LOVELY PRINT FROM THE GRIMM STORY, "THE POOR MILLER'S BOY AND THE LITTLE CAT," FROM THE JUNIPER TREE, INSCRIBED BY MAURICE SENDAK TO A NEIGHBOR FAMILY WITH WHOM HE WAS CLOSE FRIENDS
SENDAK, Maurice. Print inscribed ["The Poor Miller's Boy and the Little Cat"]. [Ridgefield, Connecticut], 1979. Black-and-white print, measuring 4-1/4 by 5-1/4 inches; handsomely matted and framed, entire piece measures 8 by 9-3/4 inches. $1200.
Lovely print featuring an image from "The Poor Miller's Boy and the Little Cat" from Sendak's adaptation of the Brothers Grimm's fairy tales, inscribed in the lower margin to close friends: "For the Grahams—Maurice Sendak Feb '79," handsomely framed.
This print is from The Juniper Tree, a collection of 27 (mainly) lesser known Grimm fairy tales adapted by Lore Segal and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. This illustration depicts a scene from "The Poor Miller's Boy and the Little Cat" of a contemplative young man surrounded by cats. The former owner of this inscribed print 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.