Curious George Saves The Day: The Art of Margret and H. A. Rey

H. A. Rey, final illustration for “One day George saw a man. He had on a large yellow straw hat,” published in "The Original Curious George" (1998). © 2010 by HMH.

H. A. Rey, final illustration for “One day George saw a man. He had on a large yellow straw hat,” published in "The Original Curious George" (1998), France, 1939–40, watercolor, charcoal, and color pencil on paper. H. A. & Margret Rey Papers, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi.

FINAL DAYS!

Through February 5, 2012

“The show presents a whole new cast of characters in a style – robust, simple, and clear, but lively, pneumatic, and always vividly colored – that I could immediately tune into.”–Sebastian Smee, The Boston Globe

Curious George, the beloved, irrepressible monkey of children’s book lore, is famous for his ability to “save the day.” Interpreting the role he played in safeguarding his own creators in times of danger as symbolic, this exhibition delves into the remarkable lives and works of Margret and H. A. Rey. The couple fled Paris in 1940 with a Curious George manuscript in their suitcase. During a tense inspection of their belongings by a border official, children’s illustrations were found and they were allowed to continue on their way, eventually reaching the United States.

 

Featuring nearly 80 original drawings and preparatory dummies for Margret and H. A. Rey children’s books and documentation related to their escape from Nazi-occupied Europe, the exhibition will examine the parallels between the obstacles the Reys faced and the drawings that may have saved their lives. The story of their life in Paris and narrow escape is also told through an interactive timeline. Appropriate for adults and children, the exhibition includes a reading room inspired by the beloved monkey’s escapades in Curious George Flies a Kite. Curious George Saves The Day is organized by The Jewish Museum in New York City, and is drawn from the H. A. & Margret Rey Papers, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi. The exhibition is supported through a bequest from the Estate of Lore Ross; additional support for the exhibition’s Stockbridge debut is provided by Barrington Foundation, Inc.; an anonymous donor; Sol Schwartz; and media partner WGBY-TV, Springfield, Massachusetts.

Curious George, and related characters, created by Margret and H. A. Rey, are copyrighted and trademarked by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. © 2010 by HMH.

The Journey That Saved Curious George from WGBY on Vimeo.

Enjoy this great interactive timeline of Margret and H. A. Reys’ life and career:

www.thejewishmuseum.org/curiousgeorgetimeline

H. A. Rey, final illustration for “This is George. He lived in Africa,” published in "The Original Curious George" (1998), France, 1939–40, watercolor, charcoal, and color pencil on paper.  H. A. & Margret Rey Papers, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi.

H. A. Rey, final illustration for “This is George. He lived in Africa,” published in "The Original Curious George" (1998), France, 1939–40, watercolor, charcoal, and color pencil on paper. H. A. & Margret Rey Papers, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi.

View Exhibition Curriculum Materials for Educators

Download The Family Gallery Guide

Enter Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Teacher/Librarian Resource Center: Curious George

Liste to WAMC Radio’s “The Roundtable” interview with Exhibition Curator Claudia Nahson, The Jewish Museum; and Stephanie Plunkett, Deputy Director, Norman Rockwell Museum.Click here

Listen to WBUR Radio Interview with Exhibition Curator Claudia Nahson, The Jewish Museum; Ellen Ruffin, curator at the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi; and Louise Borden, author of The Journey that Saved Curious George: Click here

Reviews

“Curious George Saves the Day” Shines With the Light, Boston Globe (1/6/2012)

Monkey Business in a World of EvilThe New York Times (3/25/2010)

 

A Monkey Born of Trials and Tribulations, The Wall Street Journal(4/7/2010)

Slideshows

Curious George Saves the Day, The New York Times (3/25/2010)

 

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