President's Message, June 2012
On June 14, we’re excited to “Witness” the opening of our newest exhibit, Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney, organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. On display through September 9, the exhibition is a 50-year retrospective on the work of this famed African American illustrator who’s been called “a master of the American picture book.” We look forward to spending our summer with Mr. Pinkney’s lively and enchanting images, which offer memorable perspectives on life’s small but extraordinary moments as well as on significant historical events.
As mentioned in our April newsletter, “Witness” provides the opportunity for The Wright Museum to do its part in encouraging a lifelong love of reading through literacy programming and workshops involving our newly designed Children’s Discovery Room, for this summer and beyond. Our partnerships with organizations whose expertise in this area best helps us realize our mission of educating the public about the African American experience are crucial to this effort.
On a deeper level, the “Witness” exhibit is foundational to these efforts because of what the works Jerry Pinkney brought to life represent: an entryway for generations of children into the communicative arts. Having a book read to us as a child is a near universal experience, and the images therein connect a youngster’s incredible imagination with the world of ideas, of which words are but necessary symbols for comprehension. The art of the storybook attempts an incredible feat: to marry the eyes of a child with the words of an adult. When done properly, the results inspire minds, and strengthen familial and generational bonds.
Some of these stories are our culture’s oral histories, and the “Art of Jerry Pinkney” will transport even the mature among us back to a place of storytelling, breathlessly following the words and imagery, and wondering what will happen next. We welcome you to experience this with us - or, as the title says, “Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney!”