On View: Madeline at the New-York Historical Society

It has been 75 years since the publication of the beloved children’s book classic Madeline and the New-York Historical Society is presenting the first comprehensive exhibition in 50 years dedicated to the iconic Parisian schoolgirl and her creator in Madeline in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans.

Madeline and the Bad Hat (Courtesty: The Estate of Ludwig Bemelmans and © Ludwig Bemelmans, LLC.)

Madeline and the Bad Hat (Courtesty: The Estate of Ludwig Bemelmans and © Ludwig Bemelmans, LLC.)

Though born in Austria, Ludwig Bemelmans moved to New York in 1914 and started writing Madeline in Pete’s Tavern near Gramercy Park. After its success he wrote five more books in the series, and developed the idea for Madeline in the White House with Jacqueline Kennedy, which was written by his grandson.

A colorful character, Bemelmans also busied himself with careers as a hotelier, restaurateur and “bon vivant” — perfect for his adopted city. His creative canon is explored with over 90 original works, from comics and magazine covers to original drawings from Madeline. Highlights include Madeline and the Bad Hat and Madeline at the Paris Flower Garden.

Madeline in New York: The Art of Ludwig Bemelmans  is on view at the New-York Historical Society from July 4, 2014 through October 13, 2014.