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Rare look at the secret works of Dr. Seuss

Rare Look At The Secret Works Of Dr. Seuss

Audrey S. Geisel, Dr. Seuss's widow, has generously opened up the Estate's legendary "hat closet" to allow the public a peek at Dr. Seuss's hat collection and view their direct impact on his works of art.

Traveling in a specially retrofitted old-fashioned steamer trunk, this exhibition premiered at the New York Public Library in early 2013. After closing in Brea, the exhibition will travel to Chicago and then Northport, NY.

The "HATS OFF TO DR. SEUSS!" exhibition also features Dr. Seuss's little known "Secret Art," a series of Estate-authorized works adapted and reproduced from Ted Geisel's original drawings, paintings, and sculpture. This historic collection will be available for viewing and purchase through the run of the exhibition.

Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, is most famous for having written and illustrated 44 children's books, including "The Cat in the Hat," "Green Eggs and Ham," and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." He began his career as an editorial cartoonist in the 1920s. During World War II, he was a political cartoonist for PM Magazine as well as a contributing illustrator for Vanity Fair and Life. He also had a long and successful advertising career and won Academy Awards for his wartime documentaries and the 1950 animated short film, "Gerald McBoing Boing."

Dr. Seuss's unique artistic vision linked every facet of his varied career, allowing him to create his children's books, over 400 World War II political cartoons, hundreds of advertisements and countless editorials filled with wonderfully inventive animals, characters and clever humor. His work included illustrations, modeled sculpture and sophisticated oil paintings.

For a complete schedule of the traveling exhibition, click HERE.

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dashdzl July 30 2014 at 9:39 AM

Dr Seuss was a genius. Loved growing up with his books.

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cgssnavickas July 29 2014 at 4:32 PM

I enjoyed his books when I was a kid, nice to see another side of him via his wife. Generous of her to share.

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1 reply
Dan cgssnavickas July 30 2014 at 10:18 AM

His book inspired kids to learn to read, they were really neat! And to think we all remember Mulberry Street! ☺

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amiracleonelmst July 30 2014 at 2:07 PM

I met Mrs. Suess in 1991 at Horton Plaza at FAO Shwartz. She was there for a book signing of his Art Work. It was a book tributed to Dr. Suess. Anyhow, to make a long story short. I was on leave stationed in Japan. She asked me, "How do you like it there"? I told her I enjoyed it. She said, good I shouldn't even sign this you should go back and never come back home. Very mean lady, maybe she was kidding, but I found her offensive. Glad she is sharing his art. I loved him, met Him in La Jolla before he died. Nice man.

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davidlaing July 30 2014 at 11:02 AM

Some Seussian trivia:
I still shudder at the memory of climbing the spiral stairs of Uncle Ted's (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss's) lighthouse home in La Jolla, CA as a 10-year-old boy in 1950. Those weird sculptures lined the dark walls on the way up, and they'd pop out at me as I walked up the stairs. Uncle Ted was my father's close friend and Dartmouth College classmate, so naturally he became my 'uncle' when I came along. My father was annoyed when people would mispronounce Ted's German middle name, so he wrote the following ditty: "You're wrong as the deuce, and you shouldn't rejoice, if you're calling him Sooce, he pronounces it 'Soice.' But don't let this argument get up your dander; what's Sooce for the goose is Soice for the gander!" Of course, this didn't change anything, but Uncle Ted just said "Hell, Alex, I don't care what they call me, just as long as they buy my books!" And BTW, I'm very proud to have given Uncle Ted the idea for one of those books: "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas."

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Dan July 30 2014 at 10:16 AM

Some unpublished manuscripts were published after his death but another artist did the illustrations and they lacked the unique charm of Suess' artistic style. I believe underground comix artists such as Robert Crumb and Ed "Big Daddy" Roth may've been inspired by Dr. Seuss. ☺

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kaib51 July 30 2014 at 9:02 AM

Why aren't they showing his racist, hate mongering work as well? This is all kiddy stuff. How 'bout showing the full story of his life not just the cute stuff?

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1 reply
Dan kaib51 July 30 2014 at 10:23 AM

What racist hate mongering work are you talking about? Yes, he did support "Jap" interment camps in USA during WW2 but so did most Americans. However he was also a supporter of FDR & DEM party and years later opposed McCarthyism. The man was no saint but among us qualifies for sainthood? Lighten up FGS! ☺

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plewdawg July 30 2014 at 7:50 AM

I am sick to death of all this drama...
Sick, sick sick of Barack Obama

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2 replies
myroguisheyes plewdawg July 30 2014 at 8:30 AM

I bet you think you are very witty.
You're delusional. Such a pity!

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Dodsworth Fandango plewdawg July 30 2014 at 3:39 PM

So you waste all our time, with your right wing wit,
Truth be told, we think you're full of s***

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Judith July 30 2014 at 3:55 PM

I will definitely be attending the exhibit at Water Tower Place in Chicago sometime between September 19 and October 12, 2014. I loved his books as did my kids, grandkids, and now great-grandkids. I'm lucky enough to have a first edition of "...Mulberry Street" as one of my aunts recognized his talent when it first came out in 1937 and bought it for herself (I wasn't born until 1941). One of my first memories was her reading that book and "Horton Hatches the Egg" to me when I was about 2 years old.

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h2oclrblu July 30 2014 at 4:06 PM


Helen Marion Palmer was born in New York in 1899 and spent her childhood in Bedford–Stuyvesant, a prosperous Brooklyn neighborhood. As a child, she contracted polio but recovered from it almost completely. Her father, George Howard Palmer, was an ophthalmologist, and died when she was 11. She graduated from Wellesley College with honors in 1920.[1]

She met Ted Geisel, who was five years younger than she, at Oxford University.[2][3] She had a profound influence on his life, starting with her suggestion that he should be an artist rather than an English professor.[4] She later stated, "Ted's notebooks were always filled with these fabulous animals. So I set to work diverting him; here was a man who could draw such pictures; he should be earning a living doing that."[4] They married in 1927 and never had children, as Helen was unable to.[5]

Following World War II, Ted worked in Hollywood on expanding his propaganda films into films for general release.

Geisel committed suicide in 1967 with an overdose (O.D) of barbiturates,[8] after a series of illnesses (including cancer) spanning 13 years.[9] Geisel was also despondent over her husband's burgeoning relationship with Audrey Stone Dimond, whom he planned to marry after Helen's death. Feeling unable to live without him, Helen Geisel wrote in her suicide note:

"Dear Ted, What has happened to us? I don't know. I feel myself in a spiral, going down down down, into a black hole from which there is no escape, no brightness. And loud in my ears from every side I hear, 'failure, failure, failure...' I love you so much ... I am too old and enmeshed in everything you do and are, that I cannot conceive of life without you ... My going will leave quite a rumor but you can say I was overworked and overwrought. Your reputation with your friends and fans will not be harmed ... Sometimes think of the fun we had all thru the years ..."[10]

Ted later described his reaction to her death: "I didn't know whether to kill myself, burn the house down, or just go away and get lost."[10] About Helen's death, Ted's niece Peggy commented: "Whatever Helen did, she did it out of absolute love for Ted. Peggy called Helen's death "her last and greatest gift to him."[10]

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1 reply
calderasf h2oclrblu July 30 2014 at 9:04 PM

so you know how to copy and paste big deal

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h2oclrblu July 30 2014 at 4:08 PM

Helen was Dr. Seuss first wife and should be given the credit due her!
Helen is the reason he became so famous!
She should not be forgotten!

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