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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Make Way for Ducklings


Many children in the greater Boston area receive a gift of Robert McCloskey's Make Way for Ducklings, because their parents read the book in their childhoods, and maybe their grandparents did, too. The reading of Make Way for Ducklings is a tradition for Boston area families, as is visiting the Swan Boats. Over the past decade, the brass duckling sculpture in the Boston Garden, has become a tourist destination for young and old, too.

The Swan Boats are in dry dock for the winter months (will reopen in April), and it may be too cold to walk through the Public Garden, but you can still enjoy reading about the ducklings in the original picture book [JP MCC], as part of a collection of McCloskey stories in The World of Robert McCloskey or Make Way for McCloskey: A Robert McCloskey Treasury [JP MCC]. You can even read it in a Spanish language edition, Abran Paso a los Patitos [J 468.2 MCC].

Last week, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, an exhibition opened, "Make Way for Ducklings: The Art of Robert McCloskey."
With art from Make Way for Ducklings at its center, the retrospective presents more than 50 works, including studies for other books written and illustrated by McCloskey: Lentil (1940), Homer Price (1943) and Centerburg Tales (1951), which recall his youth in rural Ohio, and popular Maine tales including Blueberries for Sal (1948) and Time of Wonder (1957). Works are drawn primarily from the rich, but rarely exhibited holdings of the May Massee Collection at Emporia State University in Kansas.

An exhibition highlight is the miniature bronze model for Nancy Schön’s Make Way for Ducklings sculpture, commissioned for the Boston Public Garden in 1985. As well as celebrating McCloskey’s achievements as author-illustrator, the retrospective also includes a selection of his independent work connecting him to prominent American painters such as Thomas Hart Benton and Edward Hopper.
Borrow our museum pass and head down to Boston. The exhibit runs through June 18, 2017, so you have plenty of time! To learn more about the artist, Robert McCloskey, look for Robert McCloskey: A Private Life in Words and Pictures written by his daughter, Jane McCloskey [B MCC].

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