I confess to you that I’m rather thrilled about this current exhibit at the Jewish Museum. Though I didn’t grow up a Curious George fan, I love seeing the papers and sketches of classic characters by their creators. From the press release:
Press contacts: Anne Scher or Alex Wittenberg
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CURIOUS GEORGE SAVES THE DAY:
THE ART OF MARGRET AND H. A. REY
AT THE JEWISH MUSEUM IN MARCH AND APRIL
New York, NY – In conjunction with its new exhibition, Curious George Saves the Day, The Jewish Museum is presenting two related programs. Author Louise Borden will give a lecture on the wartime journey of Margret and H. A. Rey, creators of Curious George, on April 8. A three-part daytime lecture series on the Reys and their lives and careers with scholar Leonard Marcus will be offered on March 18, and April 1 and 8.
For further information regarding programs at The Jewish Museum, the public may call 212.423.3337.
Tickets for lectures, film screenings and concerts at The Jewish Museum can now be purchased online at the Museum’s Web site, www.thejewishmuseum.org.
Curious George, the impish monkey protagonist of many adventures, may never have seen the light of day if it were not for the determination and courage of his creators: illustrator H. A. Rey (1898–1977) and his wife, author and artist Margret Rey (1906–1996). They were both born in Hamburg to Jewish families and lived together in Paris from 1936 to 1940. Hours before the Nazis marched into the city in June 1940, the Reys fled on bicycles carrying drawings for their children’s stories including one about a mischievous monkey, then named Fifi. Not only did they save their animal characters, but the Reys themselves were saved by their illustrations when authorities found them in their belongings. This may explain why saving the day after a narrow escape became the premise of most of their Curious George stories. After their fateful escape from Paris and a four-month journey across France, Spain, Portugal, and Brazil, the couple reached New York in the fall of 1940. In all, the Reys authored and illustrated over thirty books, most of them for children, with seven of them starring Curious George. The exhibition at The Jewish Museum, on view from March 14 to August 1, 2010, will feature nearly eighty original drawings of the beloved monkey and other characters, preparatory dummy books, vintage photographs, and documentation related to the Reys’ escape from Nazi Europe, as well as a specially designed reading room for visitors of all ages.
An infrared assistive listening system for the hearing impaired is available for programs in the Museum’s S. H. and Helen R. Scheuer Auditorium.
The Mildred and George Weissman Program has been endowed by Paul, Ellen and Dan Weissman in honor of their parents.
Thursday, April 8 at 6:30 pm
The Mildred and George Weissman Lecture
THE TRUE ESCAPE OF CURIOUS GEORGE:
THE WARTIME JOURNEY OF MARGRET AND H. A. REY
In 1940, Hans and Margret Rey fled their home in Paris as the German army advanced. They began their journey to freedom on bicycles, pedaling south to Orléans and continuing by train to southern France with children’s book manuscripts among their few possessions. One such manuscript went on to become the story of Curious George. Author Louise Borden chronicles the Reys’ remarkable journey in an engaging illustrated lecture tracing their route from France via Spain, Portugal and Brazil to the United States.
Louise Borden is the author of The Journey That Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H. A. Rey.
Tickets: $15 general public; $12 students/over 65; $10 Jewish Museum members
Thursdays, March 18, April 1 and April 8 at 11:30 am
Daytime Lecture Series
THE WORLD OF CURIOUS GEORGE CREATORS MARGRET AND H. A. REY
Curious George Saves The Day: The Story Of Margret And H. A. Rey’s Harrowing Flight From Nazi Europe To America
This illustrated lecture tells the story of Margret and H. A. Rey’s escape from Nazi occupied France in 1940. Both were German Jewish artists in pre-World War II Europe. Recognizing imminent threat, the Reys made their way from Paris to New York, to a new life as creators of America’s favorite monkey and other classic children’s stories.
A New Deal For The Nursery: How Golden Books Won Children’s Hearts And Democratized American Publishing
A look at modern American publishing’s most audacious attempt to make quality children’s books affordable for everyone. Little Golden Books is a popular children’s book series that began in 1942 and first sold for 25 cents a piece.
Picture Book Bohemia: The Reys Of Greenwich Village
In this illustrated talk, Leonard Marcus considers Greenwich Village during the 1940s as a creative quarter for children’s books. Here was the home not only of Margret and H. A. Rey, but also Robert McCloskey (Make Way for Ducklings), Margaret Wise Brown (Goodnight Moon), Marjorie Flack (The Story About Ping) and many more of the field’s greats.
Leonard Marcus is a noted children’s book historian, author and critic.
Tickets: $45 entire series; $20 single lecture
Public Programs at The Jewish Museum are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. Major annual support is provided by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency. The audio-visual system has been funded by The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, Inc., and by New York State Assembly Member Jonathan Bing.
About The Jewish Museum
Widely admired for its exhibitions and educational programs that inspire people of all backgrounds, The Jewish Museum is the preeminent United States institution exploring the intersection of 4,000 years of art and Jewish culture. The Jewish Museum was established in 1904, when Judge Mayer Sulzberger donated 26 ceremonial art objects to The Jewish Theological Seminary of America as the core of a museum collection. Today, the Museum maintains an important collection of 26,000 objects—paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, archaeological artifacts, ceremonial objects, and broadcast media.
Museum hours are Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, 11am to 5:45pm; Thursday, 11am to 8pm; and Friday, 11am to 4pm. Museum admission is $12.00 for adults, $10.00 for senior citizens, $7.50 for students, free for children under 12 and Jewish Museum members. Admission is free on Saturdays. For general information on The Jewish Museum, the public may visit the Museum’s website at http://www.thejewishmuseum.org or call 212.423.3200. The Jewish Museum is located at 1109 Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street, Manhattan.
Be nice to me next time you’re at my library and I’ll show you the Rey’s signatures in our old guestbooks. No fooling.