The Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum of Art is one of the glorious settings used by Brian Selznick in his new novel Wonderstruck (reviewed by me here). So what could be better than an exhibit of the development of the novel on the walls of the Panorama at the Queens Museum itself? Just opened this past weekend, the wonderful-sounding exhibit will be running through January 2012.
With Wonderstruck in the Panorama, the museum allows visitors to follow the development of the novel with words and pictures from Selznick’s initial 2009 trips to the Panorama to the final illustrations used for publication. On view are eight 1 ¾” x 2 ¼” maquettes or “dummies”, four illustrated storyboards, four pencil sketch studies, and 19 of the final 4 ⅛” x 5 ½” graphite drawings that appear in the book. What is revealed is a complex multi-staged process that began with intense research, including hours spent in the Museum’s archives, on, above and below the Panorama, and in and around the museum building in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. With research complete, Selznick commenced with the first of three stages of drawing, each requiring him to work under a magnifying glass on wonderfully crosshatched drawings increasing in both size and intricacy as the process progressed. The first drawings, a series of tiny maquettes, were used by Selznick and editorial staff to plot and storyboard the narrative. With the storylines defined, Selznick then redrew the illustrations in a larger format, first as pencil sketch studies and then drawn in graphite on paper. The graphite drawings are then scanned, enlarged by 400% and converted into the two-page illustrations found in publication.
What’s more, this Sunday there will be a Wonderstruck Family Day at the Museum that sounds equally terrific. Among other events they will have Brian Selznick standing ON the Panorama itself talking about it and his work. Read on — it sounds great too.
For the opening reception of Wonderstruck in the Panorama: The Drawings of Brian Selznick we are pleased to have the author and artist Brian Selznick on his only Queens appearance for his book launch. Standing on the Panorama itself, Selznick will talk about the process of creating Wonderstruck, the forthcoming release of Hugo, the Martin Scorsese directed film based on his previous book The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and most of all his experiences working on, under, and above the Panorama. ASL interpretation of the talk will be provided for the hearing impaired.
Following the talk, the author will be on hand for book signing and meet and greet with fans. During the opening, drop in to our Education Studios where there will be free Wonderstruck-themed artmaking workshops suitable for all ages as well as light refreshments, ongoing throughout the afternoon.