Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Art of Dr. Seuss

There is one more thing I wanted to share with you from my visit to the recent Dr. Seuss and the Art of Invention Exhibit at the Museum of Science & Industry: his art, especially the picture Prayer for a Child with its accompanying poem. Unfortunately, I did not get permission to share the image here, so please click on the link to see it.

It struck me that Theodor Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) is one of the true artists of our time, or rather of the 20th century. Like Edward Hopper, he was an illustrator first before he developed is own art, and his art is not part of any movement. It is truly original because he did his thing. And perhaps that's why he was so successful - he was truly unique, and he managed to capture a spirit that others responded to.

He did his art work for himself, painting in the evening, and often displayed his paintings at his home. For example, Green Cat with Lights hung in his foyer for many years. However, he did not even present it as his own; rather, it is signed "Stroogo von M." because he wanted his guests' honest reactions, and not just praise for himself. I doubt, though, that they didn't recognize a "Seuss."

Since he was such a great writer, the titles he gave his paintings exhibit that true Seuss way of poking fun at the world, while at the same time capturing, I think, a time and place, and a way of life (California in the 1950s/60s). Can't you just see these:

Martini Bird
Gosh! Do I Look as Old as That?
Oh, I'd Love to Go to the Party but I'm Absolutely Dead


  1. Thanks for sharing these great finds! Long ago, I remember coming across a book full of pictures that Dr. Seuss painted for adults. Some of them were especially creepy, even nightmarish. Another side to him.

    He has also written children's books illustrated by other people. When he does, the book is written by Theo LeSieg, which is Geisel spelled backwards.

  2. His art made the pictures true characters!

  3. Wow, thank you for linking the two pieces- I loved the Prayer for a Child. It was interesting to hear of his art and how he developed it- it is unique and has remained so even all these years later.

  4. Under Cover - thanks for sharing that info!

    The Desert Rocks - indeed!

    Anjuli - glad you liked Prayer for a Child.

  5. I love the picture and prayer! I am a nut about Dr. Seuss, but didn't truly appreciate his artwork until recently. My mother-in-law is an artist and took one of my daughters to see some of his art work that was on display. She was in awe and so was I!

  6. Kara, welcome to my blog! I'm glad you love Dr. Seuss's art, too!