September 8, 2018 — January 27, 2019
Charlotte’s Web, The Little House on the Prairie, Bedtime for Frances, The Cricket in Times Square—American illustrator Garth Williams (1912-1996) illustrated them all–and dozens more children’s classics in a career that spanned nearly 50 years and brought a new level of virtuosity and fun to American children’s books and their illustration.
See original work for 28 of Williams’ most beloved books and discover lesser-known facets of the artist’s career, such as Williams’ journeyman efforts as a London portrait artist and New Yorker cartoonist and his occasional forays into advertising.
The exhibit Garth Williams—Illustrator of the Century, curated by Leonard S. Marcus, is the largest retrospective of the artist’s work ever assembled. The exhibit originated at the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature in Abilene during the summer of 2017 and is on a national tour.
Preliminary drawings offer rare glimpses of Williams the agile and tireless perfectionist at his drawing table, while final art for the Wilder series, Charlotte’s Web, and many others allow us an unexpectedly intimate look at illustration art that we as readers have held dear all our lives.
Mon, Tues, Wed and Fri: 9am–5pm
On September 22 at 2pm, in conjunction with Smithsonian Museum Day Live, Leonard Marcus will deliver a free art talk on children’s book illustrator Garth Williams. A reception and book signing will follow.