NYPL rocks!

Sat 1/20/2007

I spent most of today at various branches of the New York Public Library, which was an extremely pleasant way to pass my time!

The main branch (with the Lions out front) has had an exhibit up for a few months now called Ehon: The Artist and The Book in Japan. I've wanted to go, but didn't find the time until today. It totally FLOORED me it was so amazing!

There were dozens of these scrolls and books, which are HUNDREDS of years old, and most of them were totally just Comics. Page after page of black and white ink drawings, with some accompanying text, telling stories. As a Comics artist, it was really incredible to see! There were romance stories, tales of adventure, even some stories where the characters were MICE, dressed in traditional Japanese garb, fighting evil cat emperors and stuff. (!!?!)

Anyways, after that I went to the Mid-Manhattan branch (across the street, where all the normal day-to-day library stuff goes on) to do some research for various school projects. I found a couple of good books, but others I needed were further uptown at the Donnell Library branch.

I walked the chilly ten blocks uptown and entered the Donnell branch for the second time in my life. The first time, as some of you might remember, was to see Harry and The Potters rock the building to its very foundation! On this trip however, I simply headed up to the second floor, which is entirely dedicated to children's books. And there on the wall, was the image you see above.

"Oh, that's cool," I thought, "They have a print of that N.C. Wyeth illustration from Robin Hood." Then I looked closer. And it was actually the REAL oil painting, from 1917. Now, you have to understand, there have been three N.C. Wyeth prints hanging on the wall of my parent's house since before I was born (from Robin Hood, Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe). My whole life I have thought of him as THE greatest illustrator that ever lived. And Robin Hood is one of my all-time favorite stories. I looked around the rest of the floor and found TWO other Wyeth originals from Robin Hood. My head was spinning! Talk about some amazing wall adornments... and most of the kids in there probably don't even realize how priceless they are!

Anyways, I read a whole STACK of kid's books and I think I found a really cool one to re-illustrate this semester for my Children's Book class. It's got a hunter and a talking snake and bows and arrows and a dragon and a magic stone and foxes and bears and a huge thunderstorm and bravery and sacrifice and adventure. It's going to be really fun to work on! :)

So... I guess I just wanted to say that the New York Public Library system ROCKS!!!

2 comments on this entry

sometimes NYC seems like a pit of vice and animalism, and sometimes it seems like the most cultured, gleaming jewel of intelligence and delicacy in the whole world. Usually the difference is just what room you happen to be in.

Plus, the city is so big you feel a little surge of discoverer's pride when you find these little treasures.

Matt Jan22

we recently ordered a Wyeth print of Robinson Crusoe for George.... it ended up being such a poor quality print we sent it back - daggum! His work makes little minds race, it really does.

Stefan Grube Jan22

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