Mazza Museum of Children's Book Art
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…