From May 23 to July 7, 2013, The Walt Disney Family Museum presents the special exhibition Maurice Sendak: 50 Years, 50 Works, 50 Reasons, featuring 50 works by the legendary author and illustrator, accompanied by 50 statements from celebrities, authors, and noted personalities on the influence of Sendak's work. These works will be on display at The Walt Disney Family Museum, an Walt Disney Family Museum" onclick="linkClick(this.href)" href="http://www.waltdisney.org/interactive-galleries">interactive museum in San Francisco, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sendak's universally revered book, Where the Wild Things Are.
The Walt Disney Family Museum" onclick="linkClick(this.href)" href="http://www.waltdisney.org/special-exhibitions">art exhibition includes 50 original works from Where the Wild Things Are in a variety of mediums including sketches, illustrations, and works on paper, and showcases highlights from Sendak's career and the diverse art forms in which he was renowned. Many of the works are from private collections and friends of the artist, offering a survey of his range as an artist and author. It is widely known that Sendak decided to become an illustrator at the young age of 12 after watching Disney's film Fantasia (1940) and amassed a collection of Mickey Mouse and other Disney memorabilia throughout his lifetime.
From children's literature, animated films, and textbooks to Broadway and opera, Sendak garnered worldwide acclaim for his genius and insight. Among the contributing commentators to the exhibition are playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner, comedian Stephan Colbert, artist Robert Crumb, director Spike Jonze, President Barack Obama, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, actor/director Tom Hanks, and author Lemony Snicket. Other notable figures have also offered warm words and memories when describing Sendak and his legacy. Former President Bill Clinton says, "Perhaps no one has done as much to show the power of the written word on children, not to mention on their parents, as Maurice Sendak." Bonnie Erickson, Executive Director of The Jim Henson Legacy shares, "Early collaborations on Sesame Street and a shared appreciation for the inventive possibilities of monsters launched a life-long relationship between Jim Henson and Maurice Sendak, infused with imaginative thinking, daring creativity, and their mutual admiration for the expansive world view of children."