This article was originally published in Business Wire, 9/24/2014. It can be viewed here in its original form

Katie Gallup

This fall, the Penn Libraries explores the world of children’s books in two related exhibitions and a symposium. “Children’s books are unique teaching tools that ignite the imagination and bring form and meaning to language for younger and older generations alike,” shared Carton Rogers, Vice Provost and Director of the Penn Libraries. “We are pleased to celebrate this genre of work, while at the same time acknowledging two very significant donations to our collections, by highlighting the lives and careers of William Steig, a children’s book author who wrote stories that overturn traditional fairytale assumptions, and Atha Tehon, a master at collaboration who helped to shape the works of many of the world’s best children’s book authors. We hope that members of the Penn community as well as the greater art and literary communities are as inspired by these exhibits as we are.”

“Children’s books are unique teaching tools that ignite the imagination and bring form and meaning to language for younger and older generations alike”

William Steig

As the Ink Flows: Works from the Pen of William Steig explores the life and career of the artist, cartoonist, and children's book author/illustrator William Steig. The exhibition examines the trajectory of Steig's career, from his family background and youth, through his cartoons and covers for The New Yorker and other publications, to his books of symbolic drawings and his later work, culminating in children's books. The exhibition highlights materials from the recent gift to the Penn Libraries of over 2,500 original drawings, notebooks and scrapbooks, correspondence, books, posters, and other materials given by his widow, Jeanne Steig. The exhibit is supplemented with materials on loan from his family.

As the Ink Flows is open to the Penn community and members of the public through December 22, 2014 in the Goldstein Family Gallery located in the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts on the sixth floor of the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. Gallery hours are: Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm; Wednesday, 10am-8pm; and by appointment. To learn more about the exhibit visit, http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/steig.html.

Atha Tehon

The School of Atha: Collaboration in the Making of Children's Books celebrates the life and work of children's book designer and art director Atha Tehon. After receiving her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania, Tehon began a career in book publishing, where she worked closely with many of the major artists and authors in the field, including Leo and Diane Dillon, Tom Feelings, Susan Jeffers, Steven Kellogg, Julius Lester, James Marshall, Jerry Pinkney, and Rosemary Wells. At the same time, she did freelance design work for Farrar, Straus & Giroux, working with the children's book editor Michael di Capua on books by Nancy Ekholm Burkert, Richard Egielski, Randall Jarrell, Maurice Sendak, William Steig, and Harve and Margot Zemach, among others.

The School of Atha explores Tehon’s role not only in the creation of so many important children's books but also in mentoring a new generation of editors and designers in the collaborative process of creating children's books. The exhibit is based on the collection of her books and papers recently given to the Penn Libraries by her niece Susan Tehon, and supplemented with materials on loan from her family.

The School of Atha is open to the public through March 27, 2015 in the Kamin Gallery, located on the first floor in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. Gallery hours are: Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm; Saturday and Sunday, by appointment. To learn more visit, http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/tehon.html.

Symposium

In conjunction with these two exhibitions, a symposium, Creating Children's Books: Collaboration and Change, will be held on October 17-18. The symposium honors the contributions of these two important figures to the world of children's literature during the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. It will explore the creation of children's books from both the writer/illustrator and designer/publisher perspectives, looking at the role of collaboration in the process and considering the future of children's books from various perspectives, including that of diversity. The symposium is sponsored by the Muriel Pfaelzer Bodek Fund for Library Public Events of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, with additional funding from the Glady Krieble Delmas Foundation.

Among the confirmed speakers are children's book historian and critic Leonard Marcus; children's book authors/artists Harry Bliss, Richard Egielski, Judy Schachner, Jerry Pinkney, Robert Sabuda, and Rosemary Wells; and many distinguished names in children’s publishing, including Wesley Adams (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Lauri Hornik and Lily Malcom (Dial Books for Young Readers), Laurent Linn (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers), and Holly McGhee (Pippin Properties).

To view the schedule and register for the symposium, Creating Children's Books: Collaboration and Change, go to http://www.library.upenn.edu/exhibits/childrensbooks_symposium.html.

About the Penn Libraries

The Penn Libraries serve the world-class faculty and students of Penn’s 12 schools. The Libraries’ collections comprise more than 7 million volumes, 1 million of which are in electronic form; over 100,000 journals; and extraordinary rare and unique materials that document the intellectual and cultural experience of ancient and modern civilizations. Today, the Libraries play an instrumental role in developing new technologies for information discovery and dissemination and are noted for groundbreaking work in digital library design.

All exhibitions and symposia are located in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, 3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA, and are free and open to the public (please show photo ID at entrance). For more information: 215.898.7088 or rbml@pobox.upenn.edu.