The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems at New-York Historical Society Museum & Library, March 18, 2016 – September 25, 2016

“Mo Willems’ work boldly and artfully melds the humor and wonder of youth with a complex understanding of the human experience, so it speaks to readers of all ages,” said Louise Mirrer, President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society. “The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems reveals how Willems’ personal experiences in New York inspired his writing. We look forward to celebrating both his work and the city as artistic muse.”

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Exhibition entrance. Photograph by Corrado Serra

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Installation view of Bus Stop 1, Audio Guide for Kids narrated by Mo Willems. Photograph by Corrado Serra

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Installation view of Bus Stop 2. Photograph by Corrado Serra

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Installation view of Bus Stop 2 and Bus Stop 3, “Mo’s World”. Photograph by Corrado Serra

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Installation view of Mo Willem’s Bus surrounded by his artwork. Photograph by Corrado Serra

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Installation view of Bus Stop 14, a reading area with Mo Willem’s books. Photograph by Corrado Serra

1 KnuffleBunny

Knuffle Bunny, A Cautionary Tale. Published illustration for “As soon as Trixie’s mommy opened the door, she asked, “Where is Knuffle Bunny?”, © 2004 by Mo Willems. Hyperion Books for Children, 2004. Digital print, 13 3/4 x 29 13/16 in. Reproduced with permission of Hyperion Books for Children.

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Installation view of Bus Room. Photograph by Corrado Serra

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Detail of bus interior with books and reading area. Photograph by Corrado Serra

2 DontLetPigeonDriveBus-2 copy

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Published illustration for “I’ll be your best friend! / How ‘bout I give you five bucks? / No fair! / I bet your mom would let me.”, © 2003 by Mo Willems. Hyperion Books for Children, 2003. Digital print 9 x 9 in. Reproduced with permission of Hyperion Books for Children.

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Detail of bus surrounded by Willem’s work. Photograph by Corrado Serra

4 DontLetPigeonDriveBus-1

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Final illustration for “LET ME DRIVE THE BUS!!!”, © 2003 by Mo Willems. Hyperion Books for Children, 2003. Aquarelle watercolor pencil on paper, 10 x 10 in.

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Installation view of Bus Stops 10 and 11. Photograph by Corrado Serra

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Installation view of exhibition with reading area in bus. Photograph by Corrado Serra

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Installation view of Bus Stop 15, “Journey’s End”. Photograph by Corrado Serra

13 CoverTheThankYouBook

Final cover illustration for The Thank You Book (An Elephant and Piggie Book). © 2015 by Mo Willems. Hyperion books for Children, 2016. Charcoal pencil, colored pencil, graphite, and ink on paper, 14 x 11 in.

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Installation view of Bus Stop 16. Photograph by Corrado Serra

10 NakedMoleRat

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed. Final illustration for “Hello,” © 2009 by Mo Willems. Hyperion Books for Children, 2009. Ink and watercolor on paper, 8 1/2 x 11 in.

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Installation view of Bus Stop 17, “Building Character”. Photograph by Corrado Serra

9 EdwinaDinosaur

Edwina the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct. Final illustration for Edwina baking cookies, © 2006 by Mo Willems. Hyperion Books for Children, 2006. Charcoal pencil on vellum, 9 x 12 in.

11 MoWillems

Mo Willems with Pigeon. Photo by Marty Umans.

“This stuff for kids, it’s a great responsibility. I’m making something that has to hold a story. It has to be something that can be read a billion times. It has to be a kid’s friend. You don’t just knock that out.” — Mo Willems

Organized by The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, Massachusetts