Museum of Science and Industry


Dr. Seuss & The Art of Invention

October 13, 2011 - January 8, 2012

The Exhibit

There’s Fun to be Done! Dr. Seuss & The Art of Invention examines the singular imaginative force behind a bevy of fanciful people, places, creatures and things beloved by generations. From his early magazine work to his landmark children's books to his pursuit of his own "secret art," this rare collection presents even the biggest fan of Dr. Seuss with new aspects of his creative life, showing the breadth and depth of his creative life.

Explore Dr. Seuss's earliest drawings

You'll enjoy early works including his very first professional cartoon for the July 1927 Saturday Evening Post, and a series of editorial cartoons and ads from Vanity Fair, Life, Redbook and Liberty magazines.

Get up close with your favorites

See five original drawings from How the Grinch Stole Christmas! on loan from the Mandeville Special Collections Library at the University of California, San Diego.  On public display for the first time are two original Lady Godivas paintings—characters from one of the few Dr. Seuss books written for adults, The Seven Lady Godivas. Using a historical technique called hand-pulled lithography, master printers have created large, estate-authorized reproductions of central illustrations from his beloved books. You'll be able to revisit scenes from Oh, The Places You’ll Go!, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, The Cat in the Hat, The Lorax and Green Eggs and Ham in versions that bring their genius to life.

Be surprised by "the thinks he thinked"

Not only did he bring giddy poetry to the younger set, but Ted Geisel devoted himself to his art in ways known to few until now. His Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy, a menagerie of inventive creatures he developed in the 1930s, used real animal elements from the zoo where his father worked. You'll also get a rare peek into Dr. Seuss's "Secret Art," surrealist pieces of his personal work done at night over the course of 60 years, which have rarely been shown publicly.

Consider the ongoing legacy

Even after his death, there are artists, directors and architects working in Dr. Seuss's spirit and form to keep his singular vision alive for future generations. You'll see props and artifacts from the 2000 film of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, plus set pieces, scale models and maquettes from Seuss Landing™ at Universal's Islands of Adventure® theme park.

Let loose with Dr. Seuss

Get hands-on with interactive challenges for the kid in everyone as you explore the fantastic elements and ingenuity of Dr. Seuss's world. Could you write a book using only 50 words, as Dr. Seuss did with Green Eggs and Ham? How can Oobleck behave like both a fluid and a solid? Are you ready to help the Lorax use balloons, tubes, pipes and horns to create a clean-up machine? If Horton can hear a Who, can you see other tiny wonders beyond the ability of the naked eye?

Rediscover this creative genius

Dr. Seuss didn't just give us whimsical stories and out-of-this-world characters, but has inspired generations to experience our world with an ear for poetry, an eye for beauty of all kinds, and a mind open to both the possible and impossible. There’s Fun to be Done! Dr. Seuss & The Art of Invention is a rare opportunity to see his inventiveness in a brand new light.

Please note that photography is not permitted in this exhibit.

TM & © Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. All Rights Reserved.
Retrospective Art and Sculpture Garden Exhibition portions organized by Chase Art Companies and curator, William W. Dreyer.


Museum Hours
  • Daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas
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Museum Location
Museum of Science+Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
1 (773) 684-1414
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