Tuesday, July 18, 2017

EXHIBITIONS: Eloise takes NYC by storm, again

“Getting bored is not allowed.”

Illustration by Hilary Knight for the 
Plaza Hotel’s children’s menu (1956-1957)

The NY Historical Society is currently hosting a delightful exhibition of drawings
 from Kay Thomson's Eloise books, following its successful run at the Eric Carle Picture Book Museum in Amherst, MA. Hillary Knight's singular illustrations
for the books continue to capture people's hearts, as he follows the
adventures of everyone's favorite precocious, over-entitled, 
under-disciplined 6-year-old Manhattanite.

Eloise looks at a museum wall and sees only ... herself.
That's our girl! 

 Hilary Knight (b. 1926) Unused cover sketch, 1954
(Courtesy NY Historical Society)

 Moxie-filled Eloise lives with her nearly
invisible nanny at the Plaza Hotel. She loves to create mayhem, order beer 
from room service, slump in oversized, Baroque chairs in the lobby, and take
tea in the sumptuous Palm Court at four o'clock.

Teatime at the Plaza's Palm Court

Special menu for The Children's Eloise Tea includes
• Sandwiches and savories, as well as scrumptious: 

• Warm Scones with Double Devonshire Cream, Lemon Curd and Preserves
• Strawberry Rice Krispy Treat
• Raspberry and Milk Chocolate Éclair
• Seasonal Fruit Tart
• Dulce De Leche Cup Cake
• Raspberry Vanilla Cotton Candy (two tones)
• Graham Cracker Lemon Blueberry S’more

 A typical afternoon at the Plaza
"There is a lobby which is enormously large
and has marble pillars and ladies in it ..."

Unpublished drawing by Hilary Knight for Eloise 
[Simon & Schuster, 1955]

"This first major retrospective of Knight’s work showcases more than 90 objects, from numerous Eloise illustrations to art from the rest of his prodigious career as a children’s book artist, poster designer, magazine illustrator, and painter. Among the many treasures on display are Knight’s 1954 trial drawings for the first Eloise book, two Eloise in Paris sketchbooks, a magnificent suite of final art from Eloise In Moscow, and the 1993 Eloise watercolor for New York Is Book Country. There’s a kicker, too: for the first time since its infamous disappearance from the Plaza Hotel in 1960, Knight’s original 1956 Eloise portrait is also on view.” 

                           — Curatorial note from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

To listen to a National Public Radio story about the exhibition, 
as well as the mysterious disappearance of the famed Eloise painting 
from The Plaza's lobby, link here.

 Some extras:
Above: Eloise emergency care kit in a hatbox
Comes complete with sunglasses, "vintage Jujubees" (one would hate to be 
without Jujubees in an emergency) and a little box of Pepsodent toothpaste

Below: the mid-Mod "Eloise chair"
No slumping here, young lady!

Eloise at the Museum continues in NYC through October 9, 2017
For more information, link here.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds great! I hope to see it in New York after having missed it at the Eric Carle museum, which I live very close to.