Celebrate the magical world of the beloved Dr. Seuss when Ocean Galleries (Stone Harbor, NJ) hosts “The Art of Dr. Seuss Collection” this weekend, Friday, July 20 through Sunday, July 22. This year’s exhibit marks the twentieth anniversary of the colorful and creative collection of artwork, which includes rarely seen estate authorized limited editions from Dr. Seuss’s best-known children’s books, as well as The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss, a mind-expanding collection based on decades of artwork that Dr. Seuss created at night for his own personal pleasure, and three-dimensional “Unorthodox Taxidermy” sculptures
Ted Geisel began his career as a little-known editorial cartoonist in the 1920s. His intriguing perspective and fresh concepts ignited his career, and his work evolved quickly to deft illustrations, modeled sculptures, and sophisticated oil paintings of elaborate imagination. His artistic vision led to 44 children’s books, more than 400 World War II political cartoons, hundreds of advertisements and countless editorials filled with inventive animals, characters, and humor.
Geisel single-handled forged a new genre of art that falls somewhere between the surrealist movement of the early 20th century and the inspired nonsense of a child’s classroom doodles. This special collection offers a rare glimpse into the artistic life of the celebrated American icon and chronicles almost seven decades of work that are uniquely, stylistically, and endearingly Seussian.
This year’s exhibit marks the twentieth anniversary of the colorful and creative collection of artwork. The show curator, Jeff Schuffman, will be on hand to discuss the artwork at gallery receptions taking place 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21, and from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM on Sunday, July 22.
The exhibition is FREE and open to the public with all artwork available for acquisition. For more information, call 609-368-7777 or visit www.oceangalleries.com
Earth Friendly Lorax
Serigraph on Paper
46 x 19 inches
Dr. Seuss considered The Lorax his favorite book. His volume stands as a lasting tribute to those who speak up for the environment, and to the numerous personal, corporate, and societal strides being made to safeguard our natural world. Shortly before his death in 1991, Ted was asked if there was anything left unsaid. He pondered the question and finally responded, “The best slogan I can think of to leave with the U.S.A. would be: ‘We can . . . and we’ve got to . . . do better than this.’”
Oh The Stuff You Will Learn
Serigraph on Paper
11 x 14 inches
Perhaps the defining book of Ted Geisel’s colossal career, The Cat in the Hat came into being when Houghton Mifflin asked him to write and illustrate a child’s primer using only 225 “new-reader” vocabulary words. In the decades since, Dr. Seuss has become the definitive children’s literacy author of all time (over 600,000,000 books sold) and Ted’s Cat continues to “step out,” enjoying his rightful legacy as the visual icon of our literary past, present and future.
Hand-Painted Cast Resin Sculpture
22.5 x 9.5 x 17.5 inches
Dr. Seuss’s original Kangaroo Bird appeared on the December 19, 2005 “Wild Things” episode of Antiques Roadshow. Fourteen years earlier, a woman had paid $60 for it as part of a “box lot.” Thinking it might be a Seuss sculpture, she wrote to Ted and sent photos. He wrote a terrific letter back. Here is what the appraiser says: “That’s right. He actually authenticated his own sculpture, which I think is just amazing. Here, he talks about how it was something he created in the late 1930s. I’ve never seen anything like it. The only ones that I’ve seen have been in books, obviously in very private collections, probably of the family. To find one at an auction is just truly incredible. Dr. Seuss is an icon of universal proportions—big time. I mean, you’re talking about pop culture. You know, you’re talking about comic collectibles. You’re talking about everything. It all converges in this piece. It’s just an amazing, amazing piece. It’s truly remarkable.”
Green Eggs & Ham
14 x 12 inches
Green Eggs and Ham was born out of a fifty-dollar wager between Dr. Seuss and his publisher, Bennett Cerf, who bet he couldn’t write an articulate, entertaining book using only fifty different words. The result was a 62-page volume composed of 49 monosyllabic words and a fiftieth three-syllable word “anywhere.” When Cerf heard Ted’s first reading of the book, he seemed dazed, shaking his head over the clear triumph of Green Eggs and Ham, which had begun as their private joke. Although he conceded the fifty-dollar bet, Ted cheerily “complained” throughout his life that Cerf never paid up. A small price for what ultimately became a national treasure.
A Prayer for a Child
Serigraph on Canvas
24 x 30 inches
A Prayer for a Child, Dr. Seuss’s painting with its accompanying poem were printed in Collier’s on December 23, 1955. This work, stunning in its vibrant colors and captivating in its galactic point of view, was painted from the perspective of one child’s small place in the universe. The prayer reads: “From here on earth, from my small place, I ask of You way out in space: Please tell all men in every land | what You and I both understand. Please tell all men that peace is good. That’s all that need be understood | in every world in Your great sky. We understand. Both You and I.”
Goo-Goo-Eyed Tasmanian Wolghast
Hand-Painted Cast Resin Sculpture
17.75 x 15.25 x 15 inches
In 1938, Paul Jerman, who had graduated from Dartmouth with Ted, wrote a brief biography of him for the alumni newspaper. Jerman said in part, “Another iron in the fire is what the doctor himself calls ‘The Seuss System of Unorthodox Taxidermy.’ Not satisfied with drawing strange beasties, Ted modeled the heads of some of his animals and mounted them. Put on display in bookshops around New York to promote ‘And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,’ many people wanted to buy the weird animal heads.”
Shortly after Ted created this unique collection of artworks, Look Magazine dubbed Dr. Seuss “The World’s Most Eminent Authority on Unheard-Of Animals.” To this day, Ted’s Collection of Unorthodox Taxidermy remains as some of the finest examples of his inventive and multidimensional creativity.
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Click below to view the exhibit artwork.
Seuss text and images TM & (c) Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. 2018.
All rights reserved.