by Cory Godbey

“Children’s literature is the first literature and the first art that children are exposed to.
It should be good. And when it is, it should be given respect.”William Joyce.

William Joyce: Guardian of Childhood is one of the current exhibitions at the Upcountry History Museum in my hometown of Greenville, South Carolina.
It’s on display through June 7th and features close to 100 pieces spanning Joyce’s illustrative career. 
From his early picture books to the Academy Award winning short film, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, the exhibition presents a wide ranging look at Joyce’s various works.

As a long time William Joyce fan myself (and pleased that the show was so close) I went to take a look and decided to bring you guys along!

I was excited to see so many original drawings by Joyce. I’ve always enjoyed his paintings, of course, but these interior illustrations from his Guardians of Childhood book series were especially impressive.
And a very special thank you to illustrator Erin McGuire who was able to connect me with Joyce’s assistant who in turn provided these larger scans of the above two pieces for me to share with you.

“… if you really love to write and you really love to tell stories and you really love to draw, 
you just have to keep doing it no matter what anybody says.” – William Joyce.
William Joyce: Guardian of Childhood has been traveling and making the rounds in cities big and small across the country. If you have the opportunity to see it in person I would highly recommend it!