Rosie, her cat Buttermilk, and her creator Maurice Sendak, at Skirball Center

Visual arts
Maurice Sendak, Rosie and Buttermilk, her Cat , character studies for Really Rosie animation,1973, watercolor and ink on paper, 13 ¾ x 15 5/8”
©The Maurice Sendak Foundation

Maurice Sendak (1928-2012) is much known as the artist/creator of acclaimed children’s books Where the Wild Things Are (1963), In the Night Kitchen (1970), and Outside Over There (1980). Sendak, who is enjoying a retrospective of his work, Wild Things Are Happening, at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, was known to have said, “I love opera beyond anything, and Mozart beyond anything,” also designed for opera, theater, film, and television productions, collaborating with directors, composers, playwrights, and visual artists, such as Carroll Ballard, Frank Corsaro, Spike Jonze, Tony Kushner, and Twyla Tharp. The exhibition also highlights his love of Mozart and the way the composer’s life and work influenced not only Sendak’s designs for Mozart’s operas, such as The Magic Flute, but also key books including Outside Over There and Dear Mili.

Wild Things Are Happening comprises more than 150 sketches, storyboards, and paintings lent by The Maurice Sendak Foundation and organized by The Columbus Museum of Art as the largest and most complete exhibition of the work of the popular artist, who died in 2012.  It includes creative work, drawing inspiration from writers ranging from William Shakespeare to Herman Melville; portraits of loved ones; archival photographs of family members; and toys he designed as a young adult. We need levity. We’re going!

(L) Maurice Sendak, Mockup for the Cover of Nutshell Library, 1962, ink and tempera, 10 3/8 x 8 1/8” ; (R) Maurice Sendak, Higglety, Pigglety, Pop!, 1967, ink on paper, 11 ½ x 9” ©The Maurice Sendak Foundation

Wild Things Are Happening: The Art of Maurice Sendak | Skirball Cultural Center | now thru September

Leave a Reply