The Dubuque Museum of Art is pleased to present a new exhibition highlighting the boundless imagination and humor of children’s book author and artist Arthur Geisert.
Opening this fall, the DuMA will present the original illustrations from Geisert’s latest work of fiction, Pumpkin Island, published by Enchanted Lion Books, along with illustrations from his 2013 work Thunderstorm. The exhibition will bring the wondrous worlds of Geisert’s books to life with more than 60 hand-colored etchings (including one that is over 30 feet long), plus preparatory drawings and copper plates. The original works will be complimented by a video and hands-on
activities for children and families.
DuMA has enjoyed a long relationship with Geisert, whose complete works are among the museum’s most prized collections. Through the generosity of the Jack and Mantea Schmid Family, Bob Woodward, Arthur Geisert and Bonnie Geisert, the museum acquired all of the artist’s prints, books and etching plates more than a
decade ago—an archive that expands with each new publication.
In Pumpkin Island, a small town is overrun by sprawling pumpkin vines that remarkably sprout from a little island in the town’s river. Like all of his books, and the tradition of narrative illustration Geisert belongs to, Pumpkin Island combines the artist’s recognizable artistic style, use of imagery to create a narrative, and
unique sense of humor to draw children as well as adults into the story.
In Thunderstorm, the minutes tick away as a tornado roars through the countryside upsetting a peaceful day for the human and animal families in its path. The hills and valleys of rolling farmland go on and on through Thunderstorm making readers feel as if they are traveling along a country road on a stormy afternoon.
These are the fantastic and familiar stories Geisert spins in his newest tall and not-so-tall tales. No matter how extraordinary, Geisert’s stories maintain an air of possibility and authenticity due in part to the inspiration he draws from the people, animals, and landscapes around him.
Arthur Geisert is the author of more than two dozen books, three of which have been awarded The New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book Award. Born in Texas and raised in Los Angeles, Geisert relocated to Bernard, Iowa in 2007 and today makes his home and studio in Elkader, Iowa.