Maurice Sendak got his ﬁrst “gig” in the world of book illustration when he was 18, as some astonishing materials recently purchased by the Rosenbach attest. It was the spring of 1946, and his physics teacher at Lafayette High School in Brooklyn, Hyman Ruchlis—recalling Sendak’s artistic talent from his contributions to the school literary magazine and comic strips—asked his student to produce illustrations for a book he was co-writing on atomic energy.
Gift of John H. Thomas in Memory of Hermine Cary Gratz Johnstone
Maria Cecil Gist Gratz was the ﬁrst wife of Benjamin Gratz. The couple lived in Lexington, Kentucky, but had their portraits painted by Thomas Sully in 1831 while on an extended visit to visit Benjamin’s Philadelphia relatives. They also had Sully paint a portrait of Benjamin’s sister Rebecca to bring back home with them.
One of Maurice Sendak’s last interviews was a two-part segment aired on The Colbert Report in January 2012. The humorous interviews addressed Sendak’s thoughts about children’s book writing and his opinions on Stephen Colbert’s desire to publish a children’s book. The Colbert Report has subsequently donated a number of objects used in, or generated by, the ﬁlming, as well as materials relating to Colbert’s book I Am a Pole (And So Can You!). Donated items include:
This 2010 documentary on Sendak was directed by Lance Bangs and Spike Jonze and grew out of Jonze’s work to create the 2009 ﬁlm adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. It provides an intimate look at Sendak’s life and work, compiled from numerous visits made by the pair of directors beginning in 2003.
These three collections from 1960 and 1961 (volumes 31, 35, 41 in the series) contain selections illustrated by Maurice Sendak: The Velveteen Rabbit, Windy Wash Day and Other Poems, and What the Good-Man Does is Always Right.
Traditionally the 10th anniversary is the “tin anniversary” and in the 19th century, invitations to anniversary celebrations might actually be printed on metal. These tin invitations are for 10th anniversary “at-homes” for Mr. & Mrs. R. H. Gratz on January 15, 1861 and Mr. & Mrs. H. A. Stiles on January 24, 1871.