Thursday, December 11, 2014

Librarian Field Trip! Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Last month I was able to fulfill a life-long dream and visit the Eric Carle Museum. I was visiting my sister in Boston and drove across the state on a sunny, Fall day.   The museum is perfectly set on the campus of Hampshire College, surrounded by farms and gently rolling hills.  The leaves were turning so many beautiful yellows and oranges.  

The lobby walls display large collages in Carle's favorite mediums.  It was very interesting for me to actually see him creating these and talking about his process.  (Mr. Carle was not present, but the introductory film they show, makes you feel like he is!)

While, I was disappointed to miss the Madeline Exhibit by only a few days, I was able to catch the last days of the Harriet the Spy exhibit, featuring letters and original manuscripts of author Louise Fitzhugh.  And staff was busy with preparations for Madeline.  I commented to one, "you must have the best job!"  She agreed.  I tired to not be jealous. 

The art studio for children is amazing. The theme for the day I visited was Paint your Pet, and there were many artists at work.  The room is large and bright, contains a wall of window the sun shines through and contains any kind of art supply an artist could need for a potential masterpiece.  Several staff members were also on hand to offer support and encouragement.  In the entry to the art studio was this beautiful sensory board.  I dream of having a sensory day soon for my babies and toddlers and this board served as great inspiration.  

I can make something similar, right?  Here's hoping.  

The library was a thing of beauty!  I was happy to see so many new books that I had already purchased for my own library.  The floor was dotted with families having their own storytimes and I had to resist the urge to offer one.  It made me happy to see many adults there, clearly the Carle library is well utilized by students and those of us who care about this history of children's literature.  

My visit was completed by a trip to the gift shop, where I did get some gifts and some things for me.  

It was a lovely experience and a great day- what I like to call an artists' day, full of time to learn new things and reflect.  I hope to go back soon.  I only wish it wasn't quite so far away.  If you are in the Amherst/ North Hampton area I encourage you to visit, with or without some kids!  

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