Kid in a Candy Store: The Picture Book Art of Seymour Chwast

November 18, 2023 - April 14, 2024
Central Gallery

Seymour Chwast’s revolutionary contributions to the world of graphic design have overshadowed his equally impactful picture book career—until now. This is the first museum exhibition to focus on Chwast’s books for children. The creator of 40 titles (with more on the way), Chwast approaches his books with the same inventive design, signature humor, and love of typography found in his commercial art. His illustrations are characterized by bold colors and a flat graphic style. He creates unexpected scenes and populates his stories with witty human, animal, and imaginary characters. Many of Chwast’s books play with format, encouraging readers to reimagine the traditional reading experience.   

Curated by Leonard S. Marcus. 

What to Expect

Visitors will enjoy more than 30 original illustrations from nine picture books, alongside a selection of hard-to-find editions and examples of Chwast’s poster work. Included is a video demonstrating his unconventional book constructions. Visitors can play a guessing game inspired by Where’s My Cat? and delight in immersive graphics and artwork created by the artist specifically for the exhibition. Chwast also designed a poster for sale in the Museum’s bookshop.

Illustration of two children walking a path with large snake.

Seymour Chwast​, Illustration for Tall City, Wide Country (Creative Editions). Seymour Chwast Collection, Washington University Libraries, Department of Special Collections. © 2013 Seymour Chwast.

Illustration of moon on city street.

Seymour Chwast​, Illustration for Moonride by Harriet Ziefert (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Seymour Chwast Collection, Washington University Libraries, Department of Special Collections. © 2000 Seymour Chwast.

Illustration of apartment building.

Seymour Chwast​, Illustration for Tall City, Wide Country (Creative Editions). Seymour Chwast Collection, Washington University Libraries, Department of Special Collections. © 2013 Seymour Chwast.

Explore Further
News & Press

Learn more about this legendary graphic designer! 

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Learn more about Seymour Chwast’s illustrious career in both graphic design and children’s books.

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Create your own folded drawing to expand and reveal a bigger picture!