“In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines...”
Guys, it’s Madeline’s 75th birthday.
And the New-York Historical Society has 90 pieces of original artwork on display from the book’s beloved creator, Ludwig Bemelmans.
Central to the exhibit is a couch and coffee table littered with books to peruse--but the real treat is the original Madeline manuscript. Fun fact: Bemelmans began writing it on the back of a menu at Pete’s Tavern in Gramercy. (Vine inspiration, check.)
After you make your way around an abundance of whimsical doodles and framed paintings, you’ll also take in vibrant murals (like the 15 panels he painted for Aristotle and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s yacht) and personal correspondence (letters between Bemelmans and the former First Lady as they collaborated on Madeline at the White House).
Decades after Bemelmans passed away, the Washington, D.C., project was picked up and completed by his grandson, John Bemelmans Marciano. Since then, Marciano has continued to write stories about the smallest one, Madeline.
Runs through October 19; New-York Historical Society; 170 Central Park West (at 77th St.); 212-873-3400 or nyhistory.org