Contact: Gary Fitzpatrick (202) 707-8542, Helen Dalrymple (202) 707-1940
November 29, 1993
Library of Congress Publishes Lecture by Graphic Artist Antonio Frasconi
The Children's Literature Center in the Library of Congress has announced publication of Antonio Frasconi at the Library of Congress, based on a lecture given by the internationally acclaimed graphic artist at the center's 1989 International Children's Book Day celebration.
In his lecture, May 18, 1989, the artist recounted his creative and intellectual journey as he developed into the "journalist-artist" that he dreamed of becoming as a boy in Montevideo, Uruguay. Culmination of this goal, he told the audience of children's book and art lovers, came in his creation of a major exhibition in 1986 to show the "tragic history" of Uruguay during 12 years of military dictatorship.
He also explained development of his artistic style, specializing in woodcuts, and creation of his first children's book, See and Say, a picture book in four languages, published in 1955. The idea for the book came, he said, from his unsuccessful search for a way to teach his young son, Pablo, about differences in languages.
"I was looking not for a book to teach a child a foreign language but for one that would show that there are different ways to say the same thing, that there is more than one nation in our world, that there are many other countries where people speak different languages," said Mr. Frasconi.
"I discovered that my work could in some ways introduce a young mind to an understanding of our vast cultures."
The new Library of Congress publication recounts details of the artist's life from his birth in Buenos Aires, while his Italian-born parents were en route to a new home in Montevideo, his arrival in New York to study at the Art Students League in 1945, and his years of professional activity in the United States.
The 43-page, soft-cover book is illustrated by 30 Frasconi woodcuts. Its introduction is by Margaret K. McElderry, the eminent children's book editor who has brought many children's book writers and illustrators to America, and who discovered Mr Frasconi for the American audience. An extensive bibliography documenting the artist's illustrated books and portfolios as well as critical writings and selected exhibition catalogs was compiled by Cornelia Corson, head librarian, the Spence School, New York City. The book was edited by Sybille A. Jagusch, chief of the Children's Literature Center.
Antonio Frasconi at the Library of Congress (Stock Number 030-001-00144-0) is available from the Superintendent of Documents, Washington, DC 20402-9328, for $3.
The Children's Literature Center was founded in 1963 in the Library of Congress to provide reference and bibliographic assistance to children's book authors and illustrators, publishers, librarians, and scholars and to recognize and encourage recognition of excellence in literature for children. While offering no programs directly serving children, the center's reference services, publications, and programs benefit professionals whose work serves children's intellectual and recreational needs.
The center has presented International Children's Book Day celebrations annually since 1987 with support by a grant from the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation.
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