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The Art of Maurice Sendak: 1980 to Present Hardcover – December 1, 2003

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The Art of Maurice Sendak: 1980 to Present + Maurice Sendak: A Celebration of the Artist and His Work
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; First Edition edition (December 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810944480
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810944480
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 10.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The first volume of The Art of Maurice Sendak, published when he was 53, covered the period 1951–1981, and spanned more than 80 books, including Sendak’s signature, Caldecott-winning book, Where the Wild Things Are. This new collection presents 350 illustrations, many of which are drawings for set and costume design work, which Sendak has been producing prolifically, others of which are posters for plays and for events such as the New York is Book Country fair. The style of all these works will be familiar to fans of Wild Things; Sendak’s precise, intensely shaded yet welcoming shapes and figures have lost none of their luster. They would ordinarily be enough in themselves in a survey like this, but Kushner’s lovely, funny, partisan text ("I’ve been his devoted fan since I was four years old") lifts the book to another level. It’s not often that the subject of such as book is matched with a writer as gifted and assured. His discussion of the book’s better known gems—such as the poster for Really Rosie (the theatre production based on Sendak’s book of the same name)—as well as his analysis of less celebrated works—such as Sendak’s Blakean illustrations for an edition of Kleist’s Penthesilea—help makes this volume a worthy companion to Selma Lane’s initial, classic collection.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From School Library Journal

It has been 20 years since Selma G. Lanes's The Art of Maurice Sendak (Abrams, 1998) provided a "picture biography" of this groundbreaking picture-book creator. This companion volume has the same coffee-table size and is as copiously illustrated, but its new page design and approach reflect the new directions in Sendak's career as an operatic "theater artist." Playwright Tony Kushner's "unapologetically subjective" paean is divided into a prologue and six movements. They include a recapitulation of Sendak's life and work to 1980; an analysis of the "trilogy" Outside Over There, Dear Mili, and We Are All in the Dumps with Jack and Guy; brief mention of other books since 1981; and an extended analysis of Sendak's work in the opera world. Kushner's book is a more intimate portrait than Lanes's. It addresses not only Sendak's projects but also his aesthetics and psychology. Academic institutions with programs in the arts, even those without Lanes's book, will find the volume valuable.-Sue Burgess, Framingham State College, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Tony Kushner's plays include A Bright Room Called Day and Slavs!; as well as adaptations of Corneille's The Illusion, Ansky's The Dybbuk, Brecht's The Good Person of Szecguan and Goethe's Stella. Current projects include: Henry Box Brown or The Mirror of Slavery; and two musical plays: St. Cecilia or The Power of Music and Caroline or Change. His collaboration with Maurice Sendak on an American version of the children's opera, Brundibar, appeared in book form Fall 2003. Kushner grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and he lives in New York.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By VCanete on May 20, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The death of Maurice Sendak has been sad for all of us. He created many imaginable books that definitely surprised readers. Some of them are the rhythmic and musical "Nutshell Library", the nightly adventure "In the Night Kitchen" and the one book that helped him become a legend, his grand masterpiece "Where The Wild Things Are". So in this book by Tony Kushner, we see how Maurice Sendak brout his work onto paper and it made an impact.
In the book, we find out about his creative side and work seating from the 80s to the present. For example we get to learn how he expresses with his art in his books. However, the book talks also about how his view brought some controversy in the world of literature and how he contributed to many things thanks to his books.
The book is a perfect piece of nonfiction for others who are very curious to know more about the world of Maurice Sendak. It's filled with so much information that you may get lost. The book isn't complete without some of Sendak's wonderful illustrations. In the end, you'll truely be mesmorised by this truely informative tribute to Maurice Sendak.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By cae on January 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Maurice Sendak has been a part of our lives for over 43 years and gifting his
books and art has been a major pleasure for both of us.
This book is beautiful and opens up a lot of memories for us.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gregg Chadwick on May 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Dear Mr. Sendak, How much does it cost to get to where the wild things are? If it is not expensive, my sister and I would like to spend the summer there."
-From a letter sent by an eight year old reader to Maurice Sendak

Maurice Sendak was an artist in love with the world and with things that go bump in the night. Sendak looked deeply at the world around him. His vision included the visible nature of our existence and the invisible, but no less real, world of dreams. Sendak's beautifully crafted artworks for his books began with simple pencil sketches that were then enlarged and fleshed out with pen and ink which was then layered with glowing watercolor washes. The "Art of Maurice Sendak" by Selma Lanes gathers images of many of Sendak's cherished works into one volume. This massive book is a treasure-house for the imagination.

The finished paintings on paper reflect what Dave Eggers described in a Vanity Fair article on Sendak as the "unhinged and chiaroscuro subconscious of a child." Sendak's books and images appealed to readers of all ages. Sendak took the deep mysteries of life head-on and allowed us all to journey to where the wild things are.

We are fortunate that Maurice Sendak's love for beauty and the mystery of existence forged a unique vision that led to his magical books and images. He will be greatly missed. Selma Lanes' book is a reminder of what we have lost and also a touchstone that preserves Sendak's genius.
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