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Past Exhibitions


Maira Kalman illustration of people sitting around a birthday cake on a pink table.

The Pursuit of Everything:
Maira Kalman’s Books for Children

June 22–September 15, 2019

The High Museum of Art will premiere this colorful exhibition exploring the extensive catalog of Maira Kalman’s imaginative stories and illustrations, which have delighted readers of all ages for more than 30 years.

Perhaps best known for her quirky New Yorker magazine covers and brilliant pictorial essays, Kalman (American, born 1949) has published more than a dozen books for adults and 18 acclaimed children’s books, beginning with the game-changing picture book Stay Up Late (1985), which gave visual form to the popular Talking Heads song from their Little Creatures album.

Since then, her works have followed the comic adventures of multiple beloved characters, including a dog poet named Max Stravinsky, and have addressed important historical people and events with books including Looking at Lincoln (2012) and the 9/11-inspired Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey (2002). 

The Pursuit of Everything will provide an immersive panorama of Kalman’s picture book career spanning three decades, including newer publications like Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote (2018), authored by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and the illustrated cookbook Cake (2018), written in collaboration with the food writer Barbara Scott-Goodman.

This exhibition marks the High’s fourth collaboration with The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and is presented in conjunction with Max Makes a Million, a world premiere play based on Kalman’s work by the Alliance Theatre.

Click on an image below to learn more.

“The best children’s books are as appealing to adults as they are to children.” –Maira Kalman

Meet Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman seated with her dog Pete.

Meet Maira Kalman! She was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1949. When she was just four years old, her family moved to the Bronx, New York. Her books are grounded in her life experience: she finds inspiration in family stories and folds them into her work. Maira is a visual storyteller who uses beautifully crafted paintings and fun wordplay to create magical books for both children and adults. For her, the two work together and are of equal importance: the narrative word and the narrative image.


Organization and Support

The Pursuit of Everything: Maira Kalman’s Books for Children is organized by The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst Massachusetts.

Support for the High Museum’s presentation is provided by the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation.

This exhibition is made possible by

Premier Exhibition Series Sponsor

delta logo.

Exhibition Series Sponsors

Northside Hospital logo.

Turner logo

Premier Exhibition Series Supporters
The Antinori Foundation
Sarah and Jim Kennedy
Louise Sams and Jerome Grilhot

Benefactor Exhibition Series Supporter
Anne Cox Chambers Foundation

Ambassador Exhibition Supporters
Tom and Susan Wardell
Rod Westmoreland

Contributing Exhibition Series Supporters
Marcia and John Donnell
W. Daniel Ebersole and Sarah Eby-Ebersole
Peggy Foreman
Robin and Hilton Howell
Mr. and Mrs. Baxter Jones
Joel Knox and Joan Marmo
Margot and Danny McCaul
The Ron and Lisa Brill Family Charitable Trust

2019 Grandparents Circle of Support
Spring and Tom Asher
Anne Cox Chambers
Ann and Tom Cousins
Sandra and John Glover
Shearon and Taylor Glover
Sarah and Jim Kennedy
Jane and Hicks Lanier

Additional support provided by
Lavona Currie
Nena Griffith
Ellen and Tom Harbin
Margaretta Taylor

Generous support is also provided by
The Alfred and Adele Davis Exhibition Endowment Fund, Anne Cox Chambers Exhibition Fund, Barbara Stewart Exhibition Fund, Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund, Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Fund, Forward Arts Foundation Exhibition Endowment Fund, Helen S. Lanier Endowment Fund, Isobel Anne Fraser–Nancy Fraser Parker Exhibition Endowment Fund, John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Exhibition Endowment Fund, Katherine Murphy Riley Special Exhibition Endowment Fund, Margaretta Taylor Exhibition Fund, and the RJR Nabisco Exhibition Endowment Fund.