The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss
These fabulous, whimsical paintings, created for his own pleasure and never shown to the public, show Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) in a whole new light. Depicting outlandish creatures in otherworldly settings, the paintings use a dazzling rainbow of hues not seen in the primary-color palette of his books for children, and exhibit a sophisticated and often quite unrestrained side of the artist. 65 color illustrations.

The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss Details

TitleThe Secret Art of Dr. Seuss
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 3rd, 1995
PublisherRandom House
ISBN-139780679434481
Rating
GenreArt, Nonfiction, Childrens

The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss Review

  • Elizabeth A
    January 1, 1970
    Dr. Seuss books are not ones I read as a kid, though I've loved them as an adult. This fun book is like visiting his private art gallery, only you can do so while still in your PJs. There are no words describing the art - other than titles, date, and media used - the art speaks for itself, and one could really spend hours looking at all the details he incorporated into his work. I've always loved the whimsical art of Dr. Seuss, and loved flipping through this collection of personal art. The man' Dr. Seuss books are not ones I read as a kid, though I've loved them as an adult. This fun book is like visiting his private art gallery, only you can do so while still in your PJs. There are no words describing the art - other than titles, date, and media used - the art speaks for itself, and one could really spend hours looking at all the details he incorporated into his work. I've always loved the whimsical art of Dr. Seuss, and loved flipping through this collection of personal art. The man's imagination is an inspiration to us all.
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  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    I love a good art book and I often pick them up from the library to browse through, but I've never reviewed one, simply because I just don't feel qualified! However, this one was so much fun and so different that I just had to share. If you are a fan of Dr. Seuss, you will love this simple picture book, filled will all sorts of strange delights!A few of my favorites:1. Oh, I'd Love to Go to the Party, But I'm Absolutely Dead (p. 26)2. There They Stood Exactly as They Were Created (p. 28)3. Gosh! I love a good art book and I often pick them up from the library to browse through, but I've never reviewed one, simply because I just don't feel qualified! However, this one was so much fun and so different that I just had to share. If you are a fan of Dr. Seuss, you will love this simple picture book, filled will all sorts of strange delights!A few of my favorites:1. Oh, I'd Love to Go to the Party, But I'm Absolutely Dead (p. 26)2. There They Stood Exactly as They Were Created (p. 28)3. Gosh!, Do I Look as Old as That! (p. 45)4. Green Cat with Lights (p. 58)5. Untitled (p. 86-87)
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  • Philip
    January 1, 1970
    No surprises here, although if you like Dr. Seuss' drawings then you'll probably enjoy this book. The bulk of his "secret art" looks exactly like his regular book illustrations, except in full color (rather than the color-added B&W pictures we're used to from his books). He also did a set of rather bizarre sculptures in 1934 that look like the hunted and mounted heads of some typical Seuss creatures, based around real animal horns and bird beaks.Things get a bit more interesting in the last No surprises here, although if you like Dr. Seuss' drawings then you'll probably enjoy this book. The bulk of his "secret art" looks exactly like his regular book illustrations, except in full color (rather than the color-added B&W pictures we're used to from his books). He also did a set of rather bizarre sculptures in 1934 that look like the hunted and mounted heads of some typical Seuss creatures, based around real animal horns and bird beaks.Things get a bit more interesting in the last third of this slim book (from roughly 1970 onwards), where his work takes on a slightly more abstract feel, and there are actually 3-4 paintings that aren't SUPER OBVIOUSLY Dr. Seuss and could in fact be the work of a lesser-known artist named Ted Geisel.Like much modern art, I find some of the titles as interesting as the paintings themselves, and so it's fun seeing pictures called Antlered Animal Adoring Pink-Tufted Small Beast, The Rather Odd Myopic Woman Riding Piggyback on One of Helen's Many Cats, A Man Who Has Made an Unwise Prochess (sic), and The Joyous Leaping of Uncanned Salmon. But if you really want to learn anything new and unexpected about the good doctor, I'd recommend you try Dr. Seuss Goes to War: The World War II Editorial Cartoons of Theodor Seuss Geisel instead.
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  • Lea
    January 1, 1970
    I love these surreal expressionist paintings. I especially love all of his surreal cats. In contrast to his political commentary cartoons, I love everything about these drawings and paintings.
  • Douglas Koehne
    January 1, 1970
    This is not an impressive book. It contains various plates of Dr. Suess and his art not related to the many children's books he wrote during his life. Some of the unique characters and definitely the illustration style on many of these paintings evoke the whimsey and fun he is known for, but unfortunately much of what is shown is just not that interesting. Nothing new is really shown here or learned by the reader so I'm at a loss as to what purpose this book really fills. Pass.
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  • Aleta
    January 1, 1970
    Gorgeous collection of Dr. Seuss's art. (I won't say "artwork", because he thought painting wasn't "work" and he'd therefore only do it at night.) I've long wanted this book, and my sweet nieces (with a bit of help from their mother) gave it to me for Christmas! Oh frabjous day! Callou, callay! Whoops, wrong work, but you get the idea.
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  • Kenya Starflight
    January 1, 1970
    At this point I think it's exceptionally rare to meet someone who HASN'T heard of Dr. Seuss, the author and illustrator who created dozens of weird but charming children's books (some with clever social and political commentary that kids won't get but adults will appreciate), as well as films, political cartoons, newspaper comics, and much more. It seems, however, that Theodor Geisel, the man behind the Dr. Seuss moniker, was a painter in his private life, creating pictures purely for his own pl At this point I think it's exceptionally rare to meet someone who HASN'T heard of Dr. Seuss, the author and illustrator who created dozens of weird but charming children's books (some with clever social and political commentary that kids won't get but adults will appreciate), as well as films, political cartoons, newspaper comics, and much more. It seems, however, that Theodor Geisel, the man behind the Dr. Seuss moniker, was a painter in his private life, creating pictures purely for his own pleasure rather than to show or market to the world at large. This collection, while by no means comprehensive, gives us a glimpse at the "secret art" of this legendary creator, art that maintains his trademark style yet contains more depth, darkness, and strangeness than his children's work ever could.These pieces range from simple line drawings to boldly colored oil paintings to even strange combinations of sculpture and taxidermy. The subject matter is occasionally mundane, such as scenes of daily life in a South American village, but often far weirder than even the weirdest of his kids' books. There's religious allegory (one painting depicts his version of the Tower of Babel), self-depreciating self-portraits, and even some nudity (albeit nothing worse than you'd find in your average classical painting). And as evidenced by the cover, his perennial favorite -- cats -- show up with frequent regularity, including one painting that's nothing BUT cats! (In one of the two forewords, Geisel's widow talks about this painting, "A Plethora of Cats," and how it remained unfinished to his dying day because he could always find room to add just one more cat...)Aside from Ms. Geisel's foreword, there's also a touching introduction by Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are. It helps give a little context to Seuss' works (inasmuch as any of these paintings have context) and is a thoughtful send-off to a legend of children's literature.While certainly not for children or casual readers, "The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss" is an eye-opening collection, and good for fans of Seuss' more obscure work or anyone who appreciates offbeat art in general. This is a look into another side of the creator of the Grinch, the Cat in the Hat, the Lorax, Horton the Elephant, and other beloved characters, and a quirky but fun collection of paintings.
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  • Nancy
    January 1, 1970
    This is an amazingly fast read as there is very little text. I read the letter from his wife and the Intro which was by......bugger the book is downstairs and I have forgotten the artists name. Who did Where the Wild Things Are? Anyway it was a good intro as well. It gave some background to one of the paintings that is in the book and about Ted Giesel as well.There are many full page color images of artwork. Not just paintings and drawings but some sculpture as well. I never knew he did any scul This is an amazingly fast read as there is very little text. I read the letter from his wife and the Intro which was by......bugger the book is downstairs and I have forgotten the artists name. Who did Where the Wild Things Are? Anyway it was a good intro as well. It gave some background to one of the paintings that is in the book and about Ted Giesel as well.There are many full page color images of artwork. Not just paintings and drawings but some sculpture as well. I never knew he did any sculptures. Many of these were his private collection. As they are in chronological order you can see how much of his style was there right from the beginning and how it fully flushed out a little later. One or two have little things to them that are more for adults but nothing too bad that you could not let your kid see. I do wish it had more background though on each image. One is probably Horton but it is just marked as an elephant. Was it a study for the book? Looks like it could be but I don't know that one that well. All we get is the title, year and what each artwork is made of. Nothing else. Nothing. I found this a bit frustrating. Some of the images are so close to a particular book you wonder if they were studies or items that were intended for the book but got edited out later? No way of knowing. This is why I only gave it three stars. I would have loved to have given it 4. I used to work in an art museum. You would get more information on each of these paintings with the little card they hang next to an artwork telling about it than you get from this book. And I found that really, really sad for the fans of his artwork.
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  • Joan
    January 1, 1970
    Loved seeing Dr. Seuss’s paintings and artwork in other media. He was a creative genius for sure. I really liked the watercolor “Archbishop Katz” and the colorful oil on canvas “Venetian Cat-Singing Oh Solo Meow.” On the other hand, the pencil and watercolor “The Rather Odd Myopic Woman Riding Piggyback on one of Helen’s Many Cats” was way too weird for my liking! I also love the vivid colors and imagination in the very Seuss-like home depicted in oil on canvas “That Winter Spring Came Late.”
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  • Karen
    January 1, 1970
    If you don't know Mr. Geisel's history, this book might be somewhat shocking. If you do know his history, this book would be rather interesting.
  • Dottie Suggs
    January 1, 1970
    crazy look into Dr Seuss and his approach to art.
  • Yair Martinez
    January 1, 1970
    This book is interesant
  • Jennifer Anastazja
    January 1, 1970
    Not what I was expecting. Very surealist. Very dark. Plainly he was a fan of Escher.
  • NONATION
    January 1, 1970
    how fabulous is this book
  • Sydney
    January 1, 1970
    Awesome to see the art of Seuss/Geisel. Wonderful surrealism with his whimsical touch on more adult themes, but still with a child-like innocence to them. Excellent art book.
  • Val
    January 1, 1970
    One of my favorite authors and artists.
  • Nicola
    January 1, 1970
    An interesting look into the private art of Dr Seuss that he painted late at night in his art studio. I thought I'd already done a lengthy review for this book but perhaps I forgot!
  • Luas n(mendozaluas10)
    January 1, 1970
    These fabulous, whimsical paintings, created for his own pleasure and never shown to the public
  • Gustav Gerät
    January 1, 1970
    very good book, I like it
  • Adrean Clark
    January 1, 1970
    Theodore Geisel produced art outside of his more commercially-known art. This book is a quick appetizer of those works, but an appetizer is not a meal. Not much information is shared aside from the pictures and the titles -- other books may have more comprehensive collections.
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  • Samantha
    January 1, 1970
    A look at the array of artwork Dr. Seuss produced. I was surprised to see that along with paintings and drawings he also made sculptures. Admittedly I didn't like the sculptures as much because they utilized animal horns which just made me feel uncomfortable. The dimensions of each piece is included as is a list of the media used in its creation (I found this feature to be fascinating).I loved reading the inventive titles for his works, but was a little surprised/disappointed that some of the pa A look at the array of artwork Dr. Seuss produced. I was surprised to see that along with paintings and drawings he also made sculptures. Admittedly I didn't like the sculptures as much because they utilized animal horns which just made me feel uncomfortable. The dimensions of each piece is included as is a list of the media used in its creation (I found this feature to be fascinating).I loved reading the inventive titles for his works, but was a little surprised/disappointed that some of the paintings I had the strongest reactions to were left untitled.Favorites include: Self-Portrait of the Artist Worrying About his Next Book (white out is one of the medias used!), Joseph Katz and His Coat of Many Colors (vibrant colors that really appealed to me), Impractical Marshmallow-Toasting Device (I could look at this pieces for hours), Lion Stroll (the trees are amaaaaaaaaazing), The Joyous Leaping of Uncanned Salmon (the color and emotion of the subject really appeal to me, That Winter Spring Came Late (a painting that inspires a thousand stories in my head), and 2 untitled pieces near the end of the book that both feature waves (the waves are maybe my favorite waves ever real or imagined).Red flags: nudity, smoking, and the use of objects such as horns in his sculptures
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  • Emmaline MacBeath
    January 1, 1970
    This book is full of art by Dr. Seuss that you never saw in any of his books. There is a reason for this. Many of these pictures are PG-13 and not suitable for children's books. There are several cartoon nudes along with other strange wonders. If you are considering buying this to share with your children, I would reconsider. This art is for teens and adults who would like to appreciate another side to Dr. Seuss. There is no doubt that this art is creative and colorful and not a common style. I This book is full of art by Dr. Seuss that you never saw in any of his books. There is a reason for this. Many of these pictures are PG-13 and not suitable for children's books. There are several cartoon nudes along with other strange wonders. If you are considering buying this to share with your children, I would reconsider. This art is for teens and adults who would like to appreciate another side to Dr. Seuss. There is no doubt that this art is creative and colorful and not a common style. I enjoyed looking at this other art as I have a high appreciation for art of all types. And it is also interesting to see Dr. Seuss' quirky style and sense of humor. He most definitely did not look at the world with the same lens as the rest of the world. This book is also a little thin at 94 pages. I would have liked to see so much more from this amazing man who changed the world of children's literature.
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  • Algernon
    January 1, 1970
    Charming collection of paintings and sculptures that Dr. Seuss worked on in his free time from the 1920s, mostly in the 1960s and up to 1975. The book presents paintings in water colors and inks, some of them character studies of creatures that might populate his books, some delightful experiments with color and pattern, and several sculptures of fantastic creatures incorporating animal horn. A few even present absurdist dramatic situations such as a man contemplating a gigantic mousetrap baited Charming collection of paintings and sculptures that Dr. Seuss worked on in his free time from the 1920s, mostly in the 1960s and up to 1975. The book presents paintings in water colors and inks, some of them character studies of creatures that might populate his books, some delightful experiments with color and pattern, and several sculptures of fantastic creatures incorporating animal horn. A few even present absurdist dramatic situations such as a man contemplating a gigantic mousetrap baited with a nude woman. There is no back story to any of the works, simply pages of photographs of these entertaining works that hint at ambitious subject matter and technique, but remain playful. According to a brief note by his widow (now deceased herself), he created these works for his own amusement only, and an introduction by Maurice Sendak reiterates the point, recalling Ted Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) being astonished and amused by any attempt to analyze his work.
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  • Ariel
    January 1, 1970
    This is funny, interesting, and rather wonderful. And a curiosity to boot, naturally. I think this is a great art book for adults -- not that children wouldn't like or understand it, but that it is best understood by adults, to whom it is comprehensible even without context.. In addition to what are mostly clever, entertaining, aesthetically-pleasing paintings, there are also some of his sculptures of wacky fantastical mounted animals, which are delightful even on the page. I remember the first This is funny, interesting, and rather wonderful. And a curiosity to boot, naturally. I think this is a great art book for adults -- not that children wouldn't like or understand it, but that it is best understood by adults, to whom it is comprehensible even without context.. In addition to what are mostly clever, entertaining, aesthetically-pleasing paintings, there are also some of his sculptures of wacky fantastical mounted animals, which are delightful even on the page. I remember the first time I saw one (collected elsewhere, likely the internetz) and I immediately thought that I would like to own one. I bet a lot of people have that reaction. I like that this book is about as long as a Dr. Seuss book. I am glad the New Orleans Public Library has it.
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  • Bruce Nordstrom
    January 1, 1970
    I picked this book up at the library just because the title sounded intriguing. And I've been on a Dr. Seuss reading jag recently. I starting reading this book, and three hours later, I put it down.This is a collection of artwork by Dr. Seuss. Pictures he would draw for his own entertainment, when he was working of his books. None of these have ever been released to the public before. And I loved ever one of them. These are funny to see, but you also just keep looking, and looking.Great stuff. N I picked this book up at the library just because the title sounded intriguing. And I've been on a Dr. Seuss reading jag recently. I starting reading this book, and three hours later, I put it down.This is a collection of artwork by Dr. Seuss. Pictures he would draw for his own entertainment, when he was working of his books. None of these have ever been released to the public before. And I loved ever one of them. These are funny to see, but you also just keep looking, and looking.Great stuff. Not within my power to describe them with words. Do a search on Google for "Secret Art of Dr. Seuss," click on "Images," and you will see them.Enjoy.
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  • David
    January 1, 1970
    Dr. Seuss was quite an accomplished artist, which is obvious to anyone who has seen his brilliant illustrations. It's always been my opinion that his best books are the ones he illustrated himself. However, he was also quite a painter, particularly with watercolors. Brilliant, absurd, black & white along with color prints are collected here, works that Seuss would only allow a select few to see in his lifetime. Pure eye candy from one of the 20th century's geniuses.
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  • Kyla
    January 1, 1970
    I loooooove this book! One of my all-time favorite coffee table books. If you think you've seen Dr. Seuss but haven't seen any of this work - well, you haven't seen Dr. Seuss!My favorites are:"An Alley Cat for a Very Long Alley""A Man Who Has Made an Unwise Purchase""Freebird""Every Girl Should Have a Unicorn"This is must-see. I've been fortunate to see some of Theodor Seuss Geisel's originals in the UCSD collections.
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  • LooseLips
    January 1, 1970
    fascinating. the grown up real life art of dr. suess is a combination of distorted reality and the childhood stories that are forever in the back of your mind. ive had this book for years, but just took it out to look through again and lo, what a world. and i only say "lo" on very rare occasions. promise.
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  • Andy
    January 1, 1970
    Dr. Seuss was a great artist, there's no two ways about it, and if like me you get headaches reading his irritating prose then this is your book. His plaster sculptures of cute critters will amuse you, his ink and watercolor works will enthrall you with their brilliant surrealism and he possesses a great color sense. Great art without the annoying tongue-twister jive.
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  • Joyce
    January 1, 1970
    Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss), the author who revolutionized children's books, painted late at night for fun. This collection of his paintings, with a personal note by his wife and a brief introduction by Maurice Sendak, reveals some facets of his artistry unseen in his books, although the signature zany characters still figure prominently.
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