A Hole is to Dig

In this video for the exhibition, 25 for 25: Celebrating Twenty-Five Years of Collecting, Clara Nguyen explores a preliminary drawing from the 1952 children’s book A Hole is To Dig written by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. A Hole is To Dig was the first of Maurice Sendak’s eight collaborations created between 1952 to 1960 with children’s author and poet Ruth Krauss. In Ruth Krauss’s 1994 obituary, Sendak remembers:

“Ruth wasn’t so patient, or quiet, and she could frighten me with her stormy tirades. It was hard for such a fiercely liberated woman to contend with a potentially talented but hopelessly middle-class kid. In the end, she slapped me into shape — almost literally. When Ruth approved of a sketch, I was rewarded with the pleasure of her deep belly laugh, which rose upward and exploded in little-girl giggles. But her disapproval could be devastating…”


The Maurice Sendak Collection