Green Eggs and Ham 60th Anniversary
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Dimensions: 29" x 28"
Medium: Giclee' on paper
Edition Size: 395
Year of Release: 2020
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This iconic 60th Anniversary image appears on the last page of Green Eggs and Ham and seems to mark the culmination of Dr. Seuss's own ambition, determination, open-mindedness, and willingness to meet challenges head-on.
Always Be Determined
In Dr. Seuss’s tale, Sam never gives up on his quest to get his friend to try something new. In fact, he asks 16 times before he finally succeeds. It is this same opportunistic determination that Dr. Seuss himself harnessed early in his career when trying to secure a publisher for his first children’s book. He shopped his first manuscript, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, to 27 different publishers, with each one of them turning him down. It wasn’t until his 28th attempt that he succeeded. His determination paid off and the rest is history.
Always Be Open Minded
In 1957 Ted Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) released two of the most popular American children’s books ever published: The Cat in the Hat and How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The aftermath of such success was not only exciting, but also one full of great concern. He began to wonder if he could ever reach such success again. In early 1960, while working on the preliminary ideas for Green Eggs and Ham, Ted painted one of his most striking (and rare) self-portraits entitled, Self-Portrait of the Artist Worrying about His Next Book. It was an unusually vulnerable window into Dr. Seuss’s mind. It was also a quintessential “Green Eggs and Ham” moment.
Quite possibly the open-minded and determined voice Dr. Seuss had given to Sam-I-am began to impact his whole creative process. He continued to push through with the development of the book and, later that year, completed Green Eggs and Ham. It would go on to become one of the most important books of his entire career.
Always Be Willing To Challenge Yourself
Many people are not aware that Green Eggs and Ham started out as a $50 bet between Dr. Seuss and his publisher and friend, Bennett Cerf. Cerf bet Ted that he couldn’t write a book using just 50 words or less. This sparked Ted’s creativity and he began work on what would become one of his most challenging, yet successful, books.
Throughout the entire concept-drawing phase of the project (of which this 60th Anniversary artwork is one), Ted paid close attention to the word count to be certain he didn’t exceed 50 words. In many early drawings, he tallied the word count on the drawings themselves.
Here, in the final concept drawing, the pride of his characters echoes Ted’s own sense of pride upon successfully meeting this personal challenge. He did so with dogged determination and creative open-mindedness.
This 60th Anniversary work begs the question: What is your Green Eggs and Ham moment? What has changed your thinking, perception, or opinion?