Several acclaimed artists have literally given the University of Findlay’s Mazza Museum a hand. “Show of Hands,” an exhibition featuring plaster molds of the hands of several artists whose original works are part of the Museum’s collection, is on display in the Dana Younger Gallery.
The exhibition will remain on display for 18 months. There are currently 55 hands in the collection, 31 of which will be shown in the first edition of “Show of Hands” alongside the original work of art created by the illustrator.
Museum curator Dan Chudzinski conceived of the idea. He has been adding to the hand collection for the past three years as artists have visited the Museum for various events, book signings and to donate artwork. Chudzinski said he was inspired by an appearance by Marc Brown, creator of “Arthur the Aardvark,” at the Museum’s November 2015 Weekend Conference.
“At the time, I was still working long hours for a special effects assignment, and had most of the art supplies in the truck,” explained Chudzinski. He approached Brown with his idea. Brown was curious, but confused. “’Why would you want that?’ he asked. Chudzinski replied, “Maybe 100 years from now someone will want to know what the hand that created ‘Arthur’ looked like.” Brown was sold, and once word got out about the project, other artists wanted to participate too.
Some other participating artists include Rosemary Wells, known for “Max Cleans Up” and other Max-related books and cartoons; and Tom Lichtenheld, illustrator of “Mighty, Mighty, Construction Site.”
The Mazza Museum, which is home to the largest and most diverse collection of picture books in the world, is free and open to the public. Regular hours are Wednesday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 1-4 p.m. During the upcoming holidays, it will be open on Dec. 28. It will reopen on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019.