Jan Brett: Stories Near and Far is a comprehensive overview of artist/illustrator Jan Brett’s work, showcasing her rich illustrated narratives and beloved characters and highlighting her impressive publishing career which spans more than four decades. The exhibition has been organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and will be on view at the Albany Institute of History & Art July 23—December 31, 2022.
With over forty-four million books in print, Jan Brett is one of the nation’s foremost and most widely read author/illustrators for children. This lively exhibition explores the breadth of Brett’s art and the travel experiences that have inspired her many children’s books and characters. Her global perspective, which is central to her work, is inspired by her appreciation for world cultures and her many travel experiences, which have taken her from the Arctic Circle to South America, and to countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and beyond.
Favorite stories, from Gingerbread Friends, The Umbrella, and Honey...Honey...Lion! to her most recent published book, The Nutcracker, are represented by more than 120 original artworks from 22 books, as well as a selection of reference materials and objects she has collected from her international travels.
Brett’s art invites readers to linger over intricately detailed images, which are filled with expressive animal and human subjects, natural and fantastical wonders, striking architectural designs, and uniquely ornate borders that inspire engagement, discovery, and a life-long love of reading. Audiences, adults and children alike, will get lost in the colors and details and may even start to imagine the sweet scents of cinnamon and ginger while exploring her famous bakery scenes. Artworks from Cozy; Daisy Comes Home; Gingerbread Baby; Hedgie Blasts Off!; The Three Snow Bears; The Animals’ Santa; The Mermaid; Cinders, A Chicken Cinderella; On Noah’s Ark; The Turnip; and The Snowy Nap are among the full-color originals from the artist’s books on view in the exhibition.