September 5, 2013

The Eric Carle Museum Of Eric Carle

eric_carle_friends.jpg

Look, we have all the books. And like every preschooler everywhere, I'm sure, my kids have collaged their very own Brown Bears™ or whatever during Hungry Caterpillar Week™.

But literally, every time I see or hear the name, The Eric Carle Museum Of Picture Book Art, I see a frightened old man, quivering atop a pile of money, who was so insecure about making the cut for some hypothetical future Museum of Picture Book Art, he took matters into his own, desperate hands.

carle_museum_friends_fb.jpg

This morning, though, when the tweet came through the exhibition for Carle's new book, I realized there's another explanation: that the Carle Museum is a marketing platform whose mission is to promote not just the author's books, art, licensed merchandise, and classroom materials, but his brand, by keeping him at the center of the picture book universe. At the top of the totem pole.

carle_museum_sign.jpg
You don't like it, Lionni & Sendak? Get your own museum!

It's a megalomaniacal power play against Carle's dead and ambivalent [and now also dead] rivals. A way to enforce his involvement to any conversation or examination of picture book art by always programming exhibitions of his own work alongside whatever else a museum may show.

Of course, both these explanations could be true. And if you're at the Museum on Sept. 21st, you could ask Eric Carle yourself!

The Erica Carle Museum of Picture Book Art [carlemuseum.org]

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