Thursday, October 15, 2009

Please Touch Museum's Wild Rumpus

Did you know Please Touch Museum used to house a Where the Wild Things Are exhibit?

I sat down with Laura Foster, Please Touch Museum's Executive Director, who recalls the very day museum staff met with Maurice Sendak himself to plan the wonderful exhibit. Read on to get the full scoop!

Pinky: So how did all of this come about?
Laura: In the mid 1990's, the museum worked with Maurice Sendak to develop and design an exhibit based on Where the Wild Things Are, and some of Sendak's other books. We used Sendak's original artwork as backdrops to set the scenes, adding interactive elements such as Max's bed and the boat Max sails to get to the Wild Things; a jungle made of vines to swing on, and child activated "wild rumpus" sound effects. The exhibit followed the narrative of the story so that children could act it out and the entire exhibit was developed by Please Touch exhibits staff in consultation with Maurice.

Pinky: That sounds like so much fun! I love Sendak!
Laura: It really was! We actually made regular trips to Sendak's home in Connecticut to show him the plans as they evolved. The exhibit was also developed in collaboration with the Rosenbach Museum and Library, which has the original artwork. Maurice even met with our staff the day of the exhibit opening party to discuss his creative process. I still remember the excitement that day in our theater where the staff gathered to meet him!

Pinky: How long was the exhibit part of Please Touch Museum?
Laura: The exhibit opened on April 29, 1995 and remained at the museum until we moved to Memorial Hall in fall 2008.

Pinky: Thanks for all the great info, Laura!

Spike Jonze's film adaptation of Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are opens in movie theaters tomorrow; a highly anticipated project that has been in development for almost a decade! And to celebrate the legacy of this wonderful book, Please Touch Museum will host its own Wild Rumpus! Check out all the details below and be sure to stop by!

All day fun in the Program Room:
- "Make a Wild Thing" open-art activity
- Where the Wild Things Are storytimes at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Wild Rumpus Dance Party at Noon & 2 p.m. in Hamilton Hall

Let the wild rumpus start!

1 comment:

  1. I see Where the Wild Things Are as more of an art film than a children's film.


We're all about learning through play.

Join Pinky, one of Please Touch Museum's resident puppets, on an inside look into all the fun, educational things happening at Philly's Children's Museum. This blog is not just about what we do at the museum, but about the educational philosophy behind why we do what we do.