Maurice Sendak Exhibit & Programs

ON EXHIBIT at Providence Public Library

March 9 – April 20, 2012

150 Empire Street – Lippitt Hall, 1st floor


Sendak’s popular children’s books such as Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen were inspired by his typically American childhood growing up in New York City in the 1930s.  His books reveal his fascination with the people, sights and sounds and smells of the city during that era.  But he was also drawn to his family’s photographs of his ancestors and to the world of the shetl of the European Jews. This exhibit reveals the pull of the Old World in Sendak’s work and, his connection with the New World and how Sendak’s artistic journey has led him deeper into his family history and his Jewish identity.

Visit our accompanying exhibit with related items from Providence Public Library’s Special Collections - third floor.

RI Department of Education Professional Development Credit Hours (CEUs) are offered with this series. Sign up with Louise Moulton upon attendance.


Sunday, March 11 - 2:00 pm

Keynote: Genius is the Memory of Childhood, presented by Michael Fink, Professor of English, Rhode Island School of Design

Maurice Sendak draws and writes from his inner resources of earliest impressions of his boyhood world. He recalls and recounts his fears and hopes and shares them imaginatively and creatively with his readers of all ages. His work mixes dreams, nightmares and the actual conditions of the real world.

Michael Fink has been teaching the arts of literature and cinema at RISD since 1957. He has been named both Honorary Alumnus, Teacher of the Year and winner of the John Frazier Award for excellence in teaching. He has earned the Metcalf Award from the Providence Journal and other prizes for his columns and documentary films, including the Never Again Award, the National Council for Community and Justice Award and the George M. Cohan Award.  He speaks at a variety of conferences , both locally and in many cities of the world.


Sunday, March 18 - 2:00 pm

Film Screenings and Discussion: Animated Version Where the Wild Things Are (Scholastic)
and Where the Wild Things Are (2009) Director, Spike Jonze

An adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's story, where Max, a disobedient little boy sent to bed without his supper, creates his own world--a forest inhabited by ferocious wild creatures that crown Max as their ruler.

Sunday, March 25 - 2:00 pm

Responses to Maurice Sendak's Picture Books: Giggles, Gasps and Garlands, with Joan Glazer, Professor Emeritus, Children’s Literature, Rhode Island College

Sendak's picture books have brought joy to many readers, both children and adults. Some of them have engendered strong concern and controversy yet also received notable awards. Dr. Glazer will share some of these responses and discuss the reasons underlying them.

Dr. Glazer has taught for over thirty years at the college level, making regular presentations at professional organizations, especially for the National Council of Teachers of English, The International Reading Association, and the International Board on Books for Young People.  She has taught poetry and short stories at Elderhostel programs in Vermont on a regular basis, working with the general public.

Sunday, April 1 - 2:00 pm

Imagination and Inspiration: Creating Books from the Heart, with Judy Sue Goodwin Sturges, Professor of Illustration, Rhode Island School of Design

Every author and illustrator draws from his or her own background and creativity when crafting books for children. Professor Goodwin Sturges will lead a discussion on the origins of Maurice Sendak's inspiration, as well as the muses and influences of other children's book creators. The dialogue will then become a workshop, illustrating the processes of storytelling and bookmaking in general, with attendees encouarged to ask questions and to offer thoughts and ideas about stories they themselves would like to tell in a picture book format, and perhaps crafting their own small book!

Judy Sue Goodwin Sturges is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and has worked in the art departments of such places as Hallmark and Ginn & Co. She then returned to RISD as a Professor of Illustration, where she continues teaching today. In 1989, Judy Sue also started her own children's book studio in Boston. She envisioned a place where she could nurture creative talent and develop quality book projects for trade markets and museum communities. Today, Studio Goodwin Sturges works on behalf of nearly 40 picture book artists worldwide. 



LInk to the Sendak Collection at the Rosenbach Museum and Library

Sendak Bibliography

Works by Maurice Sendak - 1947 to present

American Master Biography


In a Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak was organized by the Rosenbach Museum & Library, Philadelphia, and developed by Nextbook, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Jewish literature, culture, and ideas, and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The national tour of the exhibit has been made possible by grants from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the Righteous Persons Foundation, the David Berg Foundation, and an anonymous donor, with additional support from Tablet Magazine: A New Read on Jewish Life.