A museum dedicated to Dr. Seuss was inaugurated on Saturday. The new location seeks to honor one of the most transcendental children’s book authors out there. The museum is located in his hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts.
The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss museum opened its doors to display Theodor Seuss Geisel’s most iconic characters and books. As well as never-before-seen artworks from the writer, who was also an illustrator. The interactive exhibits tells the story of the author’s childhood and how his experiences inspired his work, Associated Press reports.
“The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss is a permanent, bilingual museum designed to introduce children and their families to the stories of Ted Geisel, promote joy in reading, and nurture specific literacy skills,” the museum’s website describes.
The museum offers two floors to please the whole family
Although the museum was made primarily to children, it offers different exhibitions that will entertain grown-ups as well.
The 3,200-square-foot first floor, created in conjunction with Dr. Seuss Enterprises – the family company that protects Geisel’s legacy – focuses on the kids. It features an exhibition of games and climbable statues of creatures such as Horton, the Cat in the Hat, the Lorax and Sam I Am. All created by Geisel. Children can also join in different activities that encourage teamwork and creative thinking.
Visitors will also be taken through Geisel’s childhood bedroom, as well as his grandparents’ brewery and bakery. All rooms are painted in brilliant blues and reds, and all the decoration is based on scenes from the books.
The second floor has a more serious, intimate tone. It displays the author’s belongings and actual furnishings from his California home and studio, where he lived until his death in 1991.
“He would absolutely be at ease here,” said Leagrey Dimond, one of the Seuss stepdaughters. “And to know that he’s going to be here permanently, safe, protected, that people who want to know more are going to make this trip here, it’s perfect.”
The museum doesn’t show Geisel’s World War-II era works
Geisel’s early advertising work, propaganda and political illustrations from the time of World War II were left out in the assembly of the museum. As critics consider them racist works, and the museum is aimed at kids, they preferred to not include them in the exhibitions, said Kay Simpson, president of the Springfield Museums complex.
Katie Ishizuka, an author that has written about Geisel’s work, says that by skipping Geisel’s wartime work, the museum is missing out a great part of the illustrator’s story.
“They don’t acknowledge the full picture of him or they try to minimize that or sweep it under the rug,” said Ishizuka, who’s also the director of The Conscious Kid Library, an organization that attempts to lend young readers more diverse and appropriate books.
The museum is expected to welcome about 100,000 visitors annually.