Tenacity & Resilience: The Art of Jerry PinkneyOctober 9, 2022 - January 22, 2023 Get tickets
Honoring the work of Jerry Pinkney (1939-2021), Tenacity & Resilience: The Art of Jerry Pinkney features more than seventy illustrations, dummy books, and working drawings from seven children’s books from 1993 to 2020. The works encompass issues of social justice, resilience, and tenacity in the face of adversity. They convey powerful messages related to the history of the civil rights movement in America as well as personal tales of courage and aspiration. The range of works reveals Pinkney’s multifaceted talents as an inspired master watercolorist, draftsman, and storyteller.
The books represented in this show include Minty (1996), a story of Harriet Tubman in her youth, and A Place to Land: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Speech that Inspired a Nation (2019). Works from the following children’s books are also featured: I Want to Be (1993); Goin’ Someplace Special (2001); God Bless the Child (2004); Sweethearts of Rhythm (2009); and The Little Mermaid (2020).
Download the Fall 2022 Brochure
This exhibition has been generously underwritten in part by the Pollack Family Foundation, Gail Bryan, La Ruth Hackney Gray, and additional supporters who cherish and respect Jerry Pinkney and his important legacy.
This exhibition was organized by Gail Stavitsky, Chief Curator, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, New Jersey.
Honoring the Legacy of Jerry Pinkney
"...meaningful connection with others who are different from us, even if brief, can change our lives forever."
— Jerry Pinkney
It is a privilege for the Katonah Museum of Art to dedicate our Fall exhibitions to Jerry Pinkney’s legacy through the exhibitions Tenacity and Resilience: The Art of Jerry Pinkney and A Sense of Community: Celebrating Jerry Pinkney’s Legacy. Jerry Pinkney served as a longtime and beloved trustee of the Museum, and a mentor to many in the KMA community and beyond, illuminated by the breadth and depth of works currently on view across the Museum galleries.
It is in this spirit that we invite you to Celebrate Jerry Pinkney!
This is a special opportunity for you and others in the community to support the KMA and align your values with those of Jerry to champion equity and inclusion, illustrated across his groundbreaking work as one of the first illustrators to include children of color in his more than 100 books. This progressive outlook is aligned with the Museum’s mission to serve as a meaningful platform to support artists across cultures and geographies, so artfully represented by Jerry across his lifetime of work and philanthropy.
Please join your fellow community members and purchase a “book” in Jerry’s honor to add to our bookshelf. As part of your gift, you may designate your favorite Pinkney book, or a book of your choosing, and we will add it to our Celebrate Jerry Pinkney! bookshelf, an installation within the current exhibition at the KMA.
We thank the Yvonne Pollack and the Pollack Family Foundation, Gail Bryan, Victoria Morris, and La Ruth Hackney Gray for their philanthropic leadership of this important initiative to celebrate Jerry Pinkney, which provides essential support for the exhibition and the accompanying educational programs.
We thank you in advance for your support of our important work and look forward to welcoming you to the KMA to help us celebrate Jerry’s visionary artistic practice!
Make a contribution to celebrate Jerry Pinkney's progressive vision and legacy.
"I am a storyteller at heart. There is something special about knowing that your
stories can alter the way people see the world, and their place within it."
— Jerry Pinkney
Jerry Pinkney was one of America’s most admired children’s book illustrators. He won the Caldecott Medal and five Caldecott Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, and the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, among many other honors. In addition to being a friend to the Katonah Museum of Art, he was a long-time member of the Board of Trustees and IDEA committee and featured in exhibitions The Pinkneys: An Award-Winning Family of Artists and Writers (1999), Masters of Paper and Paint: The Art of Eric Carle and Jerry Pinkney (2002), Children Should be Seen: The Image of the Child in American Picture-Book Art (2007), Storied City: New York City in Picture Book Art (2011), Artist to Artist: 23 Major Illustrators talk to Children about their Art (2013), and Illustrated Animals in Conversation (2019).
Explore Tenacity & Resilience: The Art of Jerry Pinkney
Pinkney wanted to be a storyteller through his pictures. He aimed to make illustrations to parallel the text, not mimic it, adding his own pictorial story lines. The following is a summary of his process to beautifully accomplish that.morelessLearn More (PDF)
View the illustrated checklist that accompanies the exhibition.View checklist (PDF)
Honoring the work of Jerry Pinkney (1939-2021), Tenacity & Resilience: The Art of Jerry Pinkney features more than seventy illustrations, dummy books, and working drawings from seven children’s books created between 1993 and 2020. The works, which encompass issues of social justice, resilience, and tenacity in the face of adversity, highlight the artist’s life-long commitment to adapting and reimagining familiar tales to represent more racially diverse characters, and mining the history of the United States for stories that center on, and celebrate the African American experience. The scope and content of the material reveals Pinkney’s multifaceted talents as an inspired master watercolorist, draftsman, and storyteller.morelessPress Release (PDF)
All MAM programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, Carol and Terry Wall/The Vance Wall Foundation, Partners for Health Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and Museum members.
Jerry Pinkney, “The Little Mermaid,” cover from The Little Mermaid by Jerry Pinkney., Watercolor, graphite, chalk, and gouache on watercolor paper, 17 5/8 x 23 3/4 inches, Courtesy of the Estate of Jerry Pinkney, © 2020 Jerry Pinkney. Photograph by Peter Jacobs.