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Feature Articles

June 2011

Burroughs-Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach, SC, Features Works by Laurent de Brunhoff

Once upon a time there was (and still is) a gentle and adventuresome elephant king named Babar. He rules a storybook kingdom from his palace in Celestville, and he rules the world of children’s literature.

And now Babar, the dignified elephant in the green suit and gold crown, is planning a visit to the Franklin G. Burroughs-Simeon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach, SC. The exhibit, Babar’s World Tour: Original Paintings and Sketches by Laurent de Brunhoff opens on June 7 and continues through Sept. 4, 2011, bringing to Myrtle Beach an interactive art experience of the children’s books with universal appeal, which Adam Gopnik of The New Yorker calls “part of the common language of childhood.”

The galleries of the Art Museum will come alive with 36 original illustrations from Babar’s World Tour written and illustrated by Laurent de Brunhoff. On loan from the Mary Ryan Gallery in New York City, this exhibit will provide visitors of all ages with a unique museum experience. With the help of Coastal Carolina University’s Theatre Department, vignettes are being designed so that guests can move through the exhibit for a creative interactive cultural experience for all ages.

King Babar was introduced to France in 1931. His debut was in a children’s book, The Story of Babar by Jean de Brunhoff, Laurent de Brunhoff’s father. The United States became familiar with King Babar and his Queen, Celeste, in 1933 and years later the world met their elephant children Pom, Alexander, Flora and baby Isabelle, as well as Babar’s associates Cornelius and Zephir. Babar is characterized by the valuable lessons taught to his children and his seemingly human-like mannerisms.

The Museum will spotlight nine of the 13 countries Babar’s World Tour visits in an interactive setting. Guests will take flight in Elephant One stopping in Italy, France and Egypt, just to name a few and end their “trip” at the post office where one can design their own postcard. Inspired by the charm of Babar’s family and their world travels, the exhibit explores the broader concepts of adventure, diversity and world-wide cultural traditions.

This exhibit is generously sponsored by The Chapin Foundation, Angelo’s Steak and Pasta, Belk, Divine Dining Group, Ross Orthodontic: Drs. Loring L. Ross and Michael R. Munn, South Atlantic Bank and Thomas Hogan Travel/Globus Travel. Media Sponsors for this exhibit are Easy 105.9/100.7 & Movin 94.5, HTC and WBTW News 13.

A special event associated with this exhibit will take place on Saturday, June 11 from 11am-3pm with a Free Family Day Celebrating Babar and His Family. Highlights of the day include storytelling, dances from around the world, crafts for all ages, food, celebrity readers and more. Sponsors for this event are AVX and Sparks Toyota.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call the Museum at 843/238-2510 or visit (


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