Philadelphia: Magic Gardens & Maurice Sendak

Image by Shea Keats 

Image by Shea Keats 

Visiting Philadelphia this summer with or without the kids in tow? Either way, we recommend checking out Philadelphia's Magic Gardens and the Maurice Sendak exhibit at the Rosenbach Museum and Library. Outdoor, large-scale art? Arty children's books? Yes, please! 

Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is a mosaic garden created by visionary artist Isaiah Zagar in the 1990s. Covering over 3,000 square feet and taking almost 15 years to complete, this truly fantastical, multi-level permanent installation incorporates found pieces from the rapidly developing South Street neighborhood, as well as tiles and ceramics from the artist's travels. Zagar has completed over 200 mosaic murals which can be found all over the world. “Family Jams” are the second Sunday of every month between noon and 4:00pm, and feature hands-on workshops and often the opportunity to meet the artist! 

The Maurice Sendak Collection at The Rosenbach Museum and Library houses 10,000 of Sendak’s original manuscripts and illustrations, and explores the development and legacy of this iconic illustrator throughout his lifetime and beyond. Currently on view is “Sendak in the ’60s,” a thought-provoking exhibit examining Sendak’s early work as part of an experimental, vanguard group of illustrators who changed children’s books forever. While beloved and accepted today, Sendak’s monsters in Where the Wild Things Are and the nude mischief-maker of In the Night Kitchen were considered extremely subversive at the time of their original publication, and challenged the accepted norms for children’s art. The exhibit runs through November 2, 2014 and is not to miss for both Sendak's more well-known pieces and also his haunting and nuanced black-and-white sketches from the latter half of the decade.

Image from rosenbach.org

Image from rosenbach.org