Mazza Museum of picture book art
My husband will be teaching a Spring 08 course at Winebrenner Theological Seminary on the campus of the University of Findlay (OH). So yesterday we drove down to Findlay so he could show me around, and we stumbled onto a great little secret. This small-town Midwest university is the home of the Mazza Museum, “the world’s first and largest teaching museum devoted to literacy and the art of children’s picture books”! No entrance fee, no crowd, and staffed by a cheery and knowledgeable docent—so we wandered delightedly and didn’t bother to use our museum voices. We saw originals by Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle, even Syd Hoff’s classic cover of Danny and the Dinosaur! The collection includes oils, watercolors, sketches, collages, paper sculptures, clay sculptures, quilts, needlework, woodcuts, and more, and all are accompanied by copies of the books so you can see how the artwork became part of the published piece. It is a wonderful, lively little space that we are anxious to take our nieces and nephews to see. The museum has monthly family days with special activities for kids, as well as undergraduate and graduate workshops (I was pleased to learn that Kevin O’Malley, who I recently discovered as the illustrator of the delightful Cinder Edna, will be speaking there next weekend). Apparently they are about to announce the winners of the 2008 Mazza Medallion of Excellence.
The university is located right off I-75, so if you’re in the area or passing through—or, being a lover of books and art and especially the two together, you are willing to drive—do stop in. Hours, directions, and a bunch of other great info are at www.mazzamuseum.org.