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Rooted: Family and Nature in Contemporary Children’s Book Illustration

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Rooted: Family and Nature in Contemporary Children’s Book Illustration

OCTOBER 14, 2023 – FEBRUARY 25, 2024


This exhibition explores the enduring bonds of nature and family through a lively presentation of original artwork from eight illustrated children’s books. The illustrations on view will feature a diverse group of protagonists who experience compelling moments in their everyday lives, whether it be finding appreciation for the wonders of nature or feeling joy in activities with family in the outdoors. The artists represented are Sophie Blackall, Cozbi A. Cabrera, Joe Cepeda, Devon Holzwarth, Juana Martinez-Neal, Frank Morrison and Qing Zhuang. Visitors of all ages will be immersed in the colorful, lively drawings created with a variety of materials, including acrylic, oil, watercolor, pastels, colored pencils, linocuts, woodcuts, ink and collage.

This exhibition is a continuation of the rich tradition of illustration that is so well represented in Brandywine’s collection with works by figures such as N. C. Wyeth and Jesse Wilcox Smith. It also follows on the success of two earlier Brandywine projects centered on children: Get the Picture: Contemporary Children’s Book Illustration (2016) and Holidays & Snow Days: Illustrations for Three Children’s Books (2018-19).

Rooted: Family and Nature in Contemporary Children’s Book Illustration is co-curated by Shadra Strickland, an award-winning artist and illustration teacher at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and Audrey Lewis, Associate Curator at Brandywine.

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