Monday, September 6, 2010

LA Field Trips #12: Huntington Library

"To Catch a Predator " in 1913
Is your house overflowing wit creepy child hobglobins or do we live in Victorian England?
I went to the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens to check out the exhibit, Child’s Play?: Children’s Book Illustration of 19th Century Britain.  Huntington Library should extend a free bus trip and admission to parents that spend their energy screaming at School Board meetings about “inappropriate books.”  For as long as adults are in charge of creating children’s literature, children’s movie and television shows, kids have always been reading and watching fucked up, crazy shit.  Most of the crazy will go over their heads, but the small subconscious impression that will be left can prepare kids for a world that ‘s bigger than their Justin Bieber bedspreads.  After getting lost in a Zen Garden, a Rose Garden, a bamboo forest, a long line at the cafĂ©, a giant lawn full of marble statues that looks like the opening credits of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, I made my way to the actual exhibit I came to see. I was allowed to take pictures as long as the flash is off, so now I have a lot of blurry pictures of nothing.  The exhibit was small but chock full of child molestation, naked male fairies, child hobgoblins, murderous trolls, and a biography of the illustrator, Charles Altamont Doyle (dad to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) that includes details about his alcoholism and stay in a lunatic asylum.  One of my favorites illustrations is of the Miss Muffet nursery rhyme from a book of Mother Goose Fairytales, illustrated by Arthur Rackham.  Miss Muffet is chilling with her curds and whey, and lurking behind her was a spider that also happened to be rocking a top hat and old man glasses.  The illustration took a rhyme that means nothing and made into a “Stranger Danger” cautionary tale.  “So Muffet, my web is right about us, want to come over for curds and whey candy and play that hoop and stick game that’s all the rage with you kids these days? And when I say, “hoop and “stick,” I really mean…” Today if there was a graphic on a lunch box of that monkey that Dora the Explorer hangs out with, eyeballing Dora in that “To Catch A Predator way, the heads of mothers would explode in the aisles of Target and Costco stores across America.

This post was originally posted on Say Something Funny...B*tch!


  1. I think I peed myself reading this. Thanks. Have you ever checked out this scary ass book?

  2. Hahaha! I love that even German satire is still a little creepy.