This month, The Art of Dr. Seuss exhibit brings limited-edition artwork to The Gardens Mall showcasing never-before-seen paintings and sculptures from the beloved children’s author.
While Dr. Seuss is known as the beloved author of children’s favorites like The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham, there are hundreds of colorful illustrations and characters that never made it onto the pages of his books. This month, these lesser-known storybook creations will come to life in Palm Beach Gardens.
On display for the first time in a public venue, The Art of Dr. Seuss will take over The Gardens Mall showcasing limited-edition pieces by Theodor Geisel, more widely known as Dr. Seuss. The collection, which has traveled to France, England, New Zealand and Australia, will be in Palm Beach Gardens from Jan. 17 to Feb. 14.
The authorized paintings and sculptures were created from Geisel’s original works, which remain in his house. During his lifetime, he created these artistic works for his personal enjoyment, which he later told his wife, Audrey, to share with the world. Through The Art of Dr. Seuss collection, she did just that.
“Like so many people who discover these artworks, I was completely taken aback that there was a body of work that Theodor Seuss Geisel had created during his lifetime that he rarely, if ever, exhibited during his lifetime,” says Bill Dreyer, director and curator of The Art of Dr. Seuss. “It’s a discovery like found treasure.”
The idea to bring the exhibit to The Gardens Mall began when Michele Jacobs, the mall’s corporate director of marketing and operations, visited the Ann Jackson Gallery in Roswell, Georgia. There, she met one of the leading curators of the Dr. Seuss exhibit and immediately knew that she wanted to bring it to Palm Beach Gardens. She’s been planning the exhibit for the past seven months.
“This is the first time an exhibit of this magnitude, of the quality, for Dr. Seuss has ever been in a public venue. …It’s either been in an art gallery or a museum, but never out in a shopping center or any place in public,” she says.
In partnership with the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, the mall will also host a performance of the Broadway production “Seussical” to complement the exhibit. The performance, serving as a musical tribute to Dr. Seuss, will run twice every Saturday and Sunday throughout the duration of the exhibit.
Artwork on display during the exhibit will include cat pieces, such as “Indistinctive Cat With Cigar” and “The Cat From the Wrong Side of the Traps.” One cat painting that stands out from the display is “Green Cat With Lights,” the only piece of art that Dr. Seuss signed with a different name— Stroogo Von M.—so that guests in his house would share their honest opinions about the work without knowing it was his.
The collection of Unorthodox Taxidermy is one that specifically catches Dreyer’s attention. For those works, Seuss used real horns, beaks and antlers from animals at the Springfield Zoo in Missouri, where he grew up, and used them to recreate the animals as sculptures, giving them names like the “Two Horned Drouberhannis.”
With lesser-known works on display, such as the taxidermy collection, Dreyer and Jacobs hope the collection introduces visitors to the diversity of Dr. Seuss’s artwork.
“It is this collection that gives people an ability to look at the depth and dimension that Ted Geisel has as an artist,” Dreyer says. “This collection gives people the opportunity to get a sense for his artistic legacy and to see exactly how brilliant and wonderful he was as a painter and sculptor.”
If You Go
What: The Art of Dr. Seuss at The Gardens Mall
Date: Jan. 17 to Feb. 15
Time: Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday: noon to 6 p.m.