top of page
sendak_wild things_off to bed 1500_edited_edited_edited.jpg

Maurice Sendak (1928-2012)

Born in New York in 1928, Sendak grew up in Brooklyn. He has described his childhood as “coloured with memories of village life in Poland, never actually experienced but passed on to me as a persuasive reality by my immigrant parents”   He began his career as an illustrator in 1951 and first achieved major recognition with A Hole Is to Dig (1952), to a text by Ruth Kraus. He began working with colour on Charlotte and the White Horse (1955) and with Kenny’s Window (1956); he began the exploration of the psychological fears and yearnings of childhood which reaches its peak in the now culturally-iconic Where the Wild Things Are, which won the Caldecott Medal in 1964. In 1970 he followed this up with In the Night Kitchen, his first picture book since Hector ProtectorThis book received a Caldecott Honour citation and was published as Sendak’s international reputation was soaring; he received the Hans Christian Andersen Medal that year for his contributions to children’s literature. He has acknowledged significant inspiration from the sights, sounds, and experiences of his childhood, interpreted through his unique imagination.  The Wild Things were inspired by his aunts and uncles, who “looked like toothy monsters” to the young Sendak, and seemed to threaten to smother him with their attention. His works have been adapted for film and opera, with Sendak himself contributing artistically to the stage sets and the adapted scripts.  In part, this reflects his ongoing interest in film, with a much-awaited featured length film of Where The Wild Things Are released in 2010

Pictures by Maurice Sendak

Lithographs published by  Harper and Row [USA], 1971

Inks on paper

Hand-signed by Maurice Sendak in black ink


‘Picture by Maurice Sendak’ was a short-run boxed set of lithographic editions published by Harper and Row in 1971, in association with Maurice Sendak, as a celebration. Originally not intended for commercial distribution these boxed-set of 19 off-set prints have been disseminated over the years and  are now eminently collectible. Within the beautiful packaged box there were 19 lithographs each taken from a selection of Sendak's most well known books; In the Night Kitchen, Higglety Pigglety Pop, A Kiss for Little Bear and Where the Wild Things Are amongst others. Four double page spreads were chosen from Where The Wild Things Are and re-produced in full colour on fine art quality paper, originated from Sendak's artwork, which now resides in the Rosenbach Museum, Philadelphia. Only 200 Wild Thing editions were signed by Sendak after publication.

bottom of page