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“The Little House” in Gloucester


Little House installation view.

The Little House

“Once upon a time there was a little house.” – Virginia Lee Burton

The Story

“The story centers on a house built at the top of a small hill, far out in the country in 1900 America. Her builder decrees that she “may never be sold for gold or silver” but is built sturdy enough to one day see his great-great-grandchildren’s great-great-grandchildren living in her. The house watches the seasons pass, and wonders about the lights of the city, which grow ever closer in the year 1915. ” (wikipedia)


“The house [above] was fabricated in Japan for a highly-anticipated exhibition held at the Takenaka Corporation Gallery A4 in Tokyo last summer in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the publication of Virginia Lee Burton’s famous tale, “The Little House.”

“The exhibition paid tribute to Burton’s books and her work as the founder of the Folly Cove Designers, which have garnered widespread acclaim in Japan. ”


” The Cape Ann Museum in Glocester, MA  has now announced the opening of The Little House: Her Story, a special exhibition featuring the work of beloved children’s book author & illustrator and founder of the Folly Cove Designers in Cape Ann,MA  Virginia Lee Burton (1909–1968). In addition to Burton’s drawings, book illustrations and prints, an artfully-created scale model of her “Little House” is on display in the gallery. The exhibition opened on November 3 and will remain on view through March 31, 2019.” (Art Daily)

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Virginia Lee Burton (VLB)

“Virginia Lee Burton, lived and worked in the Folly Cove area of Gloucester for most of her adult life, was one of the 20th century’s most admired children’s book authors; a versatile and uniquely talented artist who enjoyed dance, design, writing, illustration and teaching. Through her children’s books – Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, Katy and the Big Snow, The Little House, and Maybelle the Cable Car among many others – she achieved her widest acclaim and was awarded the coveted Caldecott Medal in 1943 for The Little House. It was her fourth book, published by Houghton Mifflin Company, and was translated into Japanese in 1954 by Momoko Ishii, later becoming an international success. In 1964, Burton traveled to Japan for two weeks, invited by the American Cultural Center in Tokyo and was hosted by Ishii.” (ArtDaily)

Fine Art in the New Media

So, what if you couldn’t go to Japan, and can’t go to Gloucester? Below is a read along video of “The Little Book” to be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere.






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