From Houdini to Hugo: The Art of Brian Selznick

The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) featured From Houdini to Hugo: The Art of Brian Selznick in the fall of 2010.

This retrospective featuring artwork of the highly acclaimed award-winning author-illustrator Brian Selznick includes artwork from his first book, The Houdini Box, published in 1991, and 2008 Caldecott Medal winning book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Selznick's name is synonymous with detail. His meticulous attention to the smallest nuance of an expression or line of a figure pulls the reader into the world he is creating. Some other featured books include 2002 Caldecott honor Book The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins, an ALA Notable Children’s Book Amelia and Eleanor Go For a Ride, a Robert F. Sibert honor and The New York Times Ten Best Illustrated book, Walt Whitman: Words for America, Texas Bluebonnet nominated books, The Boy of a Thousand Faces, The Doll People, and The Landry News.

Research is very important and an integral part of Selznick’s books. Often this includes constructing the worlds of his imagination and filling his studio with sculptures, hand crafted puppets, and dioramas. A lot of the research also generally involves traveling and going to the place where the story happened. The art in this exhibition, rendered in acrylic, Bic pen, pencil (color and graphite), pen and ink, and watercolor on watercolor paper, will transport the viewer to the time and place of the setting, while the exhibition information panels give an insight into Selznick’s way of approaching a particular book.