THIS EXHIBITION FEATURES more than four centuries of illustrated books, drawings, movable and pop-up books, toys, and games from selected University of California collections. The great majority were chosen from the more than twenty-five thousand works in the Children's Book Collection in the Department of Special Collections at the University Research Library, UCLA, one of the most significant holdings of children's books in the United States. Additional works were selected from UCLA's Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts; the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, UCLA; and the Dr. Seuss Collection at the Mandeville Special Collections Library, Geisel Library, University of California, San Diego. Together these collections provide insight into a number of issues relevant to the history of children's literature, including how society's changing conceptions of childhood shaped the genre of children's books; the increasing importance of illustration; the nature of collaboration between the writer and the artist-illustrator; and the persistence of traditional stories interpreted variously at different times and by different cultures.
This exhibition and catalogue are the result of the contributions of a number of individuals in a variety of departments and institutions over the past two years. First and foremost, this project could not have been realized without the enormous dedication of Karen Mayers and Patricia Waldron. As my cocurators for this exhibition, they spent many months researching the collections to select the works exhibited here and are responsible for much of the exhibition's direction and substance.
At the UCLA/Hammer Museum, Mitchell Browning's extraordinary installation and case designs created an innovative and visually stimulating setting for the variety of works in the exhibition. Deborah Edwards's time line enhanced visitors' understanding of the history of the works presented. Lynne Blaikie and Maureen McGee prepared and cared for the objects in the exhibition with their usual high standards, and Andréa Bronté, Heather Cantrell, Louis Fuller, Jules Hartzell, and Jon Pestoni were of invaluable assistance during the installation. Anne Bennett managed all registrarial aspects of the exhibition with great care, and Claudine Dixon lent her research skills to both the exhibition and the catalogue. Cindi Dale, director of education, devised the exceptional educational programming for the exhibition. I also wish to recognize the efforts of other museum staff, particularly Amy Weinstein, Kelly White, Stephanie Rieke, Bryan Coopersmith, Patricia Capps, Layna White, and Marpessa Dawn Outlaw. Greg Barnes at the Office of Instructional Development at UCLA created the wonderful videos that accompanied the exhibition.
At the University Research Library at UCLA, former Head of the Department of Special Collections David Zeidberg was helpful in the initial planning stages, and the present head, Susan M. Allen, has been extremely responsive and supportive. Also at Special Collections, Octavio Olvera provided invaluable and much-appreciated support. I am also grateful for the efforts of Brian Schottlaender, James Davis, Jeff Rankin, Charlotte Brown, Russell Johnson, Elizabeth Stacey, and Sarah Lesser. Richard Lindemann and Steve Coy at the Mandeville Special Collections Library at UC San Diego also deserve thanks.
For the catalogue, editor Karen Jacobson has worked with her usual care and thoroughness in the face of unusually tight deadlines. Designer Lilli Colton's enthusiasm for the subject of this exhibition and catalogue is evident in this volume; she has provided a handsome and engaging context for the works presented.
The publication of this catalogue would not have been possible without the support of Lloyd Cotsen, whose interest and generosity are greatly appreciated by all those involved in the arts and education. Finally, I wish to thank my son, Robert, who provided the original inspiration for my exploration of this subject and who remains a constant reminder of its importance.
© 1997 by the Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.