WONDERFUL PROMOTIONAL BOOK POSTER FOR THE BRITISH EDITION OF SENDAK'S I SAW ESAU, INSCRIBED BY SENDAK FOR PRESENTATION TO HIS CLOSE FRIEND AND NEIGHBOR
SENDAK, Maurice. Poster inscribed ["I Saw Esau"]. Great Britain: Walker Books, 1992. Color poster, measuring 9-3/4 by 27-3/4 inches; handsomely framed, entire piece measures 10-1/2 by 28-1/4 inches inches. $1350.
Lovely color poster, illustrated by Maurice Sendak, advertising the British edition of his book, I Saw Esau, inscribed in the background of one of several small illustrations for presentation to his close friend and neighbor: "For Elizabeth from Maurice Sept. '92."
This poster advertises the Walker Books (London) edition of I Saw Esau, a collection of poems, rhymes, and more, illustrated by Maurice Sendak. The poster features a large illustration of a group of townspeople in old-fashioned dress as well as six small panels re-interpreting "Rain, Rain, Go Away" as the story of a mother partially turning into a tree to protect her baby from the rain. 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.