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The School of Atha:

Collaboration in the making of Children's books
On exhibit September 8, 2014-March 27, 2015
On exhibit September 8, 2014-March 27, 2015

On exhibit September 8, 2014-March 27, 2015

The School of Atha: Collaboration in the Making of Children's Books, celebrates the life and work of children's book designer and art director Atha Tehon. The exhibition is based on the collection of her books and papers, including files on books she designed as a freelance book designer, recently given to the University of Pennsylvania Libraries by her niece Susan Tehon, supplemented with loans from her family. 

After receiving her Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania / Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Tehon began working in book publishing, first at Random House and then as a book designer, art director, and associate publisher at Dial Books for Younger Readers, where she worked closely with many of the major artists and authors in the field, including Leo and Diane Dillon, Tom Feelings, Susan Jeffers, Steven Kellogg, Julius Lester, James Marshall, Jerry Pinkney, and Rosemary Wells. Two of the books she designed, Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears and Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions, both illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, won the Caldecott Medal in 1976 and 1977. At the same time, she continued to do freelance design work for Farrar, Straus & Giroux, working with the children's book editor Michael di Capua on books by Nancy Ekholm Burkert, Richard Egielski, Randall Jarrell, Maurice Sendak, William Steig, and Harve and Margot Zemach, among others. 

The exhibition will explore her role not only in the creation of so many important children's books but also in mentoring a new generation of editors and designers in the collaborative process of creating children's books.

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