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Chris Van Allsburg Collection

Summary Information
Title: Chris Van Allsburg Papers
Dates: 1979-1983
Creator: Van Allsburg, Chris
Extent: 1 cu. ft.
Location: See Detailed Descriptions for Each Title Item for Box Locations
Language: English
Collection Number: CLRC-78
Abstract:
Chris Van Allsburg's papers focus on his work as an author and illustrator of children's books, with emphasis on the latter. The collection contains production material for four titles published between 1979 and 1983 and consists of illustrative material: pencil sketches, pen sketches, and proofs.

Repository: University of Minnesota Libraries Children's Literature Research Collections

Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

Collection is open for researchers with no restrictions. Registration with the collection is required.

Copyright:

This collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials.


Arrangement

Ben's Dream, 1982

Garden of Abdul Gasazi, The, 1979

Jumanji, 1981

Wreck of the Zephyr, 1983

Bad Day at Riverbend, 1995

City in Winter, A, 1996

Just a Dream, 1990

Miscellaneous studies,

Swan Lake, 1989

Sweetest Fig, The, 1993

Veil of Snow, The, 1997

Widow's Broom, The, 1992

Wretched Stone, The, 1991

Zathura, 2002


Biographical Sketch

Chris Van Allsburg was born June 18, 1949 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He received a B.F.A from the University of Michigan, and his M.F.A from Rhode Island School of Design in 1974, where he would later teach. Van Allsburg began writing and illustrating children's books in the 1970s, publishing The Garden of Abdul Gasazi in 1979. The book was awarded a Caldecott Honor and two of Van Allsburg's later books, Jumanji and The Polar Express would win the Caldecott Award in 1982 and 1986 respectively, a unique accomplishment for an author/illustrator and recognition of Van Allsburg's achievements in the field of picture books for children. Throughout his work, he uses imaginative situations and "linguistic puzzles" to tantalize his readers and his pictures are often "visual riddles" with puns and allusions that readers must decipher and interpret using Van Allsburg's text as a guide. His books usually have only a brief and sparse text but the interaction of words and pictures create striking images. Van Allsburg's characters, like those in folk and fairy tales, are often one-dimensional and there is little character development with simple action yet the stories are far from simplistic. The plots frequently revolve around a journey or quest, have a strong sense of adventure, and leave both characters and readers pondering their subtle lessons such as reading directions. staying alert, and keeping yourself open to your imagination and the world's possibilities. His surreal yet solid illustrations with their dreamlike quality and exactness are what sets Van Allsburg's picture books apart. They draw readers in with their dazzling sense of perspective and interaction with text and open vast horizons of possibility, and the reader is left to decide how much is real and how much can be.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The collection contains production material for four titles published between 1979 and 1983, and consists of illustrative material only. It includes pencil sketches, pen sketches, and proofs.

Subject Terms
Indexing Terms
  • The collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the University of Minnesota Libraries. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
  • Van Allsburg, Chris
Collection Contents
 Location  Title
 
Ben's Dream 1982 
Note  1982
Box MC 186
sheets of pencil sketches (16 p.)  Box MC 186
 
Garden of Abdul Gasazi, The 1979 
Note  1979
Box MC 186
sheets of pencil sketches (5 p.)  Box MC 186
 
Jumanji 1981 
Note  1981
Box MC 186
sheets of pencil sketches (33 p.)  Box MC 186
 
sheets of pen sketches (8 p.)  Box MC 186
 
sheets of proof (7 p.)  Box MC 186
 
Wreck of the Zephyr 1983 
Note  1983
Box MC 186
sheets of pencil sketches (23 p.)  Box MC 186
 
Bad Day at Riverbend 1995 
Note  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1995
Box MC 1659
pencil studies (6 p.)  Box MC 1659
 
prints with oil pastels (8 p.)  Box MC 1659
 
City in Winter, A 1996 
Note Helprin, Mark
New York: Viking, 1996
Box MC 1659
pencil studies (8 p.)  Box MC 1659
 
Just a Dream 1990 
Note  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990
Box MC 1659
pencil storyboard (1 p.)  Box MC 1659
 
Miscellaneous studies  
Box MC 1659
pencil studies (4 p.)  Box MC 1659
 
Swan Lake 1989 
Note Helprin, Mark
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1989
Box MC 1659
pencil studies (3 p.)  Box MC 1659
 
Sweetest Fig, The 1993 
Note  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1993
Box MC 1659
pencil storyboards (3 p.)  Box MC 1659
 
pencil studies (3 p.)  Box MC 1659
 
Veil of Snow, The 1997 
Note Helprin, Mark
New York: Viking, 1997
Box MC 1659
pencil studies (7 p.)  Box MC 1659
 
pencil, oil pastel study (1 p.)  Box MC 1659
 
Widow's Broom, The 1992 
Note  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1992
Box MC 1659
pencil studies (5 p.)  Box MC 1659
 
Wretched Stone, The 1991 
Note  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1991
Box MC 1659
pencil storyboard (1 p.)  Box MC 1659
 
pencil studies (2 p.)  Box MC 1659
 
Zathura 2002 
Note  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002
Box MC 1659
pencil studies (14 p.)  Box MC 1659
 
photocopies (10 p.)  Box MC 1659