While Gish has had tributes and retrospectives, he thought Lenski deserved the same and suggested it to the library, which has a room named for her.
Meanwhile, in the Museum of Art’s archives, according to curator Erin Shapiro, there was a collection of a dozen or so black and white woodblock prints discovered. Those along with the library’s collection of Lenski prints, letters, photography and memorabilia will form the exhibition.
“There’s a lot here that hasn’t been exhibited before, some that was just sitting in our files,” Shapiro said.
Lenski worked on more than 98 books, capturing the imaginations of adults and children, and received various awards including the Newbery Medal, one of the highest honors for children’s literature, in 1946 for “Strawberry Girl.”
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Shapiro said Lenski not only wrote and illustrated her own books, but also contributed illustrations for other’s books and wrote poetry later in life.
“The exhibition will cover the chronology of her career,” she said.
It’s also a chance to serve an underappreciated part of the art world.
“This really brings to life children’s illustrations as fine art. They that haven’t been elevated in status in the canon,” Shapiro said.
The exhibition is free and open to the public; the museum’s other exhibits are subject to admission fees. It will be open regular museum hours through Oct. 27.
Also at the exhibition, there will be information about a Lenski Walk put together by Rose and his staff coming this summer to trace her local journey.
“I’m hopeful there will be more opportunities like this in Springfield recognizing our talented local artists,” he said.
How To Go:
What: Lois Lenski: Storied Prints
Where: Springfield Museum of Art, 107 Cliff Park Road, Springfield
When: Opening reception, 5:30 p.m. and lecture at 6:15, Friday, July 12
Admission: $5 non-members; museum members admitted free
More info: 937-325-4673 or www.springfieldart.net