The launch of Little Golden Books in 1942 made high-quality children’s picture books available for the first time at a price that nearly everyone could afford. Just as important, the series has counted among its illustrators some of the day’s most gifted artists. Among them were European emigrés (including Feodor Rojankovsky and Tibor Gergely); Disney Studio alumni (including Gustaf Tenggren, Martin Provensen, J. P. Miller and Mary Blair); and such American originals as Garth Williams, Eloise Wilkin, Elizabeth Orton Jones, Richard Scarry and Bob Staake.
This nationally touring exhibition is the most extensive public showing ever of original artwork for the series. The more than 60 works, from the vast Random House archive, include iconic illustrations for Tootle, Home for a Bunny, Five Little Firemen, The Color Kittens, I Can Fly and other children’s classics.
Golden Legacy is organized by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Abilene, Texas. In Rochester, it is sponsored by the Gallery Council of the Memorial Art Gallery and Nocon & Associates, a private wealth advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Additional support is provided by the Child Care Council, Inc., FULL MEA5URE, Michael & Joanna Grosodonia, and COMIDA.
Pictured: Tibor Gergely, Fire Engine Racing Through the Streets, illustration for The Great Big Fire Engine Book (1950). Gouache and watercolor.