This book showcases a lesser-known aspect of Maurice Sendak’s oeuvre–his set designs for operas and ballets.
Maurice Sendak is well-known for his acclaimed children’s books, but he was also an avid music lover and designed a number of opera and ballet productions, among them Mozart’s Magic Flute, Janácek’s Cunning Little Vixen, Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, and an opera composed by Oliver Knussen based on Where the Wild Things Are. This book brings together nearly one hundred and fifty drawings from among the more than nine hundred in the Morgan Library & Museum’s collection, including preliminary sketches, storyboards, finished watercolors, and painted dioramas. The essays discuss the importance of music and movement to Sendak, the artworks that inspired his stage designs, and the historical and biographical contexts that formed them. The book reveals the breadth of Sendak’s visual work for opera and ballet and highlights his keen sense of humor, his love of art history, and his ability to tell striking stories through his art.
Copublished by the Morgan Library & Museum and DelMonico Books
“The coffee-table-sized book is excellent, but if you have any chance at all, do visit the exhibit…The maquettes alone, those little models of stage sets, are worth the trip, because they really have to be seen up close to transmit their weird magic….The drawings benefit from equally close scrutiny, but they can also be seen to good advantage in the catalog.” –The Daily Beast