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Eloise at NY Historical

July 16, 2017

 The wall decoration hints at the fun, starting right at the entryway...

 

No one interested in children's book art will want to miss this show, filled with examples of Hilary Knight's masterly ability to evoke character through poses and gestures rendered in utterly confident pen-and-ink lines.

 

Examples of his preliminary work include pencil sketches done on a paper that's gone to beige, 

Seeing Weenie, the dog "that looks like a cat," perched on Eloise's knee as she and Nanny look out the Plaza window on Christmas Eve, it's hard to believe he started out like this:

 

This is a great example of how characters can change as a book develops.  Indeed, there are "lessons" for children's book illustrators in every image, and an overall hint of the meticulous work behind the easy perfection.

 

An elegant seating area is provided for anyone who wants to sit and read, or just look closely at, a collection of  books illustrated by Hilary Knight.  

 

 

Many know that Kay Thompson had a jealous fit after ELOISE IN MOSCOW received more praise for the art than the text. Expressing her ire, she pulled the plug on an enormously popular series, leaving Knight high and dry.  His delicious revenge, parodying jacket for the first book, is one of the many treats awaiting you at the New York Historical Society.  The show runs until October 9th.  

 

 

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