Where can you find Kate Greenaway, Randolph Caldecott, Walter Crane, Robert McCloskey, Marcia Brown, Tomie dePaola, Arnold Lobel, Marc Brown, Steven Kellogg, Jan Brett, Lois Ehlert, Thomas Locker, Eric Carle, Patricia Polacco, Audrey & Don Wood, and Tedd Arnold “hanging out together?” Original pieces of their work can all be found in Findlay, Ohio at Findlay University’s The Mazza Collection. The Mazza Museum is home to one of the world’s largest collections of children’s book art.
You can get a “taste” of the stunning Mazza Collection at AASL 2015 in Columbus, when AASL hosts the select pieces of art that make up the Mazza traveling collection. You will also have an opportunity to learn more about the Mazza Collection and their special programs if you attend the Mazza Collection’s conference session. I can’t wait to see which works they bring to Columbus!
You may be wondering exactly how did this rich treasury of children’s book art came to be in Ohio? In 1982, each academic division of Findlay College was given $2,000 dollars and charged with commemorating the 100th anniversary of the college. Led by the late Dr. Jerry Mallett, the teacher education division used that money to purchase four pieces of original artwork from children’s books. Dr. Mallett set a goal of adding one piece to the collection each year. The collection has far exceeded Dr. Mallett’s original goal and the Mazza Collection is now home to more than 10,000 breath-taking and diverse original pieces of art that span the history of children’s literature.
Be warned, after learning more about the Mazza Collection, you may find yourself wanting to make a special trip back to Ohio to visit the collection and possibly attend one of the Mazza Collection’s amazing conferences. In Findlay, you can see a felt piece sculpture of Cat in the Hat Moth Covered Three Handled Grudunza by artist, James Quinlan artist; the model boat Jan Brett used when creating her version of Lear’s The Owl and the Pussy Cat; a display devoted to paper engineering, or original illustrations from books like Patricia Polacco’s The Keeping Quilt. Museum admission is FREE and whether you love the timeless work of Garth Williams (working sketches from Little House in the Big Woods) or are more interested in graphic novel art like Jillian Tamaki’s 2015 Caldecott Honor book, This One Summer, The Mazza Collection has something to make your heart soar.