The Chertoff Mural

Maurice Sendak

Given by Nina and Larry Chertoff in loving memory of Roslyn and Lionel Chertoff and Eugene Glynn.

Maurice Sendak painted this mural on the wall of his friends’ New York apartment, completing it in 1961. The leader of the procession is Sendak’s own dog, Jennie, who had already appeared in his books Kenny’s Window (1956) and What Do You Say, Dear? (1958); she would later turn up as Max’s dog in Where the Wild Things Are (1963) in a nearly identical pose. The parade of Sendakian figures continues with a girl who resembles Rosie—the dramatic title character from The Sign on Rosie’s Door (1960)and Sendak’s future TV special Really Rosie (1975)—as well as a bear who seems to spring from the pages of the Little Bear Series, which Sendak illustrated for Else Holmelund Minarik. This collection of past and future Sendakian characters is the only surviving mural by Maurice Sendak.

The Rosenbach and the Free Library of Philadelphia are pleased to announce that Maurice Sendak’s famed Chertoff Mural will make its new home at the South Philadelphia Library—open to the public on June 11, 2016—in the brand new Health and Literacy Center at 1700 S. Broad Street. The team at the Rosenbach, as well as the donors of the mural, are thrilled that this stunning piece will be visited by so many families in the years to come and hope that those who have enjoyed seeing the mural at the Rosenbach will return to see it again in its new location.

The conservation, installation, and interpretation of the Chertoff Mural was made possible by the William B. Dietrich Foundation, the Connelly Foundation, the McLean Contributionship, and contributions from scores of individuals just like you.

In Memoriam: Maurice Sendak, 1928-2012

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