An opportunity recently popped up for The University of Findlay’s Mazza Museum, which found it too good to pass up.
Thanks to the generosity of museum docent Ginny Laiho and her husband, Rikhard, an additional 325 square feet of gallery will be dedicated to children’s books that feature paper engineering techniques. Pop-ups, fold-outs, die-cuts and other three-dimensional literary works of art will be displayed in space that was previously part of the museum’s storage area.
Construction was completed this spring, and gallery workers are now deciding how to display pieces.
This marks the first time in nearly a decade that the museum, recognized as having the world’s largest collection of original artwork by children’s book illustrators, has undergone structural changes, said Director Benjamin Sapp.
Sapp said the museum, for the gallery’s grand opening, will host Matthew Reinhart, a New York Times bestselling paper engineer, illustrator and author who donated originals from each book he has created, along with much of the material used in the process of creating the pop-up books.
Reinhart also donated more than 250 pop-up books from his collection that date back to 1960.
“Most children’s museums don’t have a whole gallery dedicated to paper engineering,” said Sapp. But the Mazza Museum soon will thanks to docent Ginny Laiho’s love for the museum and pop-ups publications in particular.
Laiho said years ago, during docent training, former museum Director Jerry Mallett showed her a pop-up book from the museum’s collection.
“I collect art and I thought, ‘This is amazing,’ I totally fell in love with them,” she said.
Laiho now teaches young museum visitors about pop-up books.
More information on the gallery’s grand opening will be provided as planning progresses.