Winterthur recently released their first children’s book focusing on its museum and library collection.
The book pairs images of objects from Winterthur’s collection and rhymes with every letter of the alphabet.
It starts with A for Aquarium – depicting an ornate one from the 1830s.
“It has this wonderful little house on the top of it, and some fish that Henry Francis DuPont kind of placed around the bottom," said Lois Stoehr, the book's author.
Stoehr is also Winterthur’s Associate Curator of Education – and says her idea for the book is loosely based on an exhibition she curated eight years ago called K Is for Kids.
In the book, however – K stands for king – and depicts two monarchs with dour expressions but outlandish looking crowns on a ceramic plate from the late 17th century.
Stoehr picked the image and wrote the accompanying rhyme.
“In this scene stand queen and king – both decked out in royal bling, with regal robes and curly hair," Stoehr said. "Their sparkly crowns add extra flair.”
Stoehr says she was surprised – but also glad - her editor let her use the word “bling” in the rhyme.
About half the items in the book weren’t included in the exhibit.
Stoehr says she used the museum’s online database to search for visually interesting objects – including a variety of ceramics, textiles, furniture and more – that would look good on the pages of a children’s book.
“One of the things I tried really hard to do was choose words you wouldn’t necessarily think of for a letter," she said.
That’s why she chose a reward of merit for R – as teachers in the 1800s would reward superb classroom attention with the certificate.
The letter H also features a 1776 image of a woman with 10-foot tall hair.