Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Exhibition: William Joyce

by Cory Godbey

"Children's literature is the first literature and the first art that children are exposed to.
It should be good. And when it is, it should be given respect." - William Joyce.

William Joyce: Guardian of Childhood is one of the current exhibitions at the Upcountry History Museum in my hometown of Greenville, South Carolina.

It's on display through June 7th and features close to 100 pieces spanning Joyce's illustrative career. 

From his early picture books to the Academy Award winning short film, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, the exhibition presents a wide ranging look at Joyce's various works.

As a long time William Joyce fan myself (and pleased that the show was so close) I went to take a look and decided to bring you guys along!

I was excited to see so many original drawings by Joyce. I've always enjoyed his paintings, of course, but these interior illustrations from his Guardians of Childhood book series were especially impressive.

And a very special thank you to illustrator Erin McGuire who was able to connect me with Joyce's assistant who in turn provided these larger scans of the above two pieces for me to share with you.

"… if you really love to write and you really love to tell stories and you really love to draw, 
you just have to keep doing it no matter what anybody says." - William Joyce.

William Joyce: Guardian of Childhood has been traveling and making the rounds in cities big and small across the country. If you have the opportunity to see it in person I would highly recommend it!


  1. Wonderful post, Cory. I used to read George Shrinks, Santa Calls, Dinosaur Bob and his Adventures with the Family Lazardo, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs and A Day with Wilbur Robinson over and over to my son when he was little and I don't know who enjoyed them more, him or me.

    1. Thanks, Arnie! I don't remember when I found his books but goodness, I love them. It was end of high school, I think. I don't remember them from when I was younger. The Leaf Men is still my favorite.

    2. If you don't already have THE WORLD OF WILLIAM JOYCE SCRAPBOOK, you'll want it. The photos of his house during the various holidays are great.


  2. Great post Cory, seeing the artworks in the blog wall itself gives me the look and feel of as if I have been to the art galley and visiting them. Thanks a lot for sharing such a panaromic post. Keep up the good work.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, Bill! And hey, looking forward to your book! If no one beats me to it I'll have to do a post when it's released.

  4. How funny is that! I just read,,"George Shrinks" to my two young boys last night. They loved looking at all the details...and the funny story. Thanks for giving us a tour of his gallery show...especially the sketches!

  5. Definitely a favorite of mine. Not only for the quality of art but for the quality of IMAGINATION. Sheer creativity. I'm with Cory, Leaf men is a favorite book of mine also.

  6. Great post Cory. My favorite has always been "The Leaf Men..." I can still remember were I was standing when I first read it.
    Wonderful works of art.

  7. Cory, thanks so much for posting this. It's a wonderful change to see a Muddy post about a show I can drive about 10 minutes to see. Will be taking this in immediately!

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  9. Wow, this place is really looking wonderful. I am also a newbie artist and thinking for hiring best gallery space for rent NYC for displaying my art. I am sure it will be a great idea. What is your opinion on this?


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