SCARCE AND BEAUTIFUL POSTER FROM THE PIERPONT MORGAN LIBRARY'S 1981 SENDAK EXHIBITION, INSCRIBED BY SENDAK FOR PRESENTATION TO A NEIGHBOR AND CLOSE FRIEND
SENDAK, Maurice. Poster inscribed ["The Pierpont Morgan Library Drawings & Watercolors by Maurice Sendak"]. New York: No publisher, 1981. Chromolithographic poster, measuring 17 by 23 inches; professionally lined and framed, entire piece measures 17-3/4 by 23-3/4 inches. $1700.
Wonderful poster advertising The Pierpont Morgan Library's 1981 Sendak exhibition focusing on The Magic Flute and Outside Over There, inscribed for presentation to Sendak's neighbor and close friend: "For Elizabeth—affectionately—Maurice Jan:81."
This poster advertises the Morgan Library's 1981 exhibition of Sendak's work, in which his work was presented in dialogue with two other exhibitions featuring works by William Blake and W.A. Mozart. Sendak's exhibition focused on his illustrations for The Magic Flute and Outside Over There. In fact, a pencil study from Outside Over There was used for the main poster illustration and depicts the protagonist, Ida, playing a jig on her horn to scare goblins away from her little sister. The former owner of this inscribed poster was Maurice Sendak's neighbor, Andrew, from Ridgefield, Connecticut. Sendak bought a home and studio in Ridgefield in 1972 with his longtime partner, Eugene Glynn, and lived there until his death. Andrew first encountered Sendak in 1975 during one of his daily dog walks. (Sendak owned many dogs throughout his life, and they often starred in his books.) Andrew was immediately taken with Sendak, who reminded him of his recently deceased father. One day, Andrew called Sendak at home and asked if he could join him on his walks. Andrew and Sendak thus embarked on a 37-year friendship that also included the Andrew's mother, Betty, as well as Andrew's brother. Sendak went on long walks and hikes with Andrew and his family regularly, discussing general life events, opera, and books. He also invited them into his studio to show off works in progress. Andrew's mother, Betty, was an avid reader and collector and she and Sendak would talk late into the night about books. Sendak offered Betty advice about how to find and authenticate rare children's books, which she used to build her collection. Additionally, he frequently bartered for autographs (i.e. a cake for an inscribed drawing featuring the cake). Sendak often referred to Betty as "Elizabeth" in inscriptions as he felt that "Betty" was too common a name. The many inscribed drawings, along with first editions, signed books, and other valuable items grew into one of the country's premier Sendak collections.
Inscription faded to gray, but still fully legible. Fine condition.