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Monday, Dec. 22, 2014

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Exhibition celebrates children's library collection, through Oct. 26

The Cotsen Children's Library is celebrating its historical collection of illustrated children's books with an exhibition through Oct. 26. Eric Johnson, co-curator of the exhibition, will lead a tour of the show at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3, beginning in the Main Exhibition Gallery in Firestone Library.

The exhibition, "Brave New World: 20th-Century Books from the Cotsen Children's Library," was organized to mark the publication of the library's second of two volumes describing its 20th-century materials. Housed in both the main gallery and the Milberg Gallery in Firestone Library, the exhibition features books from the United States, England, France, Germany, Italy, Czechoslovakia, Japan and the former Soviet Union.

The Cotsen Library is perhaps "the only historical children's book collection in the English-speaking world that could mount such an exhibition of picture books without borrowing from other libraries," said Andrea Immel, curator of the exhibition and of the Cotsen Library.

"One of the purposes of the show," she said, "is to demonstrate that children's books reflect the legacy of modernization in all its complexity and ambivalence and excitement." The main gallery features artwork and children's books published between 1900 and 1950, organized around such subjects as the automobile, communications, consumerism, health and hygiene, the train, urbanization and war. Related original artwork, posters, activity books and toys drawn from the Cotsen Library's collection also are on display.

The part of the exhibition in the Milberg Gallery focuses on the modern artists who have created children's books. Among the highlights are works by Alexander Benois, Jean Cocteau, Salvadore Dali, Edward Gorey, David Hockney, El Lissitzky and Barry Moser, as well as unpublished drawings by George Grosz loaned by the artist's son and his wife.

In addition to Aug. 3, a tour of the exhibition is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 7.

Contact: Eric Quinones (609) 258-3601

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