Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rest In Peace, Maurice. . . .

I just read that Maurice Sendak passed away today. Mr. Sendak's work has inspired me since I was a child.  I fell in love with his style of ink drawings with so many tiny details it would take several viewings to fully absorb his pictures. He managed to capture in one picture an entire story of whimsy of a child's imagination at play.

I loved him for the grandiose, theatrical sets he designed for ballets and operas that would give an ancient story new life.

His story lines for children's books had a little edge and I loved him for that. I thanked him for that. The children in his stories weren't perfect and sometimes neither were their parents. Sometimes the monsters were better behaved than either the child or the parents. Yet he still made his books a safe place to grapple with the fears faced when I was young. 

Maurice Sendak took children's literature and turned it upside down. He was probably the first author who refused to whitewash childhood and willingly exposed the darker side of the human spirit.

Here in Philadelphia, we are honored to have a The Rosenbach Museum and Library to be the central repository of all of Maurice Sendak's works. Today and tomorrow they are opening the museum, free of charge, to honor Mr. Sendak and his amazing array of talent. It's just a few blocks away from where I work, so I know where I'll be spending my lunch hour.

Goodbye Mr. Sendak, and thank you for taking such huge risks with your work. May we all do the same with our own endeavors.

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