Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman was born in Tel Aviv and moved to New York with her family at the age of four. She was raised in bucolic Riverdale, the Bronx. She now lives in Manhattan.

Maira has written and illustrated Eighteen children’s books, including Ooh-la-la-Max in Love, What Pete Ate, Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey, 13 WORDS, a collaboration with Lemony Snicket, Why We Broke Up, with Daniel Handler, Looking at Lincoln, and Thomas Jefferson Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything.

She is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker Magazine, and is well known for her collaboration with Rick Meyerowitz on the “New Yorkistan” cover in 2001 and “The New York City Sub-Culinary Map.” Maira is currently creating an illustrated column for The New Yorker based on travels to museums and libraries.

Recent projects include illustrating Strunk and White’s classic The Elements of Style. A small opera based on the text was composed by Nico Muhly. She has created two monthly online columns for the New York Times. The first, The Principles of Uncertainty (2006-07), was a narrative journal of her life. The second, And The Pursuit of Happiness (2009) was a year long exploration of American History and democracy. Both columns are now collected in book form, published by the Penguin Press.

Maira Kalman has had eight exhibitions at the Julie Saul Gallery since 2003. In 2010, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia organized a retrospective of Kalman’s work entitled Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World). The show traveled to the Contemporary Jewish Museum (San Francisco, CA), the Skirball Cultural Center (Los Angeles, CA), and the Jewish Museum in NYC, where it remained until July 31, 2011. In April 2014 all the original paintings for The Elements of Style will be exhibited for the first time. The show will open at the Frist Center for the Arts in Nashville.

She has collaborated with Michael Pollan to illustrate his acclaimed Food Rules, just
published Girls on Lawns, with text by Daniel Handler. It is the first of five books she
will be doing with the photography department of the Museum of Modern Art. The
Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum will publish two books by Maira in connection
with an exhibition she has curated, Maira Kalman: My Favorite Things. The exhibition
will open in October 2014. One for children, Ag-Ha to Zig-Zag, and one for adults, called
My Favorite Things. Future book projects include a book about dogs, and an illustrated
edition of The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas.

In the autumn of 2011, Maira was a resident at the American Academy in Rome.

See http://www.ted.com/talks/maira_kalman_the_illustrated_woman.html
for her 2007 TED talk.

In March 2014 Maira will speak at TED Vancouver. Her subject will be Toscanini’s Pants.
You can look it up.

 

Exhibitions

2014
The Elements of Style, The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN
Thomas Jefferson Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything, Monticello, Charlottesville, VA
Girls Standing on Lawns and Other Projects, Julie Saul Gallery, New York, NY

2013
What Pete Ate from A to Z, Madison Children’s Museum, Madison, WI

2012
37 Paintings, Julie Saul Gallery, New York, NY

2011
25 Years/25 Artists, Julie Saul Gallery, New York, NY
Storied City: New York in Picture Book Art, Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY

2010-2011
Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World), The Jewish Museum, New York, NY; Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA
Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, CA; Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

2010
Further Illuminations, Julie Saul Gallery, New York, NY

2009
The Principles of Uncertainty, Jackson Fine Art Gallery, Atlanta, GA

2009
The Elements of Style, Memorial Art Gallery, Universtiy of Rochester, Rochester, NY
The Principles of Uncertainty, Jackson Fine Art Gallery, Atlanta, GA

2008
Just Looking, Beihang University, Beijing, China

2007
The Principles of Uncertainty, Julie Saul Gallery, New York, NY

2005
I Can’t Stand All the Excitement, Julie Saul Gallery, New York, NY

2003
Just Looking, Julie Saul Gallery, New York, NY

 

Publications

2014
My Favorite Things, Harper Collins, New York, NY
Ah-Ha to Zig-Zag, Rizzoli, New York, NY,
Girls on Lawns, Museum of Modern Art, NY

2013
Thomas Jefferson, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything, Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin

2012
Looking at Lincoln, written and illustrated by Maira Kalman, Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin
Microscripts, written by Robert Walser, illustrated by Maira Kalman, New Directions Publishing
Why We Broke Up, written by Daniel Handler, illustrated by Maira Kalman, Little Publishing

2011
Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, written by Michael Pollan, illustrated by Maira Kalman, Penguin Press

2010
13 Words, written by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Maira Kalman, HarperCollins Publishers
And the Pursuit of Happiness, Maira Kalman, Penguin Press HC
Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World), Ingrid Schaffner, Prestel Publishing

2009
The Principles of Uncertainty, Maira Kalman, Penguin Books

2007
The Elements of Style, written by William Strunk Jr., illustrated by Maira Kalman, Penguin Publishing

2005
(un)Fashion, Tibor Kalman and Maira Kalman, Henry A. Abrams Publishing

2003
Smartypants (Pete In School), Maira Kalman, Putnam Juvenile Publishing

2002
Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey, Maira Kalman, Penguin Publishing
Colors : Tibor Kalman, Issues 1-13, Tibor Kalman and Maira Kalman, Harry N. Abrams Publishing

2001
What Pete Ate From A to Z, Maira Kalman, Puffin Publishing

1999
Next Stop Grand Central, Maira Kalman, Puffin Publishing

1996
Max Deluxe, Maira Kalman, Viking Juvenile Publishing

1995
Swami on Rye: Max in India, Maira Kalman, Viking Juvenile Publishing

1993
Chicken Soup, Boots, Maira Kalman, Viking Juvenile Publishing

1992
Max in Hollywood, Baby, Maira Kalman, Viking Juvenile Publishing

1991
Ooh-la-la, Max in Love, Maira Kalman, Viking Juvenile Publishing
Roarr, Calder’s Circus, written by Maira Kalman, illustrated by Donatella Brun, Whitney Museum of Art
Sayonara, Mrs. Kackleman, Maira Kalman, Puffin Publishing

1990
Max Makes a Million, Maira Kalman, Viking Juvenile Publishing

1989
Stay Up Late, written by David Byrne, illustrated by Maira Kalman, Picture Puffin Books

1988
Hey Willie, See the Pyramids, Maira Kalman, Viking Juvenile Publishing