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Art Shop Spotlight: Original Maurice Sendak Drawings

Art Shop Spotlight showcases the weird, wonderful, and different in More Moe's on the fourth floor.

This week: Original Maurice Sendak drawings from 1966!

These drawings were made in 1966, on a visit Maurice Sendak made to a third grade class in the East Village in New York City. The visit was shortly after Where the Wild Things Are came out; shortly thereafter he was much too well-known to be able to do classroom visits.

The teacher kept the three drawings until her death, and her heir living in the Bay Area brought them to More Moe's. Also present was Eric Drooker, graphic novelist and New Yorker cover artist. He was a student in the class, and Sendak's presentation made a big impression on him.

The drawings, which are unsigned, are unusual because of their size. Much of Sendak's unpublished work takes the form of pencil drawings in smaller sketchbooks. As you can see in the picture, the pages are large, perhaps from a classroom easel-size pad of paper. Sendak also used a thick black marker as opposed to pencil, probably using the materials on-hand to make it easier for the classroom full of children to see them.

Despite the departure from his usual materials, these are unmistakably Sendak's work. Sendak was a remarkable artist whose style cultivates a scribbled look while still being incredibly precise. Despite looking messy, the "Wild Thing" in the center drawing is identical to the monster in his best-beloved book. The children on the left and right are also recognizable characters from his other books.

The set of 3 drawings is currently priced at $5000. Come and see them for yourself!