Press RoomPress ReleasesHigh Museum of Art Celebrates Jerry Pinkney Day

High Museum of Art Celebrates Jerry Pinkney Day

September 30, 2013

ATLANTA, September 30, 2013 — The High Museum of Art will host renowned children’s book illustrator Jerry Pinkney at its Arts & Rec event on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, from noon to 5 p.m. as part of the opening weekend celebration for the exhibition “Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney.”

The City of Atlanta proclaimed Oct. 13, 2013 as “Jerry Pinkney Day” in Atlanta, honoring the High’s first exhibition of work by a children’s book illustrator and the first major exhibition to provide an overview of Pinkney’s 50-year career. The exhibition is on view at the High from Oct. 12, 2013, through Jan. 5, 2014.

During Arts & Rec on Oct. 13, guests may collaborate with Pinkney on a community-inspired illustration, tour the exhibition, take part in book-making and drawing workshops, and join his wife, acclaimed author Gloria Jean Pinkney, for a read-aloud of one of his books.

The Oct. 13 reading is the first in a series by notable special guests who will visit the High on Sundays at 3 p.m. during the run of the exhibition to read the stories Pinkney illustrates. Other special guest readers include Alexis Scott (publisher of Atlanta Daily World); Valerie Jackson (host of WABE 90.1 FM’s popular literary program “Between the Lines”); Jeffrey Tapia (executive director of the Latin American Association); and Rodrigo Cervantes (editor of Mundo Hispanico); among others. The exhibition will feature an area designated for these readings.

The exhibition, which was organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Mass., touches on themes such as the African-American experience, the wonders of classic literature and the wisdom in well-loved folk tales. The works in the exhibition celebrate small extraordinary moments, as well as significant historical events, reflecting the artist’s belief in the transformative power of visual storytelling in our lives.

Through the exhibition, more than 120 of Pinkney’s luminous watercolor illustrations will be on display, including work from the classic picture books: A Patchwork Quilt (1985), Home Place (1990), John Henry (1994), Minty: A Story of a Young Harriet Tubman (1996), Black Cowboy, Wild Horses (1998), The Little Match Girl (1999), Uncle Remus: The Complete Tales (1999), The Old African (2005), The Lion & The Mouse (2009) and Sweethearts of Rhythm (2009).

Pinkney will also discuss his celebrated illustrations as part of the Conversations with Contemporary Artists lecture series at the High on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 2 p.m.


Conversations with Contemporary Artists: Jerry Pinkney
Oct. 12, Hill Auditorium
2 p.m.; Book signing to follow

The High welcomes Jerry Pinkney, master watercolorist and award-winning children’s book illustrator, to the Conversations with Contemporary Artists series. Pinkney will discuss the celebrated illustrations that convey his passion for life, his love of family and community, and his deep and abiding engagement with the rich complexities of history. This is sure to be an afternoon that will delight the young and the young at heart. A book signing in the Museum Shop will follow the lecture.

Ticket information: $15 public, $10 members, $5 students. Save your ticket stub for a special opportunity to view “Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney” following this program.

Conversations with Contemporary Artists is made possible by Presenting Sponsor The Coca-Cola Company. 

Additional support provided by the Wish Foundation Fund of The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and Jane and Clay Jackson.

Arts & Rec: Jerry Pinkney
Oct. 13, Margaretta Taylor Lobby and Robinson Atrium
Noon to 5 p.m.
The City of Atlanta proclaimed Oct. 13, 2013 as “Jerry Pinkney Day” in Atlanta.  In celebration of the special day, the children’s book illustrator and Caldecott Medal winner will bring his world of storytelling to the High’s family-friendly Arts & Rec event. Guests may collaborate with Pinkney on a community-inspired illustration and join his wife, acclaimed author Gloria Jean Pinkney, for a read-aloud of one of his books. During their visit, guests may also drop into workshops where they can illustrate characters, storyboard, and bind a book. The Wren’s Nest will also join the fun, offering writing workshops throughout the event. To close the day, Pinkney will sign books from 4 to 5 p.m.

This program is free with museum admission and free to members.

Jerry Pinkney Read-ins

On Sundays at 3 p.m. during the run of the exhibition, join the High in the galleries to listen as some of Atlanta’s most recognizable residents bring Jerry Pinkney’s books to life. Special guest readers include children’s book author Gloria Jean Pinkney (Oct. 13); Alexis Scott, publisher of Atlanta Daily World; Valerie Jackson, host of WABE 90.1 FM’s popular literary program “Between the Lines”; Jeffrey Tapia, executive director of the Latin American Association; and Rodrigo Cervantes, editor of Mundo Hispanico; among others. Please visit the calendar at for schedule updates.

About Jerry Pinkney
A native of Philadelphia, Jerry Pinkney studied at the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) where he received the Alumni Award in 1992.  He has been illustrating children’s books since 1964 and has produced illustrations for more than 100 titles.
Pinkney received the Caldecott Medal in 2010 for the book The Lion & The Mouse, as well as five Caldecott Honor Medals, five Coretta Scott King Awards, four Coretta Scott King Honor Awards and many other accolades. His books have been translated into 16 languages and published in 14 different countries. He received an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University in 2003 and an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Pennsylvania College of Art and Design in 2010. Pinkney was a U.S. nominee for the 1997 Hans Christian Andersen Illustration Medal and has been awarded four gold medals, four silver medals, the Hamilton King Award, five New York Times 10 Best Illustrated Books awards, and in 2006 the Original Art’s Lifetime Achievement Award from The Society of Illustrators.

In addition to his work in children’s books, Pinkney created illustrations for a wide variety of clients, including the United States Postal Service, National Park Service and National Geographic. Mr. Pinkney was appointed to serve on the United States Postal Service’s Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee (1982-1992) and in 2001 was invited by First Lady Laura Bush to illustrate and design the White House Christmas Program. He has held professorships teaching art at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, N.Y.; the University of Delaware, Newark, Del.; and the University of Buffalo, Buffalo, N.Y. In 2003, Pinkney was appointed to the National Council of the Arts (2003-2009).

Pinkney’s art can be found in the permanent collections at the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Delaware Art Museum and the Brandywine River Art Museum. A current trustee for the Katonah Museum of Art, the artist also served on the board of trustees of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Pinkney exhibited in venues ranging from the Art Institute of Chicago to the California African American Museum in Los Angeles. He also exhibited in more than 100 group shows in the U.S., Japan, Russia, Italy, Taiwan and Jamaica. Pinkney lives with his wife, author Gloria Jean, in Westchester County, N.Y.

Exhibition Organization and Support
“Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney” has been organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The exhibition is made possible by Cartoon Network, Georgia-Pacific, and Friends of Jerry Pinkney with promotional support from Publix Super Markets Charities.

Norman Rockwell Museum
Norman Rockwell Museum is the preeminent museum of American illustration art. Dedicated to art education and art appreciation inspired by the enduring legacy of Norman Rockwell, the Museum stewards the world’s largest and most significant collection of Rockwell art, and presents the works of contemporary and past masters of illustration. The Museum’s holdings include Rockwell’s last studio, moved from its original location to the Museum grounds, and the Norman Rockwell Archives, a 200,000-object collection undergoing digital preservation through ProjectNORMAN, “A Save America’s Treasures Project.” The Museum is also home to the new Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies, the nation’s first research institute devoted to the art of illustration. In 2008, Norman Rockwell Museum became the first-ever museum recipient of the National Humanities Medal, America’s highest honor in the field. Norman Rockwell Museum is located on 36 park-like acres in Stockbridge, Mass., Rockwell’s hometown for the last 25 years of his life. The Museum is open year-round. Visit the Museum online at

High Museum of Art
The High is the leading art museum in the Southeastern U.S. With more than 13,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists. For more information about the High, visit

The Woodruff Arts Center
The Woodruff Arts Center is ranked among the top four arts centers in the nation. The Woodruff is unique in that it combines four visual and performing arts divisions on one campus as one not-for-profit organization. Opened in 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art and Young Audiences. To learn more about the Woodruff Arts Center, please visit



Media contact:
Marci Tate
High Museum of Art
Tel: 404-733-4585 | Fax: 404-733-4529