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Weston Woods Exhibit Spotlights Mort Schindel's Work To Foster Literacy

Weston Woods founder Mort Schindel, surrounded by some of his beloved characters.
Weston Woods founder Mort Schindel, surrounded by some of his beloved characters. Photo Credit: Contributed
Harold and the Purple Crayon.
Harold and the Purple Crayon. Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTON, Conn. — To celebrate the creative genius of Weston Woods founder Mort Schindel and his enormous contributions to fostering children’s literacy, the Weston Historical Society is hosting a special three-dimensional program.

It opens to the public on Sunday, Dec. 6, from 1 to 4 p.m. and continues through the end of February. There will be a special preview for members on Saturday, Dec. 5, at the society's annual holiday party.

The program will appeal to the entire family and will feature an exhibition with a treasure-trove of artifacts from Weston Woods, supported with a series of spellbinding children’s videos and a series of fascinating lectures on animation filmmaking. The colorful videos, with their beloved characters, will entice young school age children. The historic process of turning stories into films will fascinate older kids, and adults will be interested in the Literacy Caravan bookmobile with its vintage filmmaking equipment films that bring to life the books from their childhood.

The creativity of Weston’s own Mort Schindel and his Weston Woods collection will be on full display, demonstrating how he developed an industry in a town that has no “industry.”

Examples of his pioneering work in children’s media will include the development of his unique “iconographic technique,” which is a method of animating video cells for famed books such as "Where the Wild Things Are," "Strega Nona" and more. The exhibition will also display the vintage cameras, production equipment, and storyboards that were used and that foreshadowed the digital age.

Preschool and elementary school children are also invited to enjoy Weston Woods' classic videos in Mort’s custom-built, vintage Literacy Caravan. Video shorts and classics from the Weston Woods collection will be shown on Dec. 6, Dec. 20, Jan. 10, Jan. 24, Feb. 7 and Feb. 14 from 1 to 4 p.m.

For information on tickets, and updates on the exhibition, video series and lectures, visit the historical society’s website at www.westonhistoricalsociety.org . The Weston Historical Society is located at 104 Weston Road.

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