An amateur's cabinet

Children’s books are written by grown-ups, selected by grown-ups, and bought by grown-ups thinking of children’s amusement. And also, most likely, with their domestication in mind. However, it is precisely in these books where some of the most daring, fascinating, and moving pictures can be found. When they are the product of a rigorous work by a talented artist, illustrations cease to be a mere decoration or an effective lure and become a true language able to convey substantial portions of humour and mystery through multiple secret channels.

This exhibit brings together the creations of graphic artists who are among the most important contemporary artists. Their works serve as an example of the great richness and diversity that encompass children’s books. Those gathered here, seventeen, form part of the personal library of a reader and collector, and it is the reader’s particular perspective which gives meaning and coherence to the whole.

While the reader’s head fills with readings, the collector’s walls are being covered with books, children’s books: those we consider our favourites and which we would like to keep with us throughout our lives. Beautiful refuges, places to live in.

Vicente Ferrer

Presentation text for the exhibition ‘17 books for illustrated children’, organised by MuVIM and curated by Vicente Ferrer and Eva Ferraz (Valencia, from 23 June to 15 September 2005). Image: poster created by Miguel Calatayud especially for the exhibit.