Sweetness and Light: Children in Illustration

Exclusive to the Huntsville Museum of Art, Sweetness and Light: Children in Illustration features approximately 35 original artworks by celebrated Golden Age Illustrators, including Jessie Wilcox Smith, Ludwig Bemelmans, John Clymer, F. X. Leyendecker, Hy Hintermeister and Harrison Fisher, borrowed from the National Museum of American Illustration in Newport, RI.

By illustrating subject matters related to children’s lives throughout classic stories, magazine covers, and advertisements, these artists produced beautiful and compelling images which both reflected and shaped our understanding of childhood.

With developments of the 19th century, an increasing number of illustrations began to accompany printed materials, most importantly books and magazines, and a new visual form was given prominence in American culture.

With a desire to appeal to the public, editors and illustrators produced images of childhood with sweetly sentimental, nostalgic emotions, as well as humorous, lighthearted scenarios. Children were often portrayed as symbols of innocence or as objects to protect, with their depictions varying between encouraging a sense of adventure and as guidelines as to how an “ideal child” should appear and act.

Another important change during this time were significant advancements in psychology as Americans reached a new awareness of the concept of childhood and began to see it as a unique period distinct from adulthood. The ritual of bedtime reading was born, and special reading rooms for children were incorporated into public libraries.

Through viewing Sweetness and Light: Children in Illustration, visitors will be transported back to memories of their own childhood and reminded of the innocence of this stage of life. While the images are predominately from the first half of the 20th century, the emotions and activities are timeless, still to be seen in modern day life.

Organized by the National Museum of American Illustration, Newport, RI.

You can buy the tickets HERE!

Date: November 14, 2021 – February 27, 2022 / (Recurring weekly on Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday)
$12 Adults
$5 Children (Ages 6-11)
$5 Students
$10 Seniors (Ages 60+)
$10 Military & Educators
Museum Members &
Children under 6 are FREE! (Become a member!)
Phone: +12565354350
Location: Chan Gallery

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