The Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences Present a New Exhibition of Children’s Book Illustrations

By Editorial Team on June 27, 2017

Mon, 06 March 2017 - Mon, 07 August 2017

Christopher Canyon, Green Sea Turtle from Wonderful Nature, Wonderful You, 1995, acrylic and gesso. Courtesy of NAS.
Currently on view.

Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS) announces Igniting the Imagination: Selections from the Collection of the Mazza Museum, an exhibition of children’s book illustrations from the Mazza Museum in Findlay, Ohio. The exhibition opens March 6, 2017, and will remain on view through Aug. 7, 2017, at the National Academy of Sciences.

The Mazza Museum of International Art from Picture Books was established by Dr. Jerry Mallet in 1982 to promote literacy and enrich the lives of all people through the art of picture book illustration. Located at the University of Findlay in Ohio, the museum is home to the world’s first and most diverse collection of original art from picture books. This exhibition features 29 illustrations, spanning the 1950s to the present, from the museum’s collection relating to science, engineering, and medicine. Illustrators featured include Lynne Avril, Robin Brickman, Christopher Canyon, and D.C. area-based artist Patrick O’Brien. In an era of software and computer screens, the exhibit transports us back to the place where we first learned to dream: inside the pages of our favorite picture books. Copies of the children’s books in which the artwork is reproduced will also be available for reading in the gallery.

Jay Labov, senior adviser for education and medicine at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, visited the Mazza Museum and brought the collection to the attention of CPNAS. Labov stated, “The National Academies published a report called STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Learning is Everywhere. While touring the Mazza Museum, I realized that much of the artwork exhibited there has enthralled so many generations of children and it teaches invaluable insights and understanding about the world of science and engineering. I was eager to bring this gem of a museum to the attention to the director of the Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences and am thrilled that children and adults alike in the Washington area also will be able to partake of some of that museum’s vast collection.”

Igniting the Imagination will be on exhibit at the National Academy of Sciences building, 2101 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC. The galleries are open weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. A photo ID is required and there is no charge. For more information, visit

Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences sponsors exhibitions, the DC Art Science Evening Rendezvous salon, theatrical readings, and other events that explore relationships among the arts and sciences. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that recognizes achievement in science by election to membership, and — with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine — provides science, technology, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.

The National Academy of Sciences is located at 2101 Constitution Ave. NW. For more information, visit