Saturday, March 24, and Sunday, March 25, noon–4 p.m. daily
The Wild Things Whirligig children’s opera, 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. each day
Rosenbach Museum & Library, 2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia
Sendak in Spring is free with museum admission ($10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for students and free for children under 5). For more information, call 215-732-1600 or visit www.rosenbach.org.
The Rosenbach Museum & Library celebrates the work of famed author and illustrator Maurice Sendak — creator of such children’s classics as Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen and Outside Over There — with Sendak in Spring, held on the first weekend of Spring, Saturday, March 24, and Sunday, March 25, from noon–4 p.m. daily. The annual festival promises a fun-filled weekend for the whole family, with activities geared toward kids of all ages, from toddlers to pre-teens.[A full schedule of programs and events follows below.]
Sendak in Spring’s centerpiece presentation is The Wild Things Whirligig, an hour-long interactive children’s opera inspired by the work of Maurice Sendak. Created by Karen Saillant, Artistic Director of the International Opera Theater, this dynamic performance weaves together characters from Sendak’s work with music by the author’s favorite composers.
Emphasizing the importance of imagination and everyday creativity, Sendak in Spring will also present workshops and activities that explore the art of storytelling, illustration and bookmaking, taught by Philadelphia storytellers “Papa” Ed Stokes and Irma Gardner-Hammond, local book artist Kay Healy and Rosenbach staff members. The museum will feature a Snack, Beanbag and Book Room for kids to unwind and refuel. Families can also explorethe Rosenbach’s current Sendak exhibition, Pen to Publisher: The Life of Three Sendak Picture Books, as well as the Chertoff Mural, a recently conserved 13-foot-long mural painted by Maurice Sendak.The Rosenbach Museum & Library’s shop will feature an excellent selection of children’s books, including the largest collection of Sendak books in the Philadelphia area.
The Wild Things Whirligig Performances
1 p.m. and 3 p.m., free with museum admission (free ticket required)
Go wild at the Rosenbach with a dynamic, interactive performance inspired by the wonderful workof Maurice Sendak. Created by Karen Saillant, Artistic Director of the International Opera Theater, this musical performed by and for children weaves together classic Sendak characters with figures who have inspired the author, such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Seating is limited for the performances. Admission to the Whirligig is free, but tickets are required. Tickets for the performance will be available on a ﬁrst-come, ﬁrst-served basis the day of each performance.
Sendak in SpringDrop-in Activities
Noon–4 p.m., free with museum admission
Spend an afternoon with your family and take part in a variety of drop-in activities that explore the art of storytelling, illustration and bookmaking. Activities include an energetic call-and-response story time session led by “Papa” Ed Stokes and Irma Gardner-Hammond, who will have kids clapping their hands and stomping their feet; and a bookmaking table run by local book artist Kay Healy, who will teach kids of all ages how to make a three-dimensional book. Rosenbach staffers will also teach creative activities like feathered hat-making and more, and the museum will feature a Snack, Beanbag and Book Room for kids to unwind and refuel.
Chertoff Mural Restoration Project
Permanent installation, free with museum admission
In 2006,The Rosenbach Museum & Libraryembarked on a landmark conservation project to restore a rare mural begunby Sendak in 1959. The mural depicts a processional of children and animals, including figures that become familiar in Sendak’s later work, such as Jennie the dog, who leads the parade, and other recurring characters, like a bear and lion. Originally painted in the children’s bedroom of a private New York home, the mural was completed by Sendak just before he became a household name. Rediscovered in 2005, the mural was donated to the museum byNina Chertoff and Laurence Chertoff, the now-adult children for whom the mural was painted, and is the only known Sendak mural. The Rosenbach Museum & Library, the sole repository of Sendak’s original artwork, spearheaded the mural conservation project in 2006. The mural was permanently installed in the lobby of the Rosenbach in the Fall of 2010.
Exhibition: Pen to Publisher: The Life of Three Sendak Picture Books
On view through July 15, free with museum admission
In between workshops and performances, Sendak in Spring attendees will have the opportunity to explore the Rosenbach’s exhibition Pen to Publisher: The Life of Three Sendak Picture Books. Follow the lives of three picture books by Maurice Sendak — The Sign on Rosie’s Door (1960), Outside Over There (1981), and Brundibar (2003) — as they take three radically different paths from idea to finished product. With dates spanning 43 years, these books reveal how Sendak pursued and preserved a core idea or character through his own artistic refinements and the ever-changing techniques and technologies of the publishing industry.This exhibition represents the most of Sendak’s work that has been on display at the Rosenbach in a number of years, taking residence in two full gallery spaces.