:45am on Saturday, November 7th, 2015
• A “Homecoming Gallery Hop” guided tour led by exhibition curator Daniel Traister at 4pm on Saturday, November 7th, 2015
All events will take place in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, located on the sixth floor of Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. The exhibit is free and open to the public through Monday, December 21st, in the Kislak Center’s Goldstein Gallery.
For more information on the events (including RSVP links), consult the Kislak Center Events page: http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/bemelmans.html.