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The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats Exhibtion


If you?re looking for the perfect art exhibition for the kids, The National Museum of American Jewish History will be hosting the first major U.S. exhibition to pay tribute to Ezra Jack Keats. The award winning author and illustrator is best known for his beloved children’s books which include Whistle for Willie, Peter’s Chair, and The Snowy Day.

The Snowy Day - Courtesy of the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi. Copyright Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.

Born in Brooklyn in 1916, Keats was the child of Jewish immigrants and grew up in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods of New York City. His work focused on the universal concerns of children, and paved the way for multiracial representations in American children’s literature. In fact, The Snowy Day was the first children’s book to feature an African-American protagonist in a modern full-color picture book.

The exhibition features more than 80 original works, including preliminary sketches and dummy books to final paintings and collages from Keats? most popular books. Also on view are examples of Keats? most introspective but less-known work, inspired by Asian art and haiku poetry, as well as documentary material and photographs.

The exhibition explores Keats? multifaceted oeuvre in six sections preceded by an introduction and followed by an epilogue. Organized by The Jewish Museum in New York, the exhibition is funded through a generous grant from the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. The Joseph Alexander Foundation, the Alfred G. Grunebaum Memorial Fund and the Winnick Family Foundation have also provided additional support.

More information about the exhibit and related programs visit http://www.nmajh.org/.