The Children’s Room, Art and Design of Wellfleet’s Mid-Century Children’s Books

  • Wellfleet Public Library 35 West Main Street Wellfleet, MA

Surrealism, abstraction, Bauhaus typography, and modernist ideas in general found their way into post-war, American pop culture by way of newly arrived refugees in need of work. In the 1960s, even Saturday-morning television cartoons such as The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show served up avant-garde graphics and surreal plot lines, alongside a sly running commentary on cold war paranoia.

Peter McMahon, curator of The Children's Room, will explore this historical moment with special attention to Wellfleet’s mid-century writers and illustrators who produced over 200 ground-breaking books for children. 

Peter McMahon is the Founding Director of the Cape Cod Modern House Trust, incorporated in 2007 to archive, restore and celebrate the Outer Cape’s outstanding modern architecture and the creative culture that surrounded it.  He is co-author, along with Christine Cipriani, of the award winning book, Cape Cod Modern. His design practice in South Wellfleet focuses on sustainable, modern architecture and restoration of mid-20th century buildings, and his summer house in Wellfleet has been published in House Beautiful Magazine and the book Outside Architecture.

Peter McMahon

Peter McMahon