As CMoR’s CEO Karen Coltrane put it, “This is exciting to us because a lot of us were children that read the Little Golden Books, and then we grew up to be moms that read them to our own children. We know the children are going to love the art, but this is one exhibit we think parents are really going to respond to as well.”
The fact that this will be the only showing of the exhibit in the state of Virginia is pretty exciting as well.
Showcasing over $1 million of Golden Books artwork, the exhibit (first curated in 2007 by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature in Abilene, Texas) features 60 illustrations from such classics at The Poky Little Puppy, I Am A Bunny, Little Red Riding Hood, and more. Artists who contributed to the Golden Books series were an eclectic mix of European greats, Walt Disney Studios alumni, and independent American originals — including the one and only Richard Scarry.
The first 12 Little Golden Books were published in the fall of 1942, thanks to a combined effort between Simon and Schuster and the Artists and Writers Guild, Inc. The goal was to make high quality, beautifully illustrated books affordable and accessible to all families. The books were initially priced at just 25 cents.
Thanks to support from the Dominion Foundation who underwrote the Golden Books exhibit, in a way, CMoR is able to carry on the Golden Books tradition of accessibility: the exhibit is completely free and open to the public. Meanwhile, with the help of MeadWestvaco Foundation and the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, CMoR was able to obtain funding to cover free field trips to the museum for all 3,600 first and second graders in Richmond Public Schools. These kids will see the Golden Books exhibit and take part educational programming based on it, and get free admission to the museum.
The folks over at CMoR were kind enough to share a few of the images you’ll see in the exhibit. However, a website won’t do them justice, so be sure to head over and check them out in person. You’ll love it, the little ones will love it, and — it will give you a jumping off point to share some of your own childhood reading experiences with your kids.