Truly a vision of the fantastic, this exhibition is an amazing exploration of both illustrative art and the evolution of the visual landscape of science fiction and fantasy literature. Featuring work by both American and European artists and spanning more than a century, these vivid illustrations bring to life adventures, beings, and worlds conjured in novels such as Don Quixote, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Tarzan, and pulp magazines including Amazing Stories, Weird Tales, Fantastic Adventures, and Wonder Stories. Accomplishing far more than simply guiding readers in their explorations of new and sometimes bizarre realms, the range and impact of these illustrations is far-reaching.
The illustrations featured in this exhibition are treasured pieces of the Korshak Collection, owned by collector Stephen Korshak. The love of both literature and art of the science fiction and fantasy genres is a passion Stephen Korshak shared with his father Erle Korshak, a founder of the imprint Shasta Publishers, which specialized in science fiction books. Shasta played a key role in ushering in the transition that saw important science fiction literature move from the pages of magazines printed on cheap pulp paper to hardcover, library-quality books. Much of the illustration art for Shasta publications hung in the Korshak family home and the company office where, as a young man, Stephen Korshak encountered it-- a fact he cites as inspiring in him a sense of wonder, and a passion for the illustrations of the genre. This will be the first public exhibition of the European works in the collection.
The exhibition will also include books, pulp magazines, and other items drawn from UMBC’s Rosenfeld Collection, revealing how the illustrations in the Korshak Collection were meant to appear when encountered as artifacts of material culture.
The exhibition runs April 10 through May 16.
Monday through Friday: 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday until 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 12 – 5 p.m.
The presentation of The Korshak Collection: Illustrations of Imaginative Literature at UMBC is supported in part by an arts program grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support comes from the Friends of the Library & Gallery, the Libby Kuhn Endowment, and individual contributions.
Artist’s Talk: Donato Giancola
Thursday, May 4, 5 p.m.
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery
Award-winning illustrator Donato Giancola, best known for his endlessly creative and exquisitely rendered science fiction and fantasy illustrations, will discuss his broad range of illustrative work.
Giancola’s diverse clients include: DC Comics; Sci Fi Channel; Wizards of the Coast (Magic: The Gathering); Tor Books; National Geographic, Milton Bradley; Microsoft; Penguin; Random House; Hasbro; Scholastic; Simon & Schuster; The Village Voice; CNN; United Nations; U.S. Postal Service.
Admission to the exhibition and public program are free. Click here for directions and parking information.
Image: José Segrelles, War of the Worlds, c. 1930. Mixed media. Courtesy of The Korshak Collection.