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The Storybook Magic of

JERRY PINKNEY January 21-March 26, 2017 WoodmereArtMuseum


Jerry Pinkney and sons Myles and Brian Pinkney, 1970

Woodmere extends sincere thanks and appreciation to Debbie Brodsky; Timoney Knox, LLP; the families of Robert & Jean Adnopoz; and Steven & Sally Gendler.


The Storybook Magic of

JERRY PINKNEY June 4–August 28, 2016

CONTENTS

Foreword by William R. Valerio 2 A Conversation with Jerry Pinkney 4 Works in the Exhibition 24

January 21–March 26, 2017

WoodmereArtMuseum


FOREWORD Philadelphia has long been a city of newspapers

generously participating in our exhibition-related

and printing. Generations of artists have trained

programs. We look forward to more projects

and worked as illustrators, and as such the art

together and to a long-term relationship. Hildy

of our city is distinguished by an impulse to tell

Tow, Woodmere’s Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Curator

stories. The illustration arts are well represented

of Education, and Rachel McCay, Assistant

in Woodmere’s collection, which is dedicated to

Curator, deserve special praise for conceiving

Philadelphia’s artists, so it is with honor and a sense

of the exhibition with Jerry and for devising the

of pride that we present The Storybook Magic

juxtaposition of the two very different books. Thank

of Jerry Pinkney. On view are Pinkney’s original

you, Rick Ortwein, Deputy Director for Exhibitions,

watercolors, preparatory drawings, and dummy

for the beautiful installation of this exhibition.

books associated with two publications for young readers: Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band In the World, a collaboration with poet Marilyn Nelson, and Black Cowboy, Wild Horses: A True Story, a collaboration with author Julius Lester. The subjects of these books could not be more relevant to the issues of today: Sweethearts of Rhythm is a story of art in the context of war, while Black Cowboy, Wild Horses speaks to the relationship between man and nature, and the harnessing of nature’s power. I greatly enjoy these books each time I read them,

Woodmere is indebted to our funders, without whom the exhibition and its programs would not have been realized. We are grateful to Debbie Brodsky, who generously stepped forward to support this exhibition. And we extend our gratitude to Sally and Steven Gendler and Robert and Jean Adnopoz, newer members of the Woodmere family, for their support. Our corporate sponsor, Timoney Knox, LLP, signed on to the project early and with enthusiasm. To these donors, and to everyone who helps make Woodmere a special museum, thank you.

but Pinkney’s watercolors have a unique immediacy in person, offering a different kind of beauty and

WILLIAM R. VALERIO, PHD

inspiration. Pinkney is a master of his medium. For

The Patricia Van Burgh Allison Director and CEO

a watercolorist, this means that each of his tableaus is a mini-drama all its own, expressed by imposing structure on the watery medium on the one hand, and allowing fluidity and organic irregularity on the other. As much as Pinkney’s collaborations with Nelson and Lester present image and text in a relationship that feels just right, it is a special treat to see the entirety of the watercolors on their own. Woodmere thanks Jerry Pinkney for opening his studio to us, for giving of his time, and for 2

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Bob Lemmons, 1997, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

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A CONVERSATION WITH JERRY PINKNEY

On January 5, 2017 Hildy Tow, the Robert McNeil, Jr. Curator of Education spoke with Jerry Pinkney, Caldecott Medal recipient for The Lion and the Mouse (2009) and one of the most beloved artists in children’s literature. They discussed two of his books, Black Cowboy, Wild Horses: A True Story (1998) and Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World (2009). The artwork from these two books is the focus of Woodmere’s exhibition, The Storybook Magic of Jerry Pinkney. HILDY TOW: Why did you choose the subject matter of these two books? JERRY PINKNEY: Black Cowboy, Wild Horses was based on a fascination I had as a young boy. Growing up in the Germantown section of Philly, I would dream of exploring the wild Western plains. That dream was helped along every Saturday when my buddies and I would head for the local movie house. Fifteen cents would get us in and often it was a double feature. Two Westerns, double the excitement. The mythic West had a hold on us as children, and is still to me the metaphor for freedom and venturing into something new and unknown. This idea of taking a risk is incorporated in my work as I immerse myself in a project and become fired up by a subject I know little about, yet am very much interested in. I need to stretch my imagination. I delve into each new subject with the

Self-Portrait, 1997, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

thought that by doing so, I grow artistically and personally. PINKNEY: Sweethearts of Rhythm is a collaboration TOW: And how about Sweethearts of Rhythm: The

between me and the poet Marilyn Nelson. I have

Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the

known her poems for some time. When the

World?

opportunity arose to work with her on a project, it was sweetened by the subject, which was swing

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and jazz music. I had been interested in jazz since my teenage years and was a member of my high school jazz club. To this day I’m still an avid collector of jazz recordings as well as books featuring art inspired by jazz. I have always felt that I’d like my art to feel the way music sounds. TOW: Did the collaboration with Marilyn Nelson come up before you chose the subject matter? PINKNEY: The subject matter came up first. An editor at Dial Books was doing her job, which was to find new projects, and one of the projects was the history of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm,

It Don’t Mean a Thing, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

the first integrated all women’s band in the United States. They came to me first and told me they were thinking about this project and were considering

Then, early in 2007, I got the call from Lauri Hornik,

Marilyn as the author and wondered whether I

the publisher and editor at Dial, asking whether

would be interested in collaborating with her. After

I would be interested in the collaboration with

floating the idea to me, they went to Marilyn and

Marilyn. Lauri told me the subject would be the

proposed that this would be a great combination of

Sweethearts of Rhythm who attended the Piney

illustrations and poems.

Woods School, and I got up and went right over

Interestingly, some time earlier, I had been approached by an art director at one of the other publishing houses whose mother was very much involved in supporting the Piney Woods Country Life School, an African American boarding school for students that is located in central Mississippi. The Sweethearts had studied there. The school

to my file cabinet and pulled out the file on Piney Woods. And I said how can this be? It was beautiful. I had always wanted to work with Marilyn because I respected her work, so, talk about stars being aligned! I felt that sense of knowing the school and then I found out that they had a swing band that had a great reputation. I enthusiastically said yes.

administrators saw me as a role model for the

TOW: Earlier in this conversation you stated “I

students, and they were interested to see whether

like my art to feel the way music sounds.” You

I might want to visit. I had agreed to do so, and

incorporated collage into the book Sweethearts.

they had sent me some material on the history of

Do you see any connection between collage and

the school and its mission. But for some reason, the

music?

project never materialized.

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Left: Good Old Days, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist) Bottom right: Lady, Be Good, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

with color playing such a key role. Musicians talk about color and talk about improvising and so I wondered, how could I do this project in a similar way? And I decided to approach it like I’ve approached other pieces of art that I create—by taking risks. And I arrived at my use of collage through a process of thinking about what swing is and how it developed. Swing came about during the horrific time of World War II, the Great Depression, and the Dust Bowl, among other events. Swing Untitled, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist). The advertisement reads: The International Sweethearts of Rhythm. Now ready to book fall engagements. For information on above, Write Mrs. J. D. Hardy, Piney Woods, Mississippi.

PINKNEY: Yes. I was thinking about how to approach the art with two thoughts in mind. First, that these were beautiful women who became these fabulous musicians. So even though it was going to be challenging to do portraits of the musicians who had very few publicity shots I could use for reference, I knew their likenesses had to be part of the imagery so that I could talk about their beautiful playing and their physical beauty as well. Second I thought about jazz, how it was interpreted, 6

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music became a security comfort blanket—it was a distraction from what was going on. I thought, couldn’t that be the concept for the book? So the


Top: Take the ‘A’ Train, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist) Bottom: Yeah: Love Will Prevail, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

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Left: Bugle Call Rag, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

Right: Prayer for Peace, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

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Top: Sweethearts (Back Cover), 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist) Bottom: Sweethearts, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

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Top: A Balm for Her Nation, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist) Bottom: Sweethearts (Front Cover), 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

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Left: Black and Tan Fantasy, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

RIght: Preliminary drawing for Black and Tan Fantasy, before 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

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collage acted as the music did for the folks who

their own takeaway. This creates a dynamic sense of

needed it and used it, those who needed to have

a shared experience.

that other place to go. It was an escape. My use of collage came out of that.

What was interesting for me is that we went through a number of thumbnail sketches, we put

TOW: That’s interesting. In addition to the collage

a dummy book together, and then the images

I’ve always loved the colors you choose. The book

started to shift and change for me. Even at a point

moves from sepia to color back to sepia again. I feel

where the final decisions were being made, I was

the music!

still changing the image to interpret the poem. It

PINKNEY: Thank you. In this case, unlike working with Julius Lester (who I worked with on Black Cowboy, Wild Horses) Marilyn would complete the poems without any input from the editor or me. Poetry had to be in the voice of the creator and this is as it should be. Her own poems are an artistic vessel inviting the reader to interpret meaning.

got to a point where the editor and the art director never saw the image until it was finished. In some instances I completely abandoned an image that all of us had agreed upon. But that’s poetry. That’s why you can read a poem over and over again and your response to it can change each time. I wanted the pictures to reflect that as well.

In many ways, I was a reader as well as a visual interpreter. There lies the magic of our collaboration: two distinct voices knitted together to form the journey that would become the book. TOW: Yes what’s fascinating about that particular work is that the words and the images are almost like two different worlds that unite in the experience of interpreting both of them. When I first read the book and the opening poem, which is from the trombone’s point of view, I was thinking “what’s going on her”’ and then looked at the image and then read the poem again, and then I got it. It became so rich. It was really extraordinary. PINKNEY: What I love about poems is that you

Preliminary drawing for Jump, Jump, Jump, before 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

interpret the outcome. It’s in the imagination of the reader. I wanted my art to be a visual echo of what I felt was the nature of the poem. The reader reads

TOW: I think they do. Whether you look at the

the poem, views my image, having to then interpret

image first and then read the poem or read the

both. And the idea is that the reader then uses their

poem and then look at the image, they feed off

imagination to discover their own meaning as well,

each other and help the reader see the poetry

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and the images in a new way. It all flows, and with

women who are so central to the American West.

several readings of that book, the illustrations and

This was a true collaboration.

poems take on new and deeper meanings.

TOW: Would text change based on images and

PINKNEY: It’s very different from the more

would images change based on text? Was there

traditional process of book illustration. Traditionally,

that kind of back and forth?

the visual imagery is defined by the text, but for Sweethearts, the reader has to look for clues imbedded in the poem that suggests something in the imagery.

PINKNEY: Yes there were text changes. If I felt that perhaps a different approach to that particular part of the story would be heightened by some visual tension that perhaps was not in the original text, I

TOW: That is part of what makes the book so

would go back to Julius and suggest that maybe

magical. We selected these books because they are

if he added this, or took something away, it might

collaborations with respected writers and poets.

build the visual tension of the story. I started to

Could you please describe your collaboration for

share sketches and ideas about where I wanted to

Black Cowboy, Wild Horses, with Julius Lester?

take the book visually with Julius. That is really very

PINKNEY: I collaborated with Julius on nine projects. Four of them were volumes of Tales of Uncle Remus, where the working relationship was very much true to how most writers and

rare, because usually my role is to interpret the text. In this case, however, our relationship and mutual respect for each other’s work allowed us to work this way and get the best book possible.

illustrators collaborate. The publisher acquires

When I offered Julius the option to look at sketches

a manuscript and then looks for the artist they

and make suggestions, he didn’t have all that

feel will best interpret that text. However, in the

many changes he wanted to see. As he has said in

course of working with Julius over the years, we

another interview, he is a novelist and I had years of

became friends as well as comrades in pursuing

experiences in making picture books, so I was in a

projects that we both had deep interests in. The

sense guiding him through the process. He left a lot

black West topped the list, and we presented the

of that part up to me. I could ask him to take a look

idea to our publisher and editor, Phyllis Fogelman.

at something, knowing that he respected my work

She accepted the concept and Julius and I started

well enough to make suggestions only if he felt they

working right away.

could better help the story along.

This time we shared thoughts and ideas as part of

TOW: The exhibition will include the mock-up

our working process instead of him writing a story

book for Black Cowboy, Wild Horses as well as

and me illustrating it after it was written. In many

other materials involved in your process. They offer

ways, while we were working, both minds, writer

wonderful visual insight into the making of a book.

and artist, were in sync with the spirit and vision of

Could you please describe your process, the artistic

the story of Bob Lemmons, a black cowboy. Our

decisions made along the way, and inspiration for

hope was to add his name, as well as the awareness

characters and settings?

of other black cowboys, to the cannon of men and

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Top: Spread from the dummy book for Black Cowboy, Wild Horses, before 2007, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist). Text by Julius Lester; Bottom: Working drawing for It was Time, 1997, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

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It was Time, 1997, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

PINKNEY: To begin a project, the most taxing

pagination and trim size. Of late I have been

question that begs to be answered is: Am I willing

working on drawing directly into the dummy book

to invest my time and energy into this? When the

with a marker. This helps me to respond to the size

answer is yes, then the research begins. I need to

and shape of the pages, which often determines

find out as much as possible about my subject.

the composition. It also helps me to think about

When I feel I have gleaned enough information such

what happens when the page is turned. How does

as place and time, matching, and tying together

this heighten the suspense or create tension for the

what I have gathered, and interpreting the clues

reader?

embedded in the text, a building process starts with rough sketches for the artwork.

When the dummy book is created to my satisfaction, there is most often a face-to-face

The steps are small, but each one leads to a deeper

meeting with the editor and art director. After

understanding of the narrative. This is a time of

their comments, a second dummy book is usually

heightened energy, it’s thrilling and frustrating. I

required, and I relish the potential of reworking the

use thumbnail sketches to tease out ideas, asking

dummy. This makes for a more resolved bridge

myself which direction to take the project. All the

for me to enter into the stage of developmental

while I’m letting the character development start

drawing.

to percolate. At this time my concerns are about vision. Each book has to have its own.

Then the working drawings are the last stage before moving on to the finished art. In the working

When I’m satisfied that I am on the right track,

drawings, I hone in on the central characters. I think

I prepare a dummy book, making decisions on

about and figure out how they look and act. I like THE STORYBOOK MAGIC OF JERRY PINKNEY

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Bob Lemmons and Warrior, 1997, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

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Breaking the Herd, 1997, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

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bringing out their personalities and what particular

before, I knew that there had to be portraits in my

characteristics they possess.

images, but I ran up against the fact that the photos

The process of making picture books is reworking and refining, allowing me to switch directions. It is, for me, a process where I use each step as a way of understanding and accumulating a greater knowledge of the subject. When I was younger, when I was satisfied with the first dummy book, that was it. Now there are times when I will rework a second dummy book because it gives me a greater

that were taken at the time were usually publicity shots, meaning they were smiley and posed. There is one set of sketches I did of Tiny, the trumpet player. She loved Louis Armstrong’s style and imitated him, handkerchief and all. In the sketches, I started with her profile, and with each sketch, I rotated around her a bit more until I finally got to a frontal portrait.

understanding. As I mature as an artist, I also have a larger file of possibilities for making decisions about what the final art might look like. TOW: When Rachel McCay (Woodmere’s Assistant Curator) and I visited your studio you showed us That Man of Mine, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

photographs of a model on a fake horse. He was posed in a number of ways as if he was riding the horse. Do you often work from live models? Why didn’t you find existing imagery of people on horseback?

Again, what I try to do in my work is make it

PINKNEY: The central character in Black Cowboy,

representational and recognizable in a way, but at

Wild Horses is the cowboy Bob Lemmons and

the same time, I go about shaping these images

he is on horseback a large part of the narrative.

with a good leap of imagination to get to that point

I knew that in order to create visual interest, the

where the reader looks at it and believes it is true. I

perspectives had to be different. We had to see our

also say each project has to present some sort of a

cowboy from a different direction, a different lens. I

challenge for me so that the energy of the challenge

knew that I could not create that with just research

actually becomes part of the art itself.

from pictures of cowboys at rodeos or still photos. His poses had to be specific to what I wanted to say. The Western costumed model and simulated horse made it possible to create paintings from multiple vantage points. For the Sweethearts, there are very few actual visual references of the women themselves. There was a video, but it was difficult to see. That project created a lot of different challenges for me. As I said

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TOW: Yes, interesting. So with that said, did you have any surprises while working on your paintings for the books? PINKNEY: For each project there is, for me, an overarching challenge to find a new and fresh way to interpret a subject. This is especially true when the narrative is nonfiction. For Black Cowboy and Sweethearts, the stories are pried out of black history. Both build around real people and a specific


time and place. The authors’ voices, Julius’s and

TOW: These books are rich in African American

Marilyn’s, each amplify and reimagine.

history. They are relevant in our current world. They

As for surprises, in Sweethearts, it was Marilyn’s unique approach. I took on this project before any poems had been written for it. In the book, of course, Marilyn introduces us to the Sweethearts at a much later date in their history. She starts the story when the Sweethearts of Rhythm is a mature swing band. But I felt the need to talk about the women as students as well, so what you see on the illustrated front matter, before Marilyn’s first poem, is their earlier history. That also set the tone for how I would shape the book; I visually presented their history. Never could I have imagined that the voice of the poems would be told from the perspective of the instruments. How stunning! The role of African Americans contributing to the war effort was also a surprising aspect of that book for me. When you look at the documented history of World War II, it’s rare that you find African Americans in any other role other than in the segregated armed forces. I didn’t know about victory gardens or that African Americans participated in the war effort in ways that were parallel to the rest of the country.

give people an awareness that the world is much broader than they know. I am thinking specifically of our recent exhibition of John Mosley’s photographs. He was a photographer in Philadelphia from the 1930s up until his death in 1969. He took photographs of segregated Philadelphia. His photos portray a self-sufficient, vital community that most of the white population did not know about. His subjects included the segregated beach in Atlantic City known as Chicken Bone Beach, sporting events, church functions, celebrities, and ordinary people. Especially in today’s time, these books and Mosley’s photographs help everyone to respect differences and to see our commonalities. PINKNEY: Growing up, there were places that I knew we couldn’t enter or weren’t welcomed, but that never really bothered me that much. What did affect me and left a hurtful sting was the white beach and the black beach being separated by the Steel Pier. Not being able to get up close to the amusements and the attention-grabbing star, the diving horse. Not to hear the horse and rider plunging into the tank of water. Not to cheer in unison with the crowds of onlookers. TOW: Is there anything specific about Philadelphia that you would like to share? How has growing up in Philadelphia informed your work as an artist? PINKNEY: It is hard to see my artistic development as well as my personal world without looking at the role of growing up in Philadelphia during the 1940s. It fostered a sense of self and purpose. It gave me a need to make over my world through the employment of the imagination. Then there is a fascinating convergence of

Victory, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

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experiences and deliberate choices that were made

unique architecture. I remember as a kid going to

in the twenty years I lived in Philadelphia. Certainly,

catch a bus or a trolley, I was always amazed by the

my mother and father met, married, and started a

architecture of the 1700s. All the houses seemed

family in Philadelphia. I was born at Germantown

to have these little brass plaques on them. As a

Hospital on December 22, 1939, the middle child of

kid I remember not figuring out what that was all

a family of six children. Our home was located in

about. Not until I was an adult did I understand their

the Germantown section. Our address was 51 East

importance in our history.

Earlham Street on an all African American block, surrounded by Italian and Jewish neighborhoods and factories that provided everything from pencils to sweaters. My grandfather, Charles, worked in the Blazedale Pencil Factory on the corner of Earlham and Lena Streets.

As a kid I was always curious. I also attended the Hill Elementary School, an all African American school where students learned about American history through the lens and perspective of black educators. That view informs my work to this day. That education shaped how I would view the

To this day, the pencil is still my tool of choice

world because I had very informed and educated

because drawing is the most direct way to express

instructors. African American teachers had a hard

myself. With little means to visit playgrounds or

time finding employment so at a black school you

anything of that sort, we boys made what we

had some of the best. I don’t ever remember black

needed to entertain ourselves. Our imagination was

history being taught, but history was being taught

always at work.

through the lens of being of color. I know that that

I have always thought about, and often talked about, my art education. Though officially, it started at Dobbins Vocational High School, studying the commercial arts course, in a sense my art education really started on Earlham Street with this need to make things. I think in so many ways my whole reverence for tools came from my father, who was a jack-of-all trades and loved tools. We made everything. My young life was chaotic, overcrowded, overstimulated, and I am also dyslexic. I would use the act of drawing to center myself.

is how I began to shape my world, moving through this world as an African American, and using that perspective in the choices I have made, in which projects I invest in, and how I place and highlight the African American character and contribution. TOW: I am following you. PINKNEY: The interesting thing is that at that time, Hill Elementary was a choice. My mother or perhaps my father chose to send me and my older siblings to an all-black school. My younger siblings later went to integrated elementary schools, in pace with

Philadelphia is also steeped in history, vital in

the changing attitudes of blacks and whites being

forming our democracy: Independence Hall and

educated together.

the United States Constitution. In the Germantown section, there are arteries for the Underground Railroad. I would often pass the Johnston House just off Germantown Ave. At that time I never fully understood its importance. I just appreciated the 20

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But there was no socialization beyond our immediate neighborhood when I was a kid. That is why in so many ways we were kind of like this isolated world living on a dead-end street. In order


to go to a boys club or a swimming pool we had to

We had three or four works by Sam Brown in the

go through other neighborhoods where we weren’t

show. One of the most poignant beautiful works

always sure if we would be welcomed or not, so

was a watercolor portrait that he had done of his

instead, all our social lives took place on Earlham

daughter. His daughter died at six or seven years

Street on that block.

old. It is so poignant.

When I was thirteen, I sold newspapers on the corner of Germantown Avenue and Chelton Avenue. It was one of those days working at the newsstand that I met my first professional artist, the cartoonist, John Liney. His cartoon strip was Henry, which ran in the very papers that I was selling. I showed him some of my sketches—I would often have a sketchpad and pencils with me and sketch people passing by or stopping to buy newspapers. Just Urlene, Age Nine, 1956, by Samuel J. Brown (Woodmere Art Museum: Museum purchase, 2004)

across from my newsstand, the rotating displays of Rowell’s department store provided me with a constantly changing still life. I am still trying to find out whether I could have entered into Rowell’s during the time that I worked at the newspaper stand. I am not sure. I have to talk to my aunt,

PINKNEY: I have so many fond memories of Sam.

because there was a time when black folks weren’t

One of the biggest things that brings a smile to

welcomed. I know that I never went inside.

most people’s faces is when they hear that growing

I would later attend the Dobbins Vocational Technical High School, where I met my future

up as a kid with dyslexia, some guy hires you to work in a sign shop.

wife, Gloria Jean, who later became an author

After graduating from high school, I was an

and minister, as well as my best friend. While at

advertising design major at the Philadelphia

Dobbins, I was instructed in the applied arts by Mr.

Museum School of Art (now University of the

Sam Brown. I actually worked with him, too, in a

Arts). It was practical. I didn’t fully appreciate or

sign shop, after school and in the summers. Now, I

understand what illustration was all about. There

never knew that he was a recognized artist. I knew

were two separate cultures at the school at the

he taught art, but I had no idea he created it, or

time. I would often sneak up to the second-level,

that his work was in museum collections. It really

where the Illustration department was located, and I

wasn’t until the recent exhibition Represent at the

would look around.

Philadelphia Museum of Art that I was aware that he was a watercolorist.

I find it fascinating that I would end up in this place where I am today, in the vocation of illustrator. I did

TOW: We had a show last fall that was called We

not fully appreciate until much later that some of

Speak: Black Artists in Philadelphia, 1920s–1970s.

the golden age of illustration came out of the very

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place where I was living, but I do find that when you look at my work it does feel that it comes from that period of illustration that came out of Philadelphia—

time, exhilarating. TOW: I look forward to that book.

the Ashcan School folk and the Brandywine area, with the likes of N.C. Wyeth and Howard Pyle. It is thrilling to know that I am the first illustrator to have had a retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. TOW: What a nice full circle! You know you started off by saying that you know a lot of your work is about taking a risk and it is a leap of faith. We are all very glad that you did because we get to go along for the ride. Sweethearts of Rhythm sounds like it must have been a whole new experience for you, but without risks we never know what’s possible. Are there times when you think “I can’t do this” or “this isn’t going to work” and you just push through? Have you ever stopped? PINKNEY: I say it is a matter of feeling comfortable with being uncomfortable. The hope is that when I go into a project that there is going to be a challenge that will maybe make me think, “Can I do this?” [laughter] I am doing a project now on the day before the March on Washington in 1963. The book will contain portraits of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his council, such as Reverend Ralph Abernathy, Baynard Rustin, and Wyatt Tee Walker. The setting of that day, before the speech, is built around the spirited gathering as Dr. King prepares to write his remarks. The tone is emotional, animated. The key players are forceful, and it’s important that they be recognized. That mood has to be interpreted in my art. This will be a new challenge, and as a younger artist I would not have taken this project on. But now the fact that I have not been challenged in this way before is both frightening and, at the same 22

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Top: Chattanooga Choo Choo, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist) Bottom: Red-Hot Mama, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)


Top: Finally the Rain Slowed, 1997, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist); Bottom: Warrior Reared, 1997, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

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WORKS IN THE EXHIBITION All works are by Jerry Pinkney (American, born 1939) and are courtesy of the artist unless otherwise specified. Works in the checklist are listed in the order in which they appear in the published books. Self-Portrait, 1997 Graphite, watercolor, gouache, and pastel on paper, 13 5/8 x 10 5/8

Black Cowboys, Wild Horses: A True Story, 1998. Text by Julius Lester illustrations by Jerry Pinkney

Bob Lemmons and Warrior, 1997 Graphite, watercolor, gouache, and pastel on paper, 18 1/4 x 28 3/8 in. Bob Lemmons, 1997 Graphite, watercolor, gouache, and pastel on paper, 19 1/4 x 14 3/8 in. Breaking the Herd, 1997 Graphite, watercolor, gouache, and pastel on paper, 15 1/8 x 23 3/8 in.. Edge of the Bluff, 1997 Graphite, watercolor, gouache, and pastel on paper, 15 x 23 in. First Light, 1997 Graphite, watercolor, gouache, and pastel on paper, 15 x 23 in.

Top: The Stallion Neighed, 1997, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist; Bottom: The Colt Struggled, 1997, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

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The Hoofprints of Mustangs, 1997 Graphite, watercolor, gouache, and pastel on paper, 15 1/8 x 23 1/4 in. Took Out an Apple, 1997 Graphite, watercolor, gouache, and pastel on paper, 15 1/2 x 23 in. Warrior Reared, 1997 Graphite, watercolor, gouache, and pastel on paper, 15 1/2 x 23 in. Finally the Rain Slowed, 1997 Graphite, watercolor, gouache, and pastel on paper, 16 1/8 x 23 1/4 in. Nostrils Flared, 1997 Graphite, watercolor, gouache, and pastel on paper, 15 1/2 x 22 7/8 in. Bob Saw the Rattler, 1997 Graphite, watercolor, gouache, and pastel on paper, 15 3/4 x 23 1/4 in. The Colt Struggled, 1997 Graphite, watercolor, gouache, and pastel on paper, 15 1/2 x 23 in. It Was Time, 1997 Graphite, watercolor, gouache, and pastel on paper, 15 3/8 x 23 1/8 in.

Nostrils Flared, 1997, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

The Stallion Neighed, 1997 Graphite, watercolor, gouache, and pastel on paper, 15 1/8 x 23 in. Land and Sky Kissed, 1997 Graphite, watercolor, gouache, and pastel on paper, 16 x 23 1/4 in. Working drawing for The Hoofprints of Mustangs, before 1997 Graphite on Mylar, 13 7/8 x 21 7/8 in.

Dummy book for Black Cowboy, Wild Horses: A True Story, before 1997 Ink on paper, 16 x 23 1/4 in. Photographic study for Black Cowboy, Wild Horses: A True Story, before 1997 Gelatin silver print, 8 x 10 in.

Thumbnail sketch for Black Cowboy, Wild Horses: A True Story, before 1997 Ink on paper, 13 7/8 x 21 7/8 in.

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Top: Took Out an Apple, 1997, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist) Bottom: First Light, 1997, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

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Top: The Hoofprints of Mustangs, 1997, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist) Bottom: Thumbnail sketch for Black Cowboy, Wild Horses: A True Story, before 1997 by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

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Sweethearts of Rhythm: The Story of the Greatest All-Girl Swing Band in the World, 2009. Text by Marilyn Nelson illustrations by Jerry Pinkney Sweethearts (Front Cover), 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 13 x 14 5/8 in. Good Old Days, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 11 x 22 in. Church/To/Church, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 11 1/4 x 22 in. Bugle Call Rag, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 10 3/4 x 13 1/4 in. Bugle Call Rag, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 11 1/4 x 22 in. Chattanooga Choo Choo, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 11 1/4 x 13 in. The Day War was Declared, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 10 3/4 x 13 3/4 in. Prayer for Peace, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 10 3/4 x 13 3/4 in.

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Do You Want to Jump Children, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 10 3/4 x 14 in. Jump, Jump, Jump, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 10 3/4 x 13 in. It Don’t Mean a Thing, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 10 1/8 x 13 3/4 in.

Take the ‘A’ Train, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 10 3/4 x 13 1/4 in. She’s Crazy with the Heat, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 10 3/4 x 14 1/4 in. White, Colored, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 11 1/8 x 22 in. Top: The Song Is You, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist) Bottom: We Traveled to Europe, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)


Top: Bugle Call Rag, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist) Bottom: Church/To/Church, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

Red-Hot Mama, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 10 3/4 x 14 1/8 in

A Balm for Her Nation, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 10 7/8 x 21 3/8 in.

Sweethearts, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 11 x 22 in.

Black and Tan Fantasy, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 10 3/4 x 13 in.

Don’t Get It Twisted, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 10 3/4 x 13 in.

Sweethearts (Back Cover), 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 12 5/8 x 14 1/4 in.

I’m in the Mood for Swing, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 10 3/4 x 14 1/8 in.

We Traveled to Europe, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 10 7/8 x 22 in.

Preliminary drawing for Jump, Jump, Jump, before 2008 Graphite on paper, 10 x 11 3/8 in.

That Man of Mine, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 10 13/16 x 12 15/16 in.

The Song Is You, 2008 Graphite, color pencil, watercolor, and collage on paper, 10 3/4 x 14 1/8 in.

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Top left: She’s Crazy with the Heat, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist) Center : White, Colored, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist) Bottom left : The Day War Was Declared, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist) Bottom right : Jump, Jump, Jump, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

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Preliminary drawing for Jump, Jump, Jump, before 2008 Graphite on paper, 10 5/8 x 12 1/2 in. Courtesy of the artist Preliminary drawing for Black and Tan Fantasy, before 2008 Graphite on paper, 13 1/4 x 9 1/4 in. Courtesy of the artist Preliminary drawing for Black and Tan Fantasy, before 2008 Graphite on paper, 9 x 11 in. Courtesy of the artist

Top: Don’t Get It Twisted, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist) Bottom: I’m In the Mood for Swing, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

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Do You Want to Jump Children, 2008, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist)

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Woodmere Art Museum receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

Support provided in part by The Philadelphia Cultural Fund.

Š 2017 Woodmere Art Museum. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the publisher. Catalogue designed by Gabrielle Turgoose. Front cover: Land and Sky Kissed, 1997, by Jerry Pinkney (Courtesy of the artist) THE WOODMERE ANNUAL: 75TH JURIED EXHIBITION

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The Storybook Magic of Jerry Pinkney