Sixty years after her debut, picture book heroine Eloise is still a star. Eloise’s unruly charm resulted from the unlikely collaboration between cabaret star Kay Thompson (1909–1998)—who supplied her audacious voice—and a young Hilary Knight (b. 1926), who provided the enchanting illustrations. Eloise at the Museum brings together a variety of works, from original manuscripts to sketchbooks, portraits, photographs, vintage dolls, and toys. Never-before-seen artworks from Knight’s archive include his 1954 trial drawings for the first Eloise book; two Eloise in Paris sketchbooks; a Hollywood notebook with a full-spread sketch of Thompson belting out “Think Pink!” for the 1957 film Funny Face; a magnificent suite of final art from Eloise in Moscow; and a 1993 Eloise watercolor for the Manhattan literary fair New York Is Book Country. Organized by the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, where it will debut, Eloise at the Museum at the New-York Historical Society will feature family programming throughout the summer.
Exhibitions at the New-York Historical Society are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.