The Philadelphia Museum of Art has teamed up with Princeton Architectural Press, the leading publisher of books on architecture, design, and visual culture, to develop two new children’s books. Drawing on the museum’s world-class collections and members of its education staff, the titles look at diverse works of art as a catalyst for creative conversations to engage families and empower kids.
Under the series name Explore Art, two picture books will be published in 2021: Armor & Animals (February 23) and What Can Colors Do? (May 11). Both books are written by Liz Yohlin Baill, Collections Interpreter for Youth and Families at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and geared toward readers ages 4 to 8.
“We’re thrilled to be collaborating with the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s educators on the creation of two visually exciting projects that will appeal to kids, parents, teachers, and librarians everywhere,” said Rob Shaeffer, Program Director, Children’s Books, Princeton Architectural Press.
“Princeton Architectural Press has been a wonderful partner as we’ve developed these books, which emerged from our Division of Education and Public Programs’ deep commitment to making relevant connections between art and kids’ everyday experiences,” said Katie Reilly, the William T. Ranney Director of Publishing, Philadelphia Museum of Art. “We’re excited for our collection to reach new audiences and become a part of families’ daily lives.”
Armor & Animals compares objects from the museum’s renowned armor collection, the second largest in the United States, to animal defenses in the natural world. Kids can discover what knights, helmets, and shields have in common with shells, scales, and spikes, and other surprising connections. This colorful, whimsical book features more than a dozen works from the museum’s collection, paired with turtles, armadillos, crocodiles, and other amazing animals. It will be available in the museum beginning September 2020, and will be distributed by Princeton Architectural Press beginning February 2021. ($16.95; 40 pages; 51 illustrations, ISBN 978-1-61689-955-4)
What Can Colors Do? showcases more than twenty works of art from the museum’s international collection as a lens to introduce children to the different elements of color theory. It explores how and why artists use color as both a visual and an expressive tool.
Through unexpected comparisons, fun facts, and thought-provoking questions, both books promote a way of looking at art that is rooted in creativity, playfulness, critical thinking, and relatability.
Since 1981, Princeton Architectural Press has published nearly 1,000 stimulating publications on design and architecture, history, photography, and visual culture. In the last seven years, the Press broadened its scope, introducing a children’s list and a line of gift and stationery products. Originally based in Princeton, N.J., the Press is now headquartered in Hudson, N.Y.
Since 1876, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has been a place for visitors to spend quality creative time together, with art as a catalyst for conversation and self-reflection. Through its exhibitions and world-class collection of more than 240,000 objects, the museum invites visitors to see the world anew through the expressive power of the arts. The museum’s collection of arms and armor, a favorite destination for families, is also the subject of the new volume Arms and Armor: Highlights from the Philadelphia Museum of Art, written by Dirk Breiding. The Division of Education at the museum has decades of experience developing programs to make art accessible to people of all ages. It has received multiple awards from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) for content developed to engage families with the collections.