For nearly 50 years, Eric Carle’s distinctive hand-painted paper collages have been among the first works of art that young children encounter. This month more than 80 original creations from some of Carle’s most popular books (Brown Bear, Brown Bear; The Very Hungry Caterpillar) will be on view at the High Museum (April 2 through January 8, 2017). After hosting an illustration exhibition in 2013 featuring the detailed watercolors of Caldecott winner Jerry Pinkney, the High turned to the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts—the only museum of its kind in the country—to talk about partnering on a series of shows. The first exhibition to come out of the collaboration was last year’s display of Mo Willems illustrations, and the High chose to feature the work of 86-year-old Carle himself this year. “It’s an amazing experience for young children to come in [to an art museum] and feel welcome,” says Virginia Shearer, director of education at the High and comanaging curator of the exhibition. “They can really appreciate the work on their own terms.”
This article originally appeared in our April 2016 issue.