The “Wild Things” Cow

Renowned children’s author and illustrator Maurice Sendak created this tabletop cow, illustrated with figures from his Where the Wild Things Are.  It was done as part of an international public art exhibit, the Cow Parade staged in New York, Chicago and Zurich.  Although he was invited to decorate a full-size cow, he opted for this size:  27 x 17.5 x 7.5 inches, and made of molded plaster, decorated in pencil and watercolor, 2000.

The “Moo-Reese” cow, as Sendak named it, is on offer at Heritage Auctions with a minimum bid of $75,000.

Sendak (1928-2012) said he based his characters’ appearances on his older relatives, from the way he viewed them as a child.

“They were unkempt; their teeth were horrifying. Hair unraveling out of their noses.” Though the monsters were modeled after his family, they weren’t named after them; in fact, the things had no names in the book.

They finally received monikers when Wild Things was made into an opera. “We had to have names to tell [the actors] when they were screwing up. They had Jewish names: Moishe, Schmuel. But the names were dropped after the opera. They never had names until they became movie stars.” –online interview

Have a look at CBC Books’ page for things you might not know about Sendak, here.  Below, appreciate his skill in these four fine art prints, also at Heritage.

These four were printed in 1971 from the original Wild Things artwork at the Sendak archives. The classic picture book (1963) won the ALA 1964 Caldecott Medal and became one of the most highly read and influential children’s books of all time.

More information at The Maurice Sendak Foundation, here.


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