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And a Monkey Shall Lead Them 

Wednesday, Dec 15 2010
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Curious George always seems to have such a good time in spite of what's going on around him, much of it his own doing. He escapes any and all confines, narrowly missing detection at every turn, and he never seems to know how close he's come to meeting calamity face to face. The Man in the Yellow Hat always arrives just in time to bring the mischievous monkey back home to safety. So the exhibit title “Curious George Saves the Day: The Art of Margret and H.A. Rey” seems to be contradictory. Because Curious George doesn't save the day. His benefactor does. But this is not a retrospective; the show reflects not only George (who was first known as Fifi) but also the Reys, whose story also has a very happy ending. The Reys were German-born Jews who moved to Paris after spending their honeymoon there. And they, like George, escaped their confines and fled — on bicycles — just hours before the Nazi army arrived in June 1940. During their four-month trip across Europe and South America en route to New York, they narrowly escaped detection, at one point being searched on a train. When the officers found their drawings for children's books, the Reys were considered harmless and allowed to pass. So, you see, Curious George did save the day. In addition to about 80 drawings of characters including George, the exhibit contains photographs, diaries, and documentation from the Reys' journey to their new home.
Nov. 14-March 13, 2010

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Keith Bowers

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