About the exhibition
The Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books, one of Toronto Public Library’s world-famous special collections, is located on the fourth floor of the Lillian H. Smith branch at 239 College Street. Here exhibitions, class visits, research and lecture programs related to historical and notable modern children’s books are held. This year, an ambitious project is underway to bring Osborne materials to a wide audience, with a special welcome to children, through an Osborne art exhibition at the Toronto Reference Library’s TD Gallery, 789 Yonge Street. From January 27 to April 1, 2007, visitors walk through a cave entrance into world of colourful book art. Prehistoric, ancient, aboriginal and modern book art, including art from every region of Canada, or inspired by Canadian stories, is represented here through the works of 37 artists whose works are among Osborne holdings, and whose books may be enjoyed in circulating collections throughout the Toronto Public Library.
For many young visitors, this will be their first glimpse into the creation of a picture book: the original art that offers an interpretation of a story, and into the illustrative styles and techniques used by artists today. From the wide range of art represented, they will see the richness of our Canadian multicultural heritage, and appreciate beautiful art as conveying its own message, in a language we all understand.
This exhibit features fine Canadian picture book art from the Osborne Collection. Though it contains many notable illustrations, its scope is limited to current holdings not already on display at the Osborne Collection, and to those that have not already been shown or handled as much as archival considerations will permit in the past year. A comprehensive study of the history of Canadian children’s picture book art has been the project of many years’ study by Judith Saltman and her colleague, Gail Edwards, of the University of British Columbia, and may be seen at the following web address: http://ccib.arts.ubc.ca
For the present, Toronto Public Library acknowledges with gratitude the support and special grants that have made these acquisitions possible, including many gifts from individual artists, shown here as a representative sampling of Canadian picture book art. There are many notable Canadian picture book artists whose work is not represented yet in Osborne holdings, but the list is getting shorter each year!
The Gallery Team: Carol Barbour - Exhibits Curator, Danna Thompson - Exhibit Designer, Karen Lenk - Conservator, Christopher Coutlee - Virtual Exhibit Designer, Fiona O'Connor - Digitization, Bill Hamade - Department Head of Special Collections, David Kotin - Manager of Special Collections, Johanna Wellheiser - Manager of Preservation and Digitization, Chris Sivers - Manager of Facilities at TRL, and Facilities Dept. staff
The staff of the Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books: Martha Scott, Lori McLeod, Liz Derbecker, Yuka Kajihara-Nolan and Yunmi Hwang
Curator: Leslie McGrath - Head of Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books
A special thanks to all the artists for giving permission to use their artwork on this website. Also, thank you to the artists who provided photos of themselves as well as descriptions and commentary on their art displayed in this exhibit.
We acknowledge with thanks the support of generous sponsors, who have helped to make this exhibit possible:
The Elizabeth L. Gordon Art Challenge Programme, Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation, and the Friends of the Osborne and Lillian H. Smith Collections, for supporting our Art Acquisition Programme.
Toronto Public Library Links
The Toronto Public Library Website
The Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books
This Magical Book - an exhibit showcasing children’s pop-up and other movable books from the Osborne Collection
TD Gallery Exhibits
Information and forms to order photographic or digital reproductions of the gallery items can be found on the following web page:
Photographic and Digital Reproduction Services
Other Links of Interest