I finally was able to go today to an exhibit at the The Jewish Museum called Curious George Saves the Day: The Art of Margret and H.A. Rey. I was there for hours. There were so many documents and illustrations to view and so much posted backstory to read. And there was a very interesting interactive piece as well. It was exceedingly well mounted, and some of the artwork is presented in a house visually similar to the blue home where the Reys lived in New York City.
This is from their website:
"Curious George, the beloved, irrepressible monkey of children’s book lore, is famous for his ability to “save the day.” Interpreting the role he played in safeguarding his own creators in times of danger as symbolic, this exhibition delves into the remarkable lives and works of Margret and H. A. Rey. The couple fled Paris in 1940 with a Curious George manuscript in their suitcase. During a tense inspection of their belongings by a border official, children’s illustrations were found and they were allowed to continue on their way, eventually reaching the United States.
Featuring nearly eighty original drawings and preparatory dummies for Margret and H. A. Rey children’s books and documentation related to their escape from Nazi-occupied Europe, the exhibition will examine the parallels between the obstacles the Reys faced and the drawings that may have saved their lives. The story of their life in Paris and narrow escape is also told through an interactive timeline."
This is the front of the card I bought at the Jewish Museum's store.
I also got the wonderful book, "The Journey That Saved Curious George," by Louise Borden with illustrations by Allen Drummond. It is the story of the true wartime escape of Margret and H. A. Rey.