Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dr. Seuss!

Today I saw an exhibit of Ted Geisel's work–all kinds of it–at the Dennis Ray Gallery on Geary Street. Children's book illustrations, bronze sculptures, and "unorthodox taxidermy" of his creatures. . . also, prints of his "secret art"–pieces he did for personal pleasure.

Apparently Bennett Cerf's son had just been in and was telling about the terror felt when Ted Geisel would attend a press OK for one of his books. If one color was slightly off . . .

I loved reading this: Despite some financial hardship due to Prohibition, Ted enjoyed a fairly happy childhood. His parents were strict, but very loving. His mother, Henrietta Seuss Geisel, had worked in her father’s bakery before marrying Ted’s father, often memorizing the names of the pies that were on special each day and ‘chanting’ them to her customers. If Ted had difficulty getting to sleep, she would often recall her ‘pie-selling chants’. As an adult, Ted credited his mother “for the rhythms in which I write and the urgency with which I do it" (Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: A Biography, by Judith and Neil Morgan).