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Celebrating the Life of Renowned Illustrator, Alumna Marcia Brown 

Marcia Brown, 1946 (Photo by Atelier Von Behr) 

ALBANY (April 8, 2016) -- The University Libraries’ M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives will present a symposium on Celebrating the Life of an Artist: Marcia Brown (1919-2015) today from 2-5 p.m. in the Standish Room on the third floor of the Science Library.

Anita Silvey, former editor of The Horn Book Magazine and author of 100 Best Books for Children and 500 Great Books for Teens, will be the keynote speaker.

“We are delighted to have special guest Anita Silvey,” said Brian Keough, head of the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives. “She has devoted 40 years to promoting books that turn the young--and families--into readers.”

Brown graduated in 1940 from the New York State College for Teachers, a precursor of the University at Albany. An internationally renowned illustrator and author of children's books, Brown was a three-time winner of the Caldecott Medal, the American Library Association’s highest award for excellence in children's book illustrations, for her books: Cinderella, or the Little Glass Slipper (1954); Once a Mouse (1961); and Shadow (1982); six more of her books are Caldecott Honor Books.

Silvey has appeared frequently on NPR, Today, 60 Minutes, and radio programs in the United States and Canada to talk about books for children and teenagers.

Silvey will speak about her heartwarming and startling experiences gathering the stories for her book Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children's Book: Life Lessons from Notable People from all Walks of Life (2009). Some of Silvey’s other books for children and young adults include Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall (2015); The Plant Hunters: True Stories of their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth (2012); Henry Knox: Bookseller, Soldier, Patriot (2010); and I'll Pass for Your Comrade: Women Soldiers in the Civil War (2008).

Such topics as Brown’s experience living in Connecticut, her incessant impulse to travel, and the importance of historical children’s literature as a primary source material for historians, will be addressed by the program’s other speakers, including:

  • Jeanne Lamb, New York Public Library
  • Kendra Howard Smith, UAlbany Associate Professor of History
  • Dorothy Christiansen, former head of the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives
  • David Mitchell, curator, Miriam Snow Mathes Historical Children’s Literature Collection
  • John Solum, music teacher and friend of Marcia Brown

“Marcia Brown has left a lasting impression on the University Libraries,” said Interim Dean and Director of Libraries Rebecca Mugridge. “Her illustrations adorn the walls of our conference rooms. It is fitting that we have a celebration of her work and many accomplishments.”

David Mitchell, curator of the University’s Miriam Snow Mathes Historical Children’s Literature Collection, considers Brown an “artist who was literate. She was able to absorb the spirit of a story, and then choose a medium and work in a style that captured that spirit.”

Brown named the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives as the repository of her life’s work, including her correspondence, manuscripts, drawings, final art, books, and puppets.

The School of Education is co-sponsoring the event. Marcia Brown’s original artwork will be on view. A reception will follow the program.

For more information on the University Libraries, visit http://library.albany.edu.

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