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broodings from the burrow

September 25, 2009

my d.c.: exhibit
posted by soe 9:05 am

Last month, Rudi and I made it up to Cleveland Park to catch a rather unusual solo art exhibition for D.C.

Who, you ask? Monet? Judy Chicago? Thomas Kinkade?


Eric Carle, of The Very Hungry Caterpillar fame.


This summer the Stanford in Washington Art Gallery brought the work of one of America’s most recognized children’s picture book artists to the District for all to enjoy.

It’s a small gallery — roughly the size of a two-floor townhouse, so it can only house two dozen pieces or so. Part of the downstairs was set up with Carle’s books in kindergarten-style cubbies set at ground level to encourage young readers to enjoy them.

Two Ducks

Sunshine Smiles

There was a looped video running upstairs with an interview with the artist, who showed how he takes a piece from start to finish. He paints and colors on tissue paper to start and then cuts them into small pieces before rearranging and pasting them onto his canvas. He accents the work with crayons.


The great thing about seeing Carle’s work up close is that you really get a chance to see the detail. I’d urge you to click on some of the smaller images (particularly the cricket up above) to get a better look.

This is what you see in a book:


But when you see the originals, you really notice certain details, like the rhinoceros’ toenails:

Rhino Toenails

I was glad we were able to make it up to see the exhibit. If you live in New England, Carle and his wife run a picture book museum in Amherst that looks like it could be a really fun day trip.

I was wholly inspired after seeing this exhibit. I hope you enjoyed it too!

Eric Carle Philosophy

Painter (and His Cat)

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