Telluride Gallery Of Fine Art Announces Blockbuster Show, Starting 7/28

[click “Play” to hear Will Thompson’s conversation with Susan]


Illustrations by top 10 children’s book luminaries featured

Sendak drawing
image courtesy of
Animazing Gallery

How do big-time art shows happen in a small town like Telluride? Start with a visionary.

In the winter of 1985, Telluride was beginning to percolate anew: entrepreneurs starting snapping up property; among them, Will Thompson, who bought the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art space the day after he and wife Hilary arrived in town to ski.

From the start, Will, Hilary and their staff have been major league players in Telluride’s cultural life, supporting artists and craftspeople inside and outside the gallery, aligning with other non-profits. And Will chose to ignore what would have been a barrier to a lesser man, his small town address, convincing big time artists with galleries in London, New York and Los Angeles to show their work in Telluride. Among the names on Will’s hit list: sculptor Jesús Morales; architect/sculptor Maya Lin; Jean-Claude and Christo; painter of monumental nudes, Philip Pearlstein; Pop artist Jim Dine; photographer Jerry Uelsmann; Picasso (graphics, etchings, lithographs, drypoint, from the Vollard Suite); and more recently, painter Malcolm Liepke, who now has simultaneous shows in New York and London.  But the upcoming exhibition of children’s book illustrators may be Will’s biggest ever – and a labor of love. In the 1980s, Will launched a business selling original graphics and collected illustrations.

The show, “From Beasts to Babar: Ten Children’s Illustrators,” opens July 28 and runs through the Telluride Film Festival in early September. It features the work of Maurice Sendak, Etienne Delessert, Bernie Fuchs, Henrik Drescher, Laurent de Brunhoff, Peter Sis, Gennady Spirin, Peter McCarty, Tomie De Paola, and Jeanne de Sainte Marie. 

The idea for “From Beasts to Babar” dates back to 1991.

To learn more from Will, click the “play” button and listen to his interview.

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