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Skirball Cultural Center

2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049 - (310) 440-4500
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Ezra Jack Keats, “Crunch, crunch, crunch, his feet sank into the snow.” Final illustration for The Snowy Day, 1962. Collage and paint on board. Ezra Jack Keats Papers, de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection, McCain Library and Archives, The University of Southern Mississippi. Copyright Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.

The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats

On view now through September 7, 2014


ADMISSION

  • Included with Museum admission:
  • $10 General
  • $7 Seniors and Full-Time Students
  • $5 Children 2–12
  • FREE to Members and Children under 2
  • FREE to all on Thursdays


ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

Enter the evocative world of the groundbreaking children’s book author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats in this exhibition, featuring more than eighty original works by the artist. Ranging from preliminary sketches and “dummies,” or preparatory books, to final paintings and collages, the works displayed in The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats explore a life and career that became an inspiration for generations of readers. 

Keats’s landmark book The Snowy Day (1962) was the first modern, full-color book to feature an African American protagonist. Published during the height of the civil rights movement in America, the book transformed his career in children’s literature.

He went on to write and illustrate six more stories that featured an African American central character—leading many to assume that Keats himself was African American. In truth, he was born Jacob (Jack) Ezra Katz to Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn. Keats lived in tenement housing as his impoverished family struggled to eke out a living during the Great Depression. From his beginnings as an artist, Keats identified with the downtrodden.

The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats exhibition features works on loan from the de Grummond Children’s Literary Collection of the University of Southern Mississippi, including examples of Keats’s most introspective but less-known output inspired by Asian art and poetry. The exhibition is an expression of the Skirball’s commitment to presenting the work of socially engaged artists and to exploring the cultural contributions of notable American Jews.

Now on SkirBlog: Read a touching testimonial to Ezra Jack Keats written by one of his closest friends, Martin Pope—now president of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.

Now on SkirBlog: Hear Skirball curator and mom Erin Clancey reflect upon the inspiration she drew from Keats’s art and her toddler son’s enthusiasm for art and stories.


SPONSORS

THE SNOWY DAY AND THE ART OF EZRA JACK KEATS IS ORGANIZED BY THE JEWISH MUSEUM, NEW YORK, FROM THE COLLECTION OF THE DE GRUMMOND CHILDREN'S LITERATURE COLLECTION, THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI. THE EXHIBITION IS FUNDED THOUGH A GENEROUS GRANT FROM THE EZRA JACK KEATS FOUNDATION. ADDITIONAL SUPPORT HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY THE JOSEPH ALEXANDER FOUNDATION, THE ALFRED J. GRUNEBAUM MEMORIAL FUND, AND THE WINNICK FAMILY FOUNDATION.

THE SNOWY DAY AND THE ART OF EZRA JACK KEATS AND ITS RELATED PROGRAMS AT THE SKIRBALL CULTURAL CENTER ARE MADE POSSIBLE IN PART THROUGH THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF THE FOLLOWING DONORS:

The Boeing Company
Carsey Family Foundation
Specialty Family Foundation
Lannette and Scott Turicchi

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY:
Eileen Harris Norton Foundation
Patricia and Stanley Silver


MEDIA SPONSORS

MEDIA SUPPORT PROVIDED BY:

89.3 KPCC FMLos Angeles Magazine

 



EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS:


RELATED TO THIS EXHIBITION:

Upcoming

Private Guided Tours

The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats
Groups of 10 or more are invited to book a private, docent-led tour.

For Families

Last Weekends of the Month
Saturday, August 30–Sunday, August 31

Gallery Tours

The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats
Tuesday–Sunday, 1:00 p.m.

For Members

The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats Picture Book
Through September 7, 2014

For Members

The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats Exhibition Catalogue
Through September 7, 2014

For Families

Family Art Studio
Tuesday–Sunday, through August 31

Gallery Tours

Family Tour: The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats
Wednesdays, 12:30 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays, 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Past

For Families

Skirball Explorers: The Snowy Day
Tuesdays, April 29–June 3, 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Courses

Illustrated Children’s Books
In progress: Mondays, June 2–August 4, 7:00–10:00 p.m. (10 sessions)

For Families

Snowy Dreams Family Sleepover
Saturday, June 7, 6:00 p.m.–Sunday, June 8, 9:00 a.m.

For Families

Last Weekends of the Month
Saturday, August 30–Sunday, August 31

Gallery Tours

The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats
Tuesday–Sunday, 1:00 p.m.

Courses

Art and Courage
In progress: Wednesdays, April 2–May 28, except May 21, 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (8 sessions)

For Families

Family Art Studio
Tuesday–Sunday, through August 31

Gallery Tours

Family Tour: The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats
Wednesdays, 12:30 p.m.
Saturdays and Sundays, 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.


PRESS RELEASE:

The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats
March 3, 2014

  1. Charles Good day! Is there a lecture and tour planned to complement the Ezra Jack Keats exhibition? Thanks. January 25, 2014
  2. Skirball Cultural Center Thanks for your comment! As with all Skirball exhibitions, gallery tours and several public programs will be presented in association with the exhibition. The March/April offerings will be posted on this site by mid-February, so be sure to check back here at that time. We look forward to welcoming you to the Skirball soon. January 28, 2014
  3. Jane This has got to be one of the best children's exhibits ever! I took my class of first graders last week and they have not stopped talking about it. We had read and discussed his books prior to the visit so when we arrived, they were so excited to see familiar pictures and characters. After they returned they couldn't stop talking about it and yesterday, our library day, nearly every Ezra Jack Keats book was checked out! Thank you for not only creating such an amazing experience for my students, but for inspiring them to read, write, draw, and create! Can't wait to take my own children there this summer! May 15, 2014

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