Little Golden Books Exhibit

I always love going to the Central Library here in Lexington, but I knew I would make a special trip for nostalgia’s sake to check out The Little Golden Books Exhibit at the Central Library Gallery. I was surprised to learn that the popular Little Golden Books we all know and love resulted from concentrated efforts to produce quality books that were more affordable and readily available to the general public. At inception, masterfully illustrated books were available for a quarter, were durably produced, and sold not only in bookstores but also in department stores. The project was initiated in 1942 and has held the attention of young readers at story time for nearly 70 years.

Of the 60 original prints showcased at the Central Library Gallery, many are signed by familiar names including Richard Scarry, author of the Busytown books, and Peggy Parrish, author of the Amelia Bedelia books, another personal elementary school staple. Familiar scenes detail the adventures of the Pokey Little Puppy and the Tawny Scrawny Lion.

What makes this exhibit so appropriate for an Errant Easel post is the philosophy I feel it shares with D3Z, Staci, and myself. (I feel I can speak for the group here) That philosophy dictates that awesome things happen when art is made available to the public. Because it became a priority to create quality art that everyone could access we now have these collective memories of the Pokey Little Puppy and Scruffy the Tugboat. While I realize that these books are incredibly lucrative, I love that they got their start embodying art as a public service while at the same time becoming launchpads for rising illustrative talent. With the limited funding for Arts in school and the deemphasis of it’s importance in the classroom, it seems like pop art remains today a very powerful tool for introducing art to children who might not otherwise be exposed.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. stacigilliam
    Jul 20, 2011 @ 01:39:34

    Well said Sara! Thank you!


  2. D3Z
    Jul 20, 2011 @ 09:33:49

    Amelia Bedelia! One of my favs! This post made me smile, I enjoyed this exhibit as well…made my inner child so happy!
    so most of the paintings were water Color, which I think helps the enchantment of the illustration, the same way Disney movies used to illustrate (Snow White and Cinderella are great examples of this)…looks like Errant Easel may have to indulge in some water color painting some time!’


    • cryptotox
      Jul 20, 2011 @ 12:04:59

      Water color would be great to try. I think enchantment is definitely the correct word for these works.


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