Wild Thing

Sendak Celebrated in San Francisco

In advance of Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are adaptation, the book’s author and illustrator, Maurice Sendak, is being recognized at the Contemporary Jewish Museum of San Francisco with a new exhibit, There's a Mystery There: Sendak on Sendak, from September 8 to January 19. The retrospective is on loan from Philadelphia’s Rosenbach Museum and Library, which is the primary holder of all things Sendak, and will include watercolors, preliminary sketches, drawings, and dummy books. In his acclaimed 60-year career, Sendak wrote or illustrated over 100 books, the most recognizable of which are the aforementioned, Where the Wild Things Are and In the Night Kitchen. The man behind the conundrum of frightening yet comforting children’s books was born in Brooklyn to poor Eastern European immigrants who lost many family members in the Holocaust. Though many know Sendak’s stories, the Contemporary Jewish Museum’s exhibit explores those tinges of darkness in his life and sheds light on those experiences that influenced his work.