Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum

Wausau, WI

(715) 845-7010


Words and Images: The Narrative Works of the Pinkneys


Jerry Pinkney, I Want to Be

A distinctive exhibition that celebrates humanity, Words and Images: The Narrative Works of the Pinkneys will be presented at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin beginning November 15, 1997 and will run through February 22, 1998.


Jerru Pinkney, The Sunday Outing, 1994


The Pinkneys are a remarkable family of artists and writers committed to telling stories that celebrate human spirit and have universal appeal. Focusing on the African-American experience, Jerry Pinkney, his wife, Gloria Jean Pinkney, and their son and daughter-in-law, Brian and Andrea Davis Pinkney, have created some of America's most highly acclaimed children's books.


Jerry Pinkney, John Henry, 1994


Family is at the heart of everything the Pinkneys create. Words and Images: The Narrative Works of the Pinkneys is the first exhibition to feature the work of all members of the Pinkneys, including son Myles, a photographer. Eighty-three original watercolors, scratchboards, and photographs comprise the exhibition.

How a book is developed will also be explored, from rough drafts and dummy books to publisher's proofs. For visitors, the process of creativity becomes as fascinating as the final product. Words and Images is organized by the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Museum of Art.


Jerry Pinkney, Talking Eggs, 1989


The Woodson Art Museum and the Marathon County Public Library have developed a unique educational collaboration for Words and Images . A Community Arts Grant and a grant from the Judd S. Alexander Foundation made it possible for both the Museum and Library to plan more than 20 special events and education programs that will help families discover the value of story in their lives through art and literature. Over 10,000 schoolchildren in grades K-5 are scheduled to visit the Museum during the exhibition, and teachers are busy preparing students in their classrooms by using Pinkney study boxes prepared by the Children's Division staff at the Library.


Brian Pinkney, Dear Benjamin Banneker


The most exciting events during Words and Images occur in February when the Pinkney family -- Jerry, Gloria Jean, Brian, and Myles -- make a special appearance in Wausau. Their first event will be "A Family Affair: A Book Signing Opportunity" on Friday, February 6, from 5-7 p.m. at the Marathon County Public Library. They will sign your favorite Pinkney-written or illustrated books, which can be purchased in advance at the Museum or Janke Book Store.

On Saturday, February 7 at 9 a.m., Gloria Jean Pinkney will read her favorite stories in the children's section of the Library. At the same time, teens and adults can listen to Jerry, Brian, and Myles discuss the family interaction that goes into taking their ideas from inspiration to a published book. This group will meet in the Wausau Room.


Brian Pinkney, JoJo's Flying Side Kick


Another opportunity to meet the Pinkneys in person, this time at the Museum, will be on Saturday afternoon, February 7, from 2-4 p.m. All four Pinkneys will be on hand during the first hour to answer visitors' questions and share ideas and during the second hour for a family reception. The public is invited for all of these free events.

In the Museum's "family room" visitors will find a comfortable place to learn more about the Pinkneys, read some stories together, try creating a book, and write to the Pinkneys. A free gallery gamebook full of games and activities is also available for children to help them explore the Pinkney's illustrations.

Brian Pinkney, Seven Candles for Kwanzaa

The ever-popular Toddler Tuesday will be offered four times during the Pinkney exhibition -- November 18, December 16, January 20 and February 17, all from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Parents and children make memories together while enjoying interactive stories and hands-on projects, all designed to encourage youngsters with big imaginations.

Three big events are scheduled for January 9-11 also. On Friday, a lunch-hour program on oral histories and family genealogies, featuring Beth Stahr, C.G.R.S., and Mary Jane Hettinga will look at how to go about exploring your own family histories. Then on Saturday at 10 a.m. and Sunday at 1.30 p.m., a performance artist will bring to life the African-American celebration of Kwanzaa, and present a musical repertoire that looks at the history and influence of African-American music from zipper songs and spirituals right up to today's rap.

Brian Pinkney, Alvin Ailey


The Woodson Art Museum is open free of admission on Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, noon -5 p.m. The Museum is closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, December 24 -25, and New Year's Day. It is located at the corner of Franklin (Co. Hwy. Z) and Twelfth Streets on Wausau's east side. For more information or to receive a flee calendar of events, call 715-845-7010.

Story and images are courtesy of Woodson Art Museum.

Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

This page was originally published in 1997 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

Copyright 2012 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.