Wild at art: Book fair displays Sendak’s artwork

Moove along: Maurice Sendak decorated the plaster cow “Moo-reese” for the 2000 Manhattan Cow Parade.
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This is where the Wild Things are!

One of the world’s most beloved children’s book authors will finally get a solo exhibit of his work in his native Brooklyn — more than five years after his death. More than 75 drawings by Maurice Sendak, creator of the world-famous “Where the Wild Things Are,” will be on display at the Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair, happening in Greenpoint Sept. 8–10.

The famous author’s work has been displayed all over the world, there is something special about bringing it to the place he grew up, said Justin G. Schiller, the show’s curator.

“I’m glad that we were able to bring his original drawings back to this neighborhood, and he’s had many shows all over the world,” said Schiller, who was Sendak’s art agent for 45 years. “He’s a unique talent — I think he’s generally considered the most important children’s book artist of the 20th century.”

Sendak, both an illustrator and author of creative, colorful, and emotional children’s stories, produced more than 100 books during his career in addition to 1963’s “Where the Wild Things Are.”

The exhibit will feature more than 75 of Sendak’s original drawings and paintings created from the 1950s through the 1980s, all of them gifted to Schiller’s collectible company. The artwork comes in a variety of formats, and it will all be for sale — although some of the prices may leave fans gnashing their terrible teeth.

“It depends what selection one could buy — original drawings begin at about $5,000. Pencil, to ink drawing, to full watercolor gets more expensive,” said Schiller. “Any original Maurice piece is exciting to show off.”

The show will also feature Sendak’s three-dimensional plaster cow, “Moo-reese,” which he created for the 2000 Manhattan Cow Parade. The bovine figure will be on sale for a whopping $200,000, according to Schiller.

Those hunting for more affordable art can pick up vintage prints and posters made from Sendak’s story books in 1971, which starting at about $25, said Schiller, which the author made for just this purpose.

“He created images of his books, to have a print that can be hung on the wall without having to mutilate any of his story books,” he said.

This is the first time the four-year-old Antiquarian Book Fair has branched out into displaying artwork at its annual show. In addition to the gallery show, more than 100 other exhibitors will show off rare books, prints, etchings, and engravings at the three-day event.

Brooklyn Antiquarian Book Fair at the Brooklyn Expo Center (79 Franklin St. at Noble Street in Greenpoint, Sept. 8, 5–9 pm; Sept. 9, 11 am–7 pm; Sept. 10, 11 am–5 pm. $5–$25.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 5:55 pm, July 9, 2018
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