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Mrs. Mallard Returns to Boston

See Original Art from Make Way For Ducklings at the MFA Boston

Everyone knows that winter in New England is frigid and icy, but wintertime fun doesn't have to be. Get out of the cold and visit the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to see the new exhibit, Make Way for Ducklings: The Art of Robert McCloskey

"This exhibition presents the chance for local families to see artwork from the iconic Make Way for Ducklings children's book during its 75th anniversary--in the city that inspired it," says Public Relations Manager Ashely Bleimes. Make Way for Ducklings is set in Boston and in 2003, the book was designated as the official children's book of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Visitors should also make sure to check out the duck sculpture in the Boston Public Garden, which was inspired by the book and has since become one of Boston's most famous landmarks.

Originally from Ohio, author and illustrator Robert McCloskey (1914-2003) arrived in Boston in 1923 on a scholarship to study art. Despite his talent, he was unable to break into the world of painting, and after encouragement from children's book editor Mary Massee, he pursued work as an illustrator. His first book, Lentil, was published in 1940. Make Way for Ducklings followed one year later and cemented his place in the world of children's books.

Make Way for Ducklings tells the heartwarming story of mother duck, Mrs. Mallard, as she leads her ducklings through the streets of Boston--with a little help from the entire city. The book's distinctive illustrations, however, are what truly distinguish it as a perpetual classic. McCloskey devoted years to studying mallard specimens, going as far as purchasing sixteen ducks that lived in his apartment with him and served as models.

Make Way for Ducklings: The Art of Robert McCloskey presents over fifty rarely-displayed works, including preparatory drawings, preliminary studies, and final illustrations from Make Way for Ducklings and from seven other famous McCloskey books, including Blueberries for Sal (1948), Centerburg Tales (1951), and Time of Wonder (1957). 

The MFA has made a special effort to engage its youngest viewers. "The exhibition is hung lower than usual, making a family-friendly way to learn about the career of Ducklings' author and illustrator Robert McCloskey," Bleimes explains. The MFA also offers a free family guide wich includes drawing activities for children and helpful aid for close looking, large-scale reproductions of the McCloskey's illustrations, and a reading bench with a selection of his books, making the exhibition perfect for visitors of all ages and levels of interest. 

Need another reason to visit? Admission to the MFA is always free for children under the age of seventeen, making this outing perfect for families of all sizes and budgets. Make Way for Ducklings: The Art of Robert McCloskey runs at the MFA from November 25, 2016, until June 18, 2017.

By Digital Content Editor EMILY JARMOLOWICZ

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