The life and work of Maurice Sendak

June 10, 1928—Born in Brooklyn, NY

1932—Charles Lindbergh, Jr., kidnapped and eventually found murdered. The ensuing media frenzy becomes a formative memory for the young Sendak

1939—Attends the New York World’s Fair, another important experience that laid the foundation for In the Night Kitchen

1941—Family receives news that Philip Sendak’s village in Poland is destroyed by the Nazis and most of his family are killed or taken to concentration camps

1947—Completes first book illustrations for Atomics for the Millions

1948-9—Works at F.A.O. Schwarz toy store in Manhattan as a window display artist; it is there he meets Ursula Nordstrom, children’s book editor at Harper & Row

1951—Illustrates first children’s book, The Wonderful Farm by Marcel Aymé

1956—Publishes Kenny’s Window, the first book he both wrote and illustrated

1961—Paints a mural for the Chertoff family in their upper west side apartment

1962—Publishes The Nutshell Library, a set of four small books including Pierre, and Chicken Soup with Rice

1963—Publishes Where the Wild Things Are

1964—Wins Caldecott Medal for Where the Wild Things Are

1966—First visit to the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia, and the beginning of relationship with the museum

1967—Suffers a heart attack in England; beloved dog, Jennie, dies. He writes and illustrates Higglety, Pigglety, Pop! or, There Must be More to Life in her honor.

1968—Mother, Sarah, dies of cancer; begins depositing picture book art and working materials at the Rosenbach

1970—Wins international Hans Christian Andersen Award; Father, Philip, dies; Publishes In the Night Kitchen, which is dedicated to his parents

1972—Moves from New York to Connecticut

1979—Writes and designs first opera, Where the Wild Things Are; creates designs for various opera productions throughout 1980s and ‘90s

1980—Publication of major biography by Selma Lanes, The Art of Maurice Sendak (Abrams)

1981—Publishes Outside Over There

1995—Illustrates Herman Melville’s Pierre, or, The Ambiguities

1996—Receives the National Medal of Arts from President Clinton

2003—Publishes Brundibar book and designs opera production; awarded the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award; friend Tony Kushner publishes The Art of Maurice Sendak: 1980 to the Present (Abrams)

2007—Death of Dr. Eugene Glynn, Sendak’s partner of more than 50 years

2009—Release of Spike Jonze film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are

2011—Publishes Bumble-Ardy, the first book both written and illustrated by Sendak in thirty years

May 8, 2012—Dies in Danbury, Conn.

Source: Rosenbach Museum & Library