They're Beloved! No. 13

Things we enjoyed this week and hope that you will too! Maya Angelou on libraries, Dr. Seuss and...taxidermy, and a William Blake art gallery.

 

Maya Angelou on libraries: Libraries are truly magical. Late writer and poet Maya Angelou felt the same way. Maria Popova at Brain Pickings shares excerpts on Angelou's thoughts on libraries and her personal experience with the library in her home town in North Carolina. As a lover of libraries myself, I really enjoyed this piece.

 
Replica of Flaming Herring by Dr. Seuss.

Replica of Flaming Herring by Dr. Seuss.

Dr. Seuss and...taxidermy: This has to be the weirdest thing I've seen all week. If I hadn't found it on NPR I would be a little suspicious. Apparently before he became a best-selling children's author, Dr. Seuss (known then as Theodor Geisel) dabbled in "unorthodox taxidermy." His father was superintendent of parks in Massachusetts, and he sent his son antlers, bills, and horns of animals that had died of natural causes at the zoo. The future Dr. Seuss used them to create fantastical sculptures. Replicas of these pieces are on display at the La Mantia Gallery in New York. The exhibit is called "If I Ran the Zoo." These creatures look exactly like the characters he would one day use in his books. It's worth a look!

 
Ancient of Days by William Blake

Ancient of Days by William Blake

William Blake Art Gallery: This is slightly older news, as it opened in October, but I wanted to share it anyway. You may know William Blake from his poetry, such as "The Tyger" and "Auguries of Innocence" with its famous opening line "To see a World in a Grain of Sand." You may not know that he was also an artist and engraver. You can now see some of his work at the William Blake Gallery in San Francisco. I was genuinely surprised by Blake's style: it's not what I would have expected from an artist in the 18th and 19th centuries. You can also check out the exhibition guide from the grand opening here.

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