Gerald McDermott to Speak at Effie Lee Morris Lecture


MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers

March 23, 2011

Author and Illustrator Gerald McDermott to Speak at San Francisco Public Library’s 15th Annual Effie Lee Morris Lecture

Gerald McDermott, Caldecott Medalist, illustrator and author of many award-winning picture books based on folklore and mythology will be featured at San Francisco Public Library’s 15th Annual Effie Lee Morris lecture on April 5.

McDermott is the creator of more than 25 films and books including the beloved children’s book, Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti, which received a 1972 Caldecott honor. His book, Arrow to the Sun, won the 1974 Caldecott medal and his book, Raven, a Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest, received the 1993 Caldecott honor and the Boston Globe-Home Book Honor. Through his bold, graphic renderings of timeless tales from around the world, McDermott communicates his deep understanding of the transformative power of myth. His work is an evocation of the human quest for unity and completeness.

The lecture, Tricksters: Gerald McDermott and the Art of the Folktale, will begin at 6 p.m. on April 5, in the Koret Auditorium, Lower Level, at the Main Library, 100 Larkin Street

McDermott’s beautiful artwork is also on view in the Fisher Children’s Center, Second Floor, Main Library, through April 30. Featured in the exhibit are copies of McDermott’s books, proof pages and preparatory sketches from a selection of his Trickster Tales, which include Papagayo, Jabutí the Tortoise, and his latest book, Monkey: A Tale from India. The sketches, in black and white and in color, show the creative process from early thumbnail drawings to full-page layouts to full color renderings.

The Effie Lee Morris Lecture was established in 1996 to expand upon the idea of looking at children through their literature. The series is named in honor of Effie Lee Morris, who was the first coordinator of children’s services at the San Fran­cisco Public Library from 1963 to 1977. As one of the pioneer children’s services leaders in the country, Morris was responsible for the development of the broad range of Library services now available to the children of San Francisco. She also developed the children’s historical and research collection—which is also named in her honor—to meet the needs of Bay Area researchers studying our view of children and their world as reflected in the books written for them.

Gerald McDermott Exhibit: March 1 - April 30, Fisher Children’s Center, 2nd Floor, Main Library.

Effie Lee Morris Lecture with Gerald McDermott: April 5, 6 p.m., Koret Auditorium, Main Library.

The program and exhibit are free and open to the public. For more information, contact (415) 557-4277.

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