(MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- Montclair Art Museum (MAM) will present the Tenacity & Resilience: The Art of Jerry Pinkney exhibition from February 5, 2022 through June 26, 2022. Tenacity & Resilience: The Art of Jerry Pinkney will feature more than 80 illustrations and working drawings from nine children’s books spanning 1979 to 2020 by Pinkney, one of America’s most renowned children’s book illustrators.
Museum members will be invited to an Exhibition Preview Opening from 10:00am—2:00pm followed by a public opening at 2:00pm.
It seems fitting that this exhibition will open at the start of Black History Month. Pinkney’s illustrations express powerful messages from the history of the Civil Rights movement in America, honor Black heritage, and inspire with tales of courage and aspiration. They also reflect Pinkney’s compassionate nature and his desire to be a strong role model for his family and other African Americans.
“It was such a pleasure to work directly with Jerry Pinkney to select the featured illustrations and develop the themes for the exhibition,” says Chief Curator Gail Stavitsky. “Jerry came up with the exhibition’s title himself, focusing on what he called a ‘through-line of resilience.’ Jerry had the remarkable ability to bounce back from adversity and focused on the joy and space that celebrates persistence despite bias and injustice. How incredibly relevant his thoughts are for us today.”
“I am a storyteller at heart. There is something special about knowing your stories can alter the way people see the world, and their place within it,” ~ Jerry Pinkney.
Celebrating Pinkney’s love of books and their power to share history and teach important lessons, this exhibition will also feature a reading area where visitors—young and old—can sit and read copies of all of the featured books on view. There will also be beautiful bookmarks featuring Pinkney’s illustrations and inspirational quotations to take home.
Ira Wagner, Executive Director of MAM, says this is an exhibition that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. “Pinkney’s uplifting messages are a balm for the challenges we are facing and his images are celebrated as wonderful works of art in their own right.”
Cover art, 2001 Watercolor and graphite on watercolor paper, 15 1/8 x 21 5/8 in. Collection of the artist. Paul Jacobs Photograph. (From the book 'Goin’ Someplace Special')
Pinkney was one of America’s most admired children’s book illustrators. He won the Caldecott Medal and five Caldecott Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the Society of Illustrators’ Original Art Show Lifetime Achievement Award, and many other prizes and honors. Pinkney’s work was previously featured in a 1998 group show at the Montclair Art Museum entitled Shared Stories: Exploring Cultural Diversity. Pinkney also delivered the 29th Annual Julia Norton Babson Memorial Lecture in 2015 on the topic “The Illustrator’s Eye, Real and Imagined.”
Jerry Pinkney passed away on October 20, 2021, three months before the opening of this exhibition. The Museum hopes you will join us in celebrating his legacy and enjoying his multifaceted talents as a master watercolorist, draftsman, and storyteller.
A robust schedule of related programming and events will take place through the run of the exhibition.
Cover art, 2020 Watercolor, graphite, chalk, and gouache on watercolor paper, 17 5/8 x 23 3/4 in. Collection of the artist (From the book ‘The Little Mermaid”))
The Montclair Art Museum (MAM) is located at 3 South Mountain Avenue in Montclair, New Jersey. The museum boasts a renowned collection of American and Native American art that uniquely highlights art-making in the United States over the last 300 years. Works in MAM's Native American art collection span the period of ca. 1200 C.E. to the present day. The Vance Wall Art Education Center encompasses the Museum’s educational efforts, including award-winning Yard School of Art studio classes, lectures and talks, family events, tours, and the mobile MAM Art Truck. MAM exhibitions and programs serve a wide public of all ages, from families and seniors to artists, educators, and scholars.
All Museum programs are made possible, in part, by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, Carol and Terry Wall / The Vance Wall Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and Museum members.
TOP IMAGE: Through the crowd and from sea to shining sea..., 2019. pp. 32-33. Watercolor, collage, graphite on watercolor paper. 14 1/4 x 21 13/16 in. Collection of the artist. Paul Jacobs Photograph. (From the book 'A Place to Land: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Speech that Inspired a Nation')