The Journey that Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey

It’s not every day that the average family has reason to get excited about new exhibits at art and history museums, but the new exhibit presented by CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center and hosted at the Swope Art Museum will surely excite and attract both local families and out-of-town visitors!

Why?

Because the art, programming, presentations, and events focus on a theme that kids and families already know and love: Curious George!

This new exhibit celebrates the creators of the George stories and their flee from Nazi-occupied France. (That means that although George certainly makes an appearance in the art and programming, the focus is on the people behind the curious little monkey: Margret and H.A. Rey.)

The Journey that Saved Curious George

With that in mind, do you know the fascinating history of everyone’s favorite, mischievous monkey?

From the CANDLES website:

“Long before getting himself into all sorts of mischief in the beloved Curious George books, the famous monkey made an incredible journey when his creators escaped the Nazi invasion of France.

When authors Margret and H.A. Rey were forced to flee Paris as the Nazi army began to invade, they began their dangerous journey of escape on bicycles, pedaling to Southern France. The manuscript and illustrations for the Curious George book were among the few possessions they were able to take with them. Escaping on trains through Spain, Portugal, and all the way to Brazil, the Reys finally reached the United States in October of 1940. Once they were living in the United States, they created a contract with Houghton Mifflin for The Adventures of Fifi, later retitled The Adventures of Curious George

The Swope Art Museum will display their story along with fun activities for children, families, and adults of all ages. CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center will display original works of art created in concentration camps and American anti-Nazi propaganda cartoons.”

Allan Drummond, (detail) A Bicycle Maker, 2005, courtesy Allan Drummond and the Institute for Holocaust Education, Omaha, Nebraska

Earlier this week, I had the chance to pop into the Swope to see the Curious George-themed art.

The exhibit is family-friendly; children are most-definitely welcome!

Here’s what Edward Trover from the Swope has to say: “It is a really great exhibition for all ages. Adults with memories of Curious George from their childhood will be fascinated to learn the story behind the creation of the character. The newer generations of Curious George lovers will have the opportunity to be exposed to the Holocaust in a respectful way, and learn the importance of understanding racism, prejudices, and stereotyping.”

Are you worried about the cost of taking your kids to experience this beautiful mix of art and history? Guess what?! Terre Haute’s amazing art museum will definitely fit into your family budget, because admission to the Swope Art Museum is free (although donations are always welcome)!

 

Beyond the art, this exhibit is bringing several events for kids and families to the Terre Haute area.


A few worth highlighting:

“First Friday” Official Exhibit Opening Party – August 3rd

“First Friday” Official Exhibit Opening Party
Friday, August 3, 5:00pm – 8:00pm at Swope Art Museum

Come and join us for the “First Friday” flashback festivities with a little bit of extra monkey business as we celebrate the opening of “The Journey that Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey.” There will be inclusive activities for all ages, including arts and crafts, reading nooks, music, food, and fun. Be sure to wear your best 1940s attire in honor of the Reys’ epic escape. Prizes will be given to those of exceptional fashion! All are welcome to join in the free event.

Story Time with Curious George and the Man in the Yellow Hat – August 4th

Story Time with Curious George, the Man in the Yellow Hat, and the Vigo County Public Library
Saturday, August 4, 3:00pm – 4:00pm at Swope Art Museum

Come to the special children’s opening and story time celebrating “The Journey that Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey.” Enjoy story time, activities, and snacks. Curious George himself will even be joining in the celebration, along with the Man in the Yellow Hat. Bring your best monkey face to get a picture with them both!

Swope Art Start: Curious George and the Puppies – August 7th

Swope Art Start: Curious George and the Puppies
Tuesday, August 7, 1:00pm – 2:00pm at Swope Art Museum

Monkeys and puppies; who would have thought these two would get along! Come and join us for a reading of “Curious George and the Puppies,” followed by the creation of your own playful friends. Young artists are invited to experience this free art program using books to create works of art and encourage creativity. For children ages three to five accompanied by an adult. Families are encouraged to explore the exhibit “The Journey that Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey” to build on the Art Start experience.

“Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George’s Creators” Film Screening – August 30th

“Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George’s Creators” Film Screening
Thursday, August 30, 6:00pm – 7:30pm at CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center

We all know Curious George—but what about his creators, Hans and Margret Rey: French Jews, global refugees, immigrants, artists, Americans? On makeshift bicycles with sketches of a curious little monkey aboard, they rode across Nazi-occupied Europe in search of freedom that would nurture one of the most treasured children’s book series of all time.

In 2016, Curious George turned 75 years old. Since the first book was published in 1941, the stories of the adventurous little monkey who frequently finds himself in trouble have sold over 75 million copies in more than 20 languages. However, the story of George’s creators is much less known. The film “Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George’s Creators” explores the extraordinary lives of Hans and Margret Rey, whose creative spirits and resilient attitudes produced a monkey loved by the world.

We invite guests of all ages to this free film screening. Run time: 80 minutes, Unrated.

Visit the CANDLES website for even more Curious George event options! 

The Curious George exhibits will be running from July 19th – September 16th, 2018.

 

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