Work by prominent NH illustrators on view at Currier Museum

Original art by David M. Carroll, Tomie dePaola, and Beth Krommes bring books to life.

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Hatchling Spotted Turtle on Nest-to-Water Journey, illustration by David M. Carroll

MANCHESTER, NH – Great illustrations bring a book to life. There is growing appreciation that book illustrations, whether for children, young adults, or families, are an important art form. The intricate, colorful, and compelling drawings that are reproduced in illustrated books create entire new worlds to explore.

On June 16, 2018, the Currier Museum of Art will open the exhibition Beyond Words: Book Illustrations by David M. Carroll, Tomie dePaola, and Beth Krommes. Their original drawings and sketches trace the process of creating an illustrated book. Beyond Words will feature storybook illustrations by dePaola and Krommes, known for their illustrated children’s books, along with the scientific illustrations and nature scenes created by Carroll for his natural history books.

MotherGoose, illustration by Tommie dePaola

Beyond Words shows more than 100 original works of art, which provide unique insight into the conception and production of some of the artists’ most beloved publications. Additionally, the Currier Museum has created a dedicated reading space featuring books by all three artists where visitors can further explore the stories highlighted in the exhibition.

“We have been given a special privilege to work with the artists – Beth, David, and Tomie – to select special works that reveal their creative process,” said Currier Museum director Alan Chong. “New Hampshire is fortunate to have these three artists, who are genuine national treasures. Beyond Words demonstrates that images have a life of their own that goes beyond the details of story and text. Each illustration opens a completely new world for our visitors to explore and enjoy.”

Sun in the moon – moon in the dark, illustration by Beth Krommes

A full range of programs will explore the themes of the exhibition for visitors of all ages. The three artists will present talks on their work and sign their books. Art-making activities will let visitors make their own illustrations. And the museum’s popular “Storytime in the Galleries” will focus on the wonders of the exhibition.

A free public opening will be held all day Saturday, June 16, 2018. The exhibition will be at the Currier until September 9, 2018. More at currier.org/calendar.


More about the artists:

Artist and naturalist David M. Carroll is the author and illustrator of several non-fiction natural histories, including three acclaimed books known collectively as the “wet sneaker trilogy:” The Year of The Turtle; Trout Reflections; and Swampwalker’s Journal. His carefully-observed watercolor and pen-and-ink studies are both artistic in presentation and scientific in detail. His work has been rewarded by numerous honors including a MacArthur Fellowship and the John Burroughs Medal for nature writing. He is an active lecturer and turtle and wetlands preservation advocate. Carroll lives in Warner.


Tomie dePaola has written or illustrated more than 260 books for children of all ages, including several featuring his famous character Strega Nona. His distinctive style and clever visual storytelling have captivated generations of children, parents, and grandparents. dePaola has received numerous recognitions including the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award and the Caldecott and Newberry Honor Awards. The artist lives in New London.


Beth Krommes has been illustrating children’s books for nearly 20 years.  She is known for her distinctive scratchboard technique, through which she creates illustrations that are universal in nature and joyful in spirit. Her work explores themes of wonder, family, and nature. Her sixth book, The House in the Night (2009, written by Susan Marie Swanson) won the Caldecott Medal. She lives in Peterborough.


Opening Celebration. Saturday, June 16, 10 a.m.– 5 p.m.
Free admission! Family-friendly activities are scheduled throughout the day, including art-making, tours, and performances. Special remarks by the artists at 3 p.m.


ARTalk: David M. Carroll: Nature, creativity, and Thoreau. Sunday, July 8, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., book signing 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

David M. Carroll and Thoreau scholar Jeffrey S. Cramer discuss nature, creativity, observation, and inspiration. Audience discussion and book signing will follow the program. Books are available for purchase in the Currier Shop.


Creative Studio: Beth Krommes. Saturday, July 14, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., book signing 1 to 2 p.m

Beth Krommes leads a creative studio where participants make their own scratchboard masterpieces. The artist will also spend time in the galleries with the visitors and host a book signing at 1 p.m. Books are available for purchase in the Currier Shop.


Currier After Hours: Tomie dePaola. Thursday, August 2, 6 to 9 p.m., talk and book signing 7 to 9 p.m.

Join us for a night with Tomie dePaola and his inspirations. Curator Samantha Cataldo hosts a conversation with the artist about the stories behind his stories at 7 p.m. in the auditorium. A book signing will follow. Many of dePaola’s books will be available for purchase at the Currier Shop, including Quiet, his newest book which will be pre-released exclusively at the Currier.


Selected Exhibition Programming

Many more programs listed at Currier.org/calendar.