Representations of both art and manuscripts are currently on exhibit in the de Grummond Children's Literature Exhibit Room. The exhibit features the work of Texan Kathi Appelt, Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award Finalist. Along with Appelt's manuscript for The Underneath, is Kimberly Willis Holt's Part of Me. National Book Award winner, Kimberly Willis Holt currently lives in Texas but considers Louisiana her "emotional home." A photographic scrapbook by Lois Lenski is also on display. Lenski, known for her regional novels in the 1950s and 1960s, visited a south Louisiana town in the 1940s and took pictures of the residents, which she then used in developing the illustrations for Bayou Suzette. FranÃ© Lessac's original illustrations for Monday on the Mississippi give an appealing examination of a riverboat's journey down the Mississippi.
Also featured is the work of artist Merritt Mauzey, a native Texan. Perhaps the highlight of his artistic career came in April 1946 when he became the first Texan to receive the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Award, allowing him to spend an entire year exclusively pursuing his art. His cotton series prints eventually were published in book form as illustrations for The Land of Beginning Again, Cotton-Farm Boy, and Texas Ranch Boy. Later lithographs provided illustrations and text for Rice Boy, Rubber Boy, and Oilfield Boy. Mauzey also drew on yet another of his deep-seated passions, his Christian faith, to render interpretations of Old and New Testament stories and expressions of the Psalms. In his lifetime Mauzey donated or sold more than 1,000 prints and sketches to more than fifty museums, libraries, universities, schools, and private collections around the world. He had completed illustrations for two new stories, "Sugar Boy" and "Spice Boy," and was working on the text for the prints when he passed away in 1973 at the age of seventy-six.
The exhibit will be on display until September 25, 2009. The de Grummond Exhibit Room is on the second floor of Cook Library, and the hours are from 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 12:00-6:00 p.m. on Sunday.
If you have any questions about the exhibit, please contact the de Grummond Curator, Ellen Ruffin, at Ellen.Ruffin@usm.edu or 601.266.4349.