The Northern Illinois University Art Museum is pleased to present two exhibitions of framed artwork and books – some no longer in print – organized and traveled by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature in Abilene, Texas from Tuesday, Aug. 23 through Saturday, Oct. 15.

Leonard S. Marcus

Leonard S. Marcus, photo by Sonja Sones

“Golden Legacy: Original Art from 80 Years of Golden Books” co-curated by Leonard S. Marcus, renowned children’s book historian, features both newer illustrators of some older classics, as well as a wide-ranging selection of original illustration art by Richard Scarry, Garth Williams, Tibor Gergely, Feodor Rojankovsky, Eloise Wilkin, Alice and Martin Provensen, Leonard Weisgard, Mary Blair, and more.

The Ransomes

James E. Ransome and Lisa Cline-Ransome, photograph by John Halperm.

“Everyday People: The Art of James E. Ransome” features books about the land, famous people, family and classic story retellings. Ransome has illustrated over 60 picture books and is the recipient of the 2018 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for “Before She Was Harriet.” The NIU Art Museum will also be hosting “Burnishing the Medals of Children’s Literature,” organized by staff members of the NIU University Libraries, celebrating award-winning children’s books that honor the frequently forgotten, acknowledge the
traditionally marginalized and ignite curiosity and empathy in young readers.

A series of live and virtual events are planned. Please check our website for our hours, program schedule and instructions on how to join virtual talks from home. Have our event announcements and program information delivered directly to your inbox. Sign up at

Calendar of Events


“Germs: Fact and Fiction, Friends and Foes,” (2017) by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by James E. Ransome.

Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022
Virtual Event  – Golden Legacy: The Story of the Golden Books
Illustrated talk presented by Leonard S. Marcus, renowned children’s book scholar.
5 to 6 p.m. CT
Join Zoom Meeting:

Thursday, Sept. 15
Virtual Event – Strong Women, Great Books: The Women Who Invented American Children’s Book Publishing
Illustrated talk presented by Leonard S. Marcus
5 to 6 p.m. CT
Join Zoom Meeting: 

Sunday, Sept. 18
Virtual Event – Around the World in 80 Picture Books Illustrated talk presented by Leonard S. Marcus
2 to 3 p.m. CT
Join Zoom Meeting: 

Saturday, Sept. 24
Children’s Day – Reading and Illustrating: Celebrating the Books on Display
Led by NIU students in the School of Art and Design and the College of Education.
Details under development.
Preregistration required.

Aunt Flossie

“Aunt Flossie’s Hats (And Crab Cakes Later),” (1991) by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard, illustrated by James E. Ransome.

Wednesday, Oct. 12
In Person
A Book, A Page, A World: The Artistic Journey of Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome
Artist James E. Ransome and author Lesa Cline-Ransome discuss their collaborative projects
7 to 8 p.m., Altgeld Hall 125

Thursday, Oct. 13
In Person
A Harmony of Pictures and Words
Artist slide talk by James E. Ransome
6 to 7 p.m., Altgeld Hall 125

Saturday, Oct. 15
Closing Reception, 1 to 3 p.m.
Informal artist talk by James E. Ransome
2 p.m., NIU Art Museum Rotunda Gallery

COVID-19 Visitor Information

For more information about the university’s health protocols and guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, visit

About the NIU Art Museum

Serving Campus and Community by Balancing Traditional and Contemporary Art to Explore the Connections Made through Visual Culture.

Part of the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ vibrant and active arts community on campus, the Northern Illinois University Art Museum is a resource for the NIU campus, local community and beyond.

The NIU Art Museum is located on the first floor, west end of Altgeld Hall, at the corner of College Avenue and Castle Drive on the main campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois.

Parking is available in the visitor pay lot located at 200 Carroll Avenue. Limited metered and accessible parking spaces are available in front of Lowden Hall with accessible aisles and route to Altgeld. Campus parking is free on weekends and after 5 p.m. weeknights in nearby lots 3 and 14.

To request disability-related accommodations for museum programs, please contact the museum at least one week in advance. Northern Illinois University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.

The Children’s Illustrated Literature Suite was made possible by the Barbara Cole Peters Fund for the NIU Art Museum. The exhibitions and programs of the NIU Art Museum are sponsored in part by the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Friends of the NIU Art Museum, the NIU Arts and Culture Fee; and the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Season Presenting Sponsor Shaw Media. Additional funding for the programs related to our fall 2022 shows came from the Barbara Cole Peters Fund for the NIU Art Museum; Friends of the University Libraries; Friends of the DeKalb and Sycamore Public Libraries; the Jerry L. Johns Literacy Clinic; NIU Center for Black Studies; NIU Gender and Sexuality Resource Center; NIU College of Education; NIU Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; the illustration department of the NIU School of Art and Design; and the College of Visual and Performing Arts DEI Initiatives.

Altgeld Hall 116, First Floor, West End 1425 W. Lincoln Highway
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115

Gallery Hours

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday
Noon to 6 p.m. Thursday
Noon to 6 p.m. Friday
Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday; and by appointment for group tours Exhibitions are free and open to the public.

Photo at top: “Under the Quilt of Night,” (2002) by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by James E. Ransome.