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Mazza Museum of Children's Book Art

NOVEMBER 13, 2012
This last spring I had the pleasure of giving a presentation at the Mazza Museum of International Art from Children’s Books at the University of Findlay in Findlay, Ohio. I would have posted this much earlier, but for some reason all of my photos came out blurred - I put the post aside, and then picked it up again last week. Through the magic of photoshop, using the smart sharpen filter, I was able to restore some semblance of focus.
 The Museum is quite fabulous, really- everyone at Mazza loves children’s book illustration and they treat you like a king. The facility is on university grounds and is spacious and well organized. They have a vast collection that is growing larger all the time.
  Ben Sapp, the museum’s director, contacted me well in advance of my visit- they are very efficient at Mazza. They took care of all traveling expenses and provided an honorarium.  I was picked up at the airport and driven everywhere I needed to go by museum volunteers. When I arrived, Dr. Jerry Mallett, the curator, took me to dinner and outlined the history of the museum. It was endowed by one Dr. Mazza who loved children's book art, for starters... I toured the museum, which had a great cross section of international Children’s Book Illustration, including some choice early 20th century stuff. For a much better  description than I can give, here’s a link to the museum’s website: http://www.findlay.edu/offices/academic/mazzamuseum/Pages/default.aspx
    I gave a presentation that was well attended by children, students, and adults. We had a book fair and a signing event. It was a great experience all around. The most enjoyable part of it all for me was to see the collection- Children’s book illustration from across the last century lovingly catalogued, presented and cared for. The bookstore is quite extensive, and the climate-controlled archive, where the originals are stored when not on view, is state of the art museum quality. This was a great experience for me as an illustrator and an author, and I recommend it. It’s also a great cause to donate work to- they especially love sketches and work that shows the book making process. See the website for a list of the artists in the collection...
Thanks to all the folks at Mazza for caring so much.
Pardon for the blurry pics…
the museum store

Each artist has a binder with biographical information and bibliography.

Beth Krommes, from "The House in the Night" 2009 Caldecott for Illustration. Scratchboard.

Love the old stuff. They had some Ludwig Bemelmans (Madeline) on display...

This was a beautiful pop up dummy- by ....I didn't get the artist's name....?

State of the art climate controlled archives.

This picture doesn't do justice to the size of the room, but I'm pretty sure we had over 100 people there of all ages.

Here's Ben Sapp, the museum's director in the supply room.

From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mazza_Museum_of_International_Art_from_Picture_Books