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MAURICE SENDAK PAPERS

de Grummond Children's Literature Collection
The University of Southern Mississippi


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Creator: Maurice Bernard Sendak
Title: Maurice Sendak Papers
Dates: ca. 1960-1996
Quantity: 0.30 cubic feet (1 box)
Identification: DG0878

Abstract: The Maurice Sendak Papers contain illustrations, a lithograph, and printed material created between around 1960 and 1996. Sendak's papers were created from his composition of two published books and his drawing of illustrations for Childcraft encyclopedia and for his USM medallion. Sendak, whose books often emerged from his interest in the imagination and fantasy of childhood, earned the Caldecott Medal in 1964 for his classic picture book, Where the Wild Things Are.

Biographical Note

Maurice Sendak was born in Brooklyn, New York, on June 10, 1928, to Philip and Sarah (Schindler) Sendak. Childhood illnesses and frequent moves by his family prevented him from making friends and kept him bedridden for much of his unhappy childhood. He found escape in reading comic books, watching movies, listening to classical music, drawing, and writing stories. Sendak drew comic strip backgrounds while in high school and worked in a Manhattan warehouse for two years after his graduation. Between 1948 and 1951, he designed window displays for F.A.O. Schwartz and attended the Art Students' League in New York City.

Several publishing houses rejected Sendak's early drawings before he met Ursula Nordstrom of Harper & Brothers. She taught him how to be a more flexible illustrator and arranged for him to illustrate Ruth Krauss' A Hole is to Dig: A First Book of First Definitions (1952), which established his reputation as an important illustrator. Although dissatisfied with his early attempts as both an author and illustrator, Sendak produced a memorable work with The Sign on Rosie's Door (1960), a story based on an imaginative girl he had known as a child in Brooklyn. His most outstanding accomplishment as an author-illustrator was a loose trilogy of picture books that emerged from his interest in the imagination and fantasy of childhood. Where the Wild Things Are (1963), In the Night Kitchen (1970), and Outside Over There (1981) all feature characters who resolve personal crises by using their imaginations. Where the Wild Things Are earned Sendak the Caldecott Medal in 1964.

In 1970 Maurice Sendak received the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, becoming the only American illustrator ever to receive the honor. After the deaths of his parents, he moved to Connecticut and spent the 1970s working on picture books in virtual isolation. He emerged in 1980 to begin a second career producing operas, plays, and ballets. Sendak received the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion in 1981, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award in 1983, and the first Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2003.

Maurice Sendak passed away May 8, 2012 in Danbury, Connecticut at the age of 83.

Sources:
Major Authors and Illustrators for Children and Young Adults, ed. Laurie Collier and Joyce Nakamura (Detroit: Gale Research, 1993), 5:2057-2065.


Scope and Content Note

The Maurice Sendak Papers contain illustrations, a lithograph, printed material, and a miniature clock created between around 1960 and 1996. The material was accumulated independently by the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection without the assistance of Maurice Sendak. His papers were created from his composition of two published books, his drawing of illustrations for Childcraft encyclopedia and for his USM medallion, and the creation of other items. The material is organized into three series: books, Childcraft illustrations, and other material.

The Books Series contains a promotional booklet for Nutcracker (1984) and folded and gathered sheets for Outside Over There (1981). The Childcraft Illustrations Series consists of six illustrations drawn by Sendak probably around 1960 to accompany three poems in the first volume of Childcraft: The How and Why Library. Although other Sendak illustrations were used in the first volume of the encyclopedia set, these six apparently were never used. Finally, the Other Material Series contains a signed lithograph of characters from Little Bear's Visit by Else Holmelund Minarik, Sendak's original illustration for the reverse of the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion that he received in 1981, and a souvenir miniature clock for the "Sendak in Asia" traveling exhibition in Japan and Thailand in 1996.


Series and Subseries

A. Books (1981-1984)

The Nutcracker (1984)

Outside Over There (1981)

B. Childcraft Illustrations [ca. 1960]
C. Other Material [ca. 1961-1996]


Restrictions

Restrictions on Use

Noncirculating; available for research.

Copyright Restrictions

The collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research." It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials, other than that noted above.


Related Material

The Ruth Krauss Papers (DG 0569) contain a carbon copy of the text for Open House for Butterflies (1960). The Janice May Udry Papers (DG 0999) contain notes for The Moon Jumpers (1959).


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

(Identify the item), Maurice Sendak Papers, de Grummond Children's Literature Collection, University of Southern Mississippi Libraries, (Cite the item's box/folder numbers).

Provenance

The lithograph of characters from Little Bear's Visit was donated to the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection of the University of Southern Mississippi Libraries by Evelyn Peters in March 1979. The provenance of the other items is unknown.

Processing Information

Processed by Hans Rasmussen, March 2003. Encoded into EAD Version 1.0 by Danielle L. Bishop. This finding aid is the product of a grant funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Container Listing

Box/Folder

.

A. Books

Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann, translated by Ralph Manheim, pictures by Maurice Sendak (New York: Crown Publishers, 1984)
1/1Promotional booklet, 1984, (1 item )
Outside Over There by Maurice Sendak (New York: Harper & Row, 1981)
1/2Folded and gathered sheets, with dust jacket and endpapers, (3 signatures )



.

B. Childcraft Illustrations

1/3 Unused illustration for "Bigger," [ca. 1960], (1 item)
1/4 Unused illustration for "I'd Like To Be a Lighthouse," [ca. 1960], (1 item)
1/5Unused illustrations for "Otherwise," [ca. 1960], (4 items )



.

C. Other Material

1/6Lithograph of characters from Little Bear's Visit by Else Holmelund Minarik, signed and numbered 2/500, [ca. 1961-1979], (1 item)
1/7Illustration for reverse of University of Southern Mississippi Medallion, 1981, (1 item)
1/8Souvenir miniature clock for "Sendak in Asia" traveling exhibition to Japan and Thailand, 1996, (1 item)



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