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This Currier Museum of Art Exhibition Celebrates 3 Award-Winning NH Illustrators

If you haven’t been to the Currier Museum of Art yet, you’re missing a New Hampshire gem.

If you haven’t been to the Currier Museum of Art yet, you’re missing a New Hampshire gem.

It’s an internationally renowned art museum at 150 Ash St. in Manchester. The Currier features European and American paintings, decorative arts, photographs and sculpture, including works by Picasso, Monet, O’Keeffe, Wyeth and LeWitt with exhibitions, tours and programs year-round.

The museum offers tours of the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Zimmerman House, also located in Manchester.

Personally, I’m a big fan of European artwork from the 16th and 17th century especially the work of Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Hans Holbein the Younger. On display at the Currier is a gorgeous 17th Century Dutch Painting titled “Banquet of Antony and Cleopatra” by Jan de Bray done in 1669. The detail of the work is exquisite.

I’ll give you three more reasons to visit the Currier but do it quickly because the exhibition ends Sept. 9. It’s titled, “Beyond Words: Book Illustrations by David M. Carroll, Tomie dePaola, and Beth Krommes.”

The exhibition celebrates the work of those three award-winning New Hampshire book illustrators. Original artwork from their most popular books are shown alongside drawings illuminating their creative process. Together with the published books, the drawings offer unique insights into how these beloved publications were produced. The exhibition explores the development of each artist’s signature style, as well as their wider art-making practice.

I was fortunate at my recent visit to see David Carroll at the exhibit, and we spoke about the illustrations in his books, “Self-Portrait with Turtles” and “Following the Water,” which was a National Book Award Finalist. Carroll goes afield throughout the year, notebook in hand, to seek out streams, bogs and vernal pools that serve as habitat for New Hampshire’s turtles.

David told me that recently he found a Spotted Turtle that he had originally seen when it was 5 years old. He estimated her to be “in her early 30s” now. I learned that they can live to be 100 years old.

While “Beyond Words” is a fascinating exhibit, it’s only one aspect of the Currier Museum of Art.

If you didn’t know that New Hampshire had a renowned art museum, sadly, you’re not alone. But now you do. So head on down and you can even have lunch in the Winter Garden Café.