Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney
Oct. 12, 2013 - Jan. 5, 2014
ATLANTA, September 30, 2013 — The High Museum of Art will present Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney, the first major exhibition to provide an overview of Caldecott Medal winner Jerry Pinkney’s 50-year career as an illustrator and artist. The exhibition, which was organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., will be on view from Oct. 12, 2013 to Jan. 5, 2014.
Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney touches on themes such as the African-American experience, the wonders of classic literature and the wisdom in well-loved folk tales. The works in the exhibition celebrate small extraordinary moments, as well as significant historical events, reflecting the artist’s belief in the transformative power of visual storytelling in our lives.
More than 120 of Pinkney's luminous watercolor illustrations will be on display, including work from the classic picture books: A Patchwork Quilt (1985), Home Place (1990), John Henry (1994), Minty: A Story of a Young Harriet Tubman (1996), Black Cowboy, Wild Horses (1998), The Little Match Girl (1999), Uncle Remus: The Complete Tales (1999), The Old African (2005), The Lion & The Mouse (2009) and Sweethearts of Rhythm (2009).
In addition to his well-known work in children’s books, illustrated commissions for a wide variety of clients, including the National Park Service and National Geographic, will also be on view.
“Jerry Pinkney is a master watercolorist whose art reflects his passion for life and his deep engagement with the rich complexities of history,” said Julia Forbes, the High’s Shannon Landing Amos head of museum interpretation and digital engagement and managing curator of the exhibition. “This exhibition explores Pinkney’s legacy through powerful images that reveal larger cultural truths about where we have been, who we are, and who we might become.”
The exhibition will feature an area for young visitors to engage with the stories Pinkney illustrates. On Sundays at 3 p.m. during the run of the exhibition, storytellers will read Pinkney’s books, bringing to life the classic tales and their vibrant illustrations. Special guest readers include children’s book author Gloria Jean Pinkney; Alexis Scott, publisher of Atlanta Daily World; Valerie Jackson, host of WABE 90.1 FM’s popular literary program “Between the Lines”; Jeffrey Tapia, executive director of the Latin American Association; and Rodrigo Cervantes, editor of Mundo Hispanico; among others. When a story is not being read aloud, there will be a video that features Pinkney talking about his work in his studio in New York.
About Jerry Pinkney
A native of Philadelphia, Jerry Pinkney studied at the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) where he received the Alumni Award in 1992. He has been illustrating children’s books since 1964 and has produced illustrations for more than 100 titles.
He received the Caldecott Medal in 2010 for the book The Lion & The Mouse, as well as five Caldecott Honor Medals, five Coretta Scott King Awards, four Coretta Scott King Honor Awards and many other accolades. His books have been translated into 16 languages and published in 14 different countries. He received an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University in 2003 and an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Pennsylvania College of Art and Design in 2010. Pinkney was a U.S. nominee for the 1997 Hans Christian Andersen Illustration Medal and has been awarded four gold medals, four silver medals, the Hamilton King Award, five New York Times 10 Best Illustrated Books awards, and in 2006 the Original Art’s Lifetime Achievement Award from The Society of Illustrators.
In addition to his work in children’s books, Pinkney has created illustrations for a wide variety of clients, including the United States Postal Service, National Park Service and National Geographic. Mr. Pinkney was appointed to serve on the United States Postal Service’s Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee (1982-1992) and in 2001 was invited by First Lady Laura Bush to illustrate and design the White House Christmas Program. He has held professorships teaching art at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, N.Y.; the University of Delaware, Newark, Del.; and the University of Buffalo, Buffalo, N.Y. In 2003, Pinkney was appointed to the National Council of the Arts (2003-2009).
His art can be found in the permanent collections at the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Delaware Art Museum and the Brandywine River Art Museum. A current trustee for the Katonah Museum of Art, the artist also served on the board of trustees of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Pinkney has exhibited in venues ranging from the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Ill., to the California African American Museum, Los Angeles, Calif. He has also exhibited in more than 100 group shows in the U.S., Japan, Russia, Italy, Taiwan and Jamaica. Pinkney lives with his wife, author Gloria Jean, in Westchester County, New York.
About Norman Rockwell Museum
Norman Rockwell Museum is the preeminent museum of American illustration art. Dedicated to art education and art appreciation inspired by the enduring legacy of Norman Rockwell, the Museum stewards the world’s largest and most significant collection of Rockwell art, and presents the works of contemporary and past masters of illustration. The Museum’s holdings include Rockwell's last studio, moved from its original location to the Museum grounds, and the Norman Rockwell Archives, a 200,000-object collection undergoing digital preservation through ProjectNORMAN, “A Save America’s Treasures Project.” The Museum is also home to the new Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies, the nation’s first research institute devoted to the art of illustration. In 2008, Norman Rockwell Museum became the first-ever museum recipient of the National Humanities Medal, America’s highest honor in the field. Norman Rockwell Museum is located on 36 park-like acres in Stockbridge, Mass., Rockwell’s hometown for the last 25 years of his life. The Museum is open year-round. Visit the Museum online at www.nrm.org.
High Museum of Art
The High is the leading art museum in the southeastern U.S. With more than 13,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists and is distinguished as the first major museum in North America to have a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of folk and self-taught art. For more information about the High, visit high.org.
The Woodruff Arts Center
The Woodruff Arts Center is ranked among the top four arts centers in the nation. The Woodruff is unique in that it combines four visual and performing arts divisions on one campus as one not-for-profit organization. Opened in 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art and Young Audiences. To learn more about the Woodruff Arts Center, please visit www.woodruffcenter.org.
DIGITAL IMAGES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
High Museum of Art