Art Seiden’s children’s book illustrations are now on display at the Zimmerli Art Museum



Whimsical mid-century design was not limited to fashion or furniture, it also flourished in children’s books of the time. How do you say…? Learn animal names with illustrator Art Seiden / ¿Cómo se dice…? Learn animal numbers with illustrator Art SeidenOn view at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers from March 9 through July 31, showcases the artist’s ability to engage children with his timeless animal portraits in Zoo Animals for Children.

The 33 illustrations presented – exhibited together for the first time – are from Zimmerli’s permanent collection, accompanied by labels in Spanish and English. Plus, an interactive gallery activity invites visitors to share drawings and the names of their favorite animals in any language.

“Art is a big help for children as they learn other skills,” said Nicole Simpson, assistant curator of Zimmerli Prints and Drawings, who curated the exhibit. “These books highlight the importance of language acquisition in early childhood.”

Art Seiden (1923-2004) produced over 300 children’s books, in addition to commercial illustrations. His illustrations have immortalized subjects that fill children’s thoughts: the alphabet, numbers, vehicles, anatomy, fairy tales. In 1963, Seiden created illustrations in collaboration with Berlitz, the language teaching company. Published in two versions – French and Spanish – Zoo Animals for Children charms young readers with live animal portraits and fun facts while teaching them new languages.

In these illustrations, he paints detailed portraits of animals, in color and in black and white, with gouache (opaque watercolor). Whether mammal, bird, amphibian, reptile or fish, Seiden has given each animal a distinct personality, capturing the beauty and diversity of our world. natural. The wide range of hues on a peacock and an ostrich add dimension to the texture of their feathers. The bright colors and lively facial expressions of a squirrel and a lizard convey satisfaction from their respective meals of a peanut and an insect. Black and white renderings of intense focus of a bear eating fish and a hunting shark remind young readers of the danger of these predators.

Born in Brooklyn, Seiden graduated from Queens College and studied at the Art Students League of New York. He was a member of the American Watercolor Society and the Society of Illustrators, among others. Between 1987 and 2003 Seiden donated over 140 of his illustrations to the Zimmerli.

How do you say…? Learn animal names with illustrator Art Seiden / ¿Cómo se dice…? Learning Numbers of Animals with Illustrador Art Seiden, curated by Nicole Simpson, Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings, is on view March 6 through July 31, 2022. To schedule a class or group visit, please contact the Service education ([email protected]) at least three weeks in advance.

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