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Wendell Minor's America: 25 Years of Children's Book Art

16 Nov 2016 8:41 AM | Sarah Mangrum

The 2017 Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival marks the 50th consecutive children’s book festival at The University of Southern Mississippi.  To commemorate the longevity of the successful festival, the de Grummond Collection is bringing an outstanding art exhibition to Hattiesburg.

Titled Wendell Minor’s America:  25 Years of Children’s Book Art, the exhibit is coming to Hattiesburg from the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA.  Minor’s work will probably be familiar, due to his work on over 2,000 book cover designs, including Earnest Gaines’ A Gathering of Old Men, Pat Conroy’s Beach Music, the current cover for To Kill a Mockingbird, all of David McCullough’s book covers, and many more.  Minor is also responsible for the illustrations of fifty children’s book titles (and counting). 

Beginning in March, the exhibition will be at Oddfellows Gallery on Front Street through May.  Because Minor has illustrated picture books about real people, his paintings bring history to life.  When illustrating the picture book biography, Reaching for the Moon, written by astronaut Buzz Aldrin, Minor’s interest in history and the natural world were brought to light.  Minor and Aldrin worked closely together on another book for children titled Look to the Stars.  As a result of their collaboration, Minor and Aldrin became friends.

Aldrin, in an interview with Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Deputy Director/Chief Curator at the Norman Rockwell Museum, remarked on Minor’s work:

“Wendell has a great talent for creating images that invite you in.  They give you a sense of close observation and being a part of something.  He found a way to bring my authentic experiences to life for children through his art, and I was amazed by that.” (Aldrin 120)

Make plans now to see the exhibition.  It is something not to be missed.

Submitted by

Dawn Smith

Assistant to the Dean for Publicity and Outreach

University of Southern Mississippi Libraries



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