There is one more thing I wanted to share with you from my visit to the recent Dr. Seuss and the Art of Invention Exhibit at the Museum of Science & Industry: his art, especially the picture Prayer for a Child with its accompanying poem. Unfortunately, I did not get permission to share the image here, so please click on the link to see it.
It struck me that Theodor Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) is one of the true artists of our time, or rather of the 20th century. Like Edward Hopper, he was an illustrator first before he developed is own art, and his art is not part of any movement. It is truly original because he did his thing. And perhaps that’s why he was so successful – he was truly unique, and he managed to capture a spirit that others responded to.
He did his art work for himself, painting in the evening, and often displayed his paintings at his home. For example, Green Cat with Lights hung in his foyer for many years. However, he did not even present it as his own; rather, it is signed “Stroogo von M.” because he wanted his guests’ honest reactions, and not just praise for himself. I doubt, though, that they didn’t recognize a “Seuss.”
Since he was such a great writer, the titles he gave his paintings exhibit that true Seuss way of poking fun at the world, while at the same time capturing, I think, a time and place, and a way of life (California in the 1950s/60s). Can’t you just see these: