The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

A Museum dedicated to the Art of the Picture Book

In the early 1980’s, Bobbie and I visited several picture book museums in Japan, and the early seed of inspiration was planted. Our visit to this beautiful country where picture book art was exhibited and honored as art, helped us on our course toward the opening of The Carle.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art opened in Amherst, MA.

In 2002, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art opened in Amherst, MA. My wife Bobbie, loved art and children – she worked in the field of special education. She was a tremendous guiding force as we embarked on this project, created a Board of Directors and hired staff in the early years of the Museum’s life.

It has been said that picture books are an introduction to literature for the very young reader. Bobbie and I wanted to build a museum that would be for the first-time museum visitor: an introduction to the experience of looking at art. We were interested in developing enthusiasts for the art of picture books and in encouraging the habit of museum going in our younger visitors. And we wanted to show the highest examples of that art to demonstrate the beauty, the seriousness, and the fun of it. We wanted to create a museum that exhibits the work of national and international picture book artists. And while we didn’t know this would happen, we were thrilled that the Museum became a home for so many illustrators. A place for picture book artists to exhibit their work and know that it would be cared for and loved by the Museum staff and community. In 2015, sadly, Bobbie passed away. But our shared dream of a place where picture book art is enjoyed and honored continues. Bobbie’s Meadow, an outdoor space at the Museum is a beautiful wildflower meadow and outdoor space created in memory of my dearest Bobbie.


Photo Credit: Seth Kaye Photography

The Museum continues to grow

Over the years, the Museum has and will continue to fulfill Bobbie and my dreams and aspirations. The 40,000 sq. ft. building itself is a beautiful, spacious and light-filled space with a large main hall, three galleries, a café, an art studio, an auditorium and a museum shop. Since its opening on November 22, 2002, the Museum has welcomed more than 750,000 visitors, including more than 50,000 school children, mounted more than 80 exhibitions, and held more than 100 workshops for educators. I hope the Museum will continue to be a place of learning, for visitors and educators, art teachers and students; a cultural and educational center and academic resource. I hope you will visit soon!

For more information about the Eric Carle Museum please visit:

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The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art Celebrates the Picture Book as an Introduction to Literature for Young Readers