By Claire Langdon
Recently, the Wonderland BookSavers visited the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst, Massachusetts. The picturesque facility sits on idyllic farmland, surrounded by verdant pastures and mountains. The museum itself boasts a countless variety of artwork by illustrator and author Eric Carle: the work ranges from large canvas paintings to small collages. Additionally, the Eric Carle Museum exhibits the art and literary works of other artists and authors, and houses a fabulous library, bookstore and an arts and crafts workshop.
Above is a picture of the arts and crafts room. They taught us how to make our own creative stamps with which we could create our own prints! We took our inspiration from the colorful simplicity of Eric Carle’s collages.
This time, the special exhibits consisted of an exhibition of Beverly Cleary’s books and characters, as well as an intriguing exhibit on the works of Robert McCloskey, the author of childhood classics such as Blueberries for Sal and Make Way for Ducklings. Cleary’s exhibit showcased drafts and developments on stories and characters such as Ramona Quimby and The Mouse and the Motorcycle.
We found the illustrations, drafts and products of these prestigious authors to be inspiring to our own efforts in writing and art. As aspiring students and writers, we are often told that drafts are the key to potent and eloquent pieces, but seeing their processes incarnated this advice into reality.
Above are drafts of the illustrations for Make Way for Ducklings and the cover of Blueberries for Sal.
Within the exhibition galleries, there are always relevant books flanked by chairs and benched, encouraging children and adults alike to sit and read a book. This promotion of literacy is one reason that we love visiting the Eric Carle Museum: it demonstrates that literature and learning can be fun, and explores the impact of art on books.
Outside of the cozy library, there are large versions of some of Carle’s most recognizable characters from his widely cherished childrens’ books, including those from The Very Hungry Catepillar.
Overall, the Eric Carle Museum is host to a spectrum of engaging and enlightening activities and exhibits. The exceptionally curated exhibits are continually renewed with engaging exhibits laden with art and literature, and the Eric Carle Museum has become a favorite stop!