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Secret art and wild life adorn the walls of a new Dr. Seuss gallery

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Fond memories of “Cat in the Hat” high jinks and “Sam I Am” from “Green Eggs and Ham” or the Grinch who returns every holiday season in “How the Grinch Stole Christmas, fill the mind when walking into the Art of Dr. Seuss, a new gallery on the Magnificent Mile.

What visitors soon realize is that the popular children’s characters dreamed up by Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known to youngsters and parents as Dr. Seuss, were only some of the images that populated Geisel’s drawing board.

A commercial artist for companies such as Standard Oil of New Jersey, a cartoonist whose works were published by several magazines, a World War II interpretive artist, a fine artist who painted at night just for himself, an adult book author and illustrator and a sculptor of whimsical animals, Geisel had nearly as many “lives” as his famous cat.

However, they all exhibited the Geisel touch and a mindset that ranged from satirical and whimsical to ecological and philosophical.

As of mid-June, examples of his different works now adorn the walls as limited edition prints, serigraphs and sculpture copies at the Art of Dr. Seuss, a permanent Water Tower Place gallery.

“Did you know that Geisel did everything on his projects from the rough sketch to the final line drawing and finished work,” said Gallery Director Gene DeFillippo. “He didn’t use a crew to finish a project.”

Walk through the gallery with DeFillippo to uncover gems and hear such tidbits as how one of Geisel’s adult paintings ended up at the Dartmouth Club in New York City. Titled “Rape of the Sabine Woman,” it is now at the Hood Museum of Art in Hanover, NH.

Be sure to look for Dr. Seuss' "Secret Art" which he did just for pleasure. And admire the wonderfully whimsical animal heads on the wall in a section called “Unorthodox Taxidermy,” and DeFillippo will explain that the originals had real beaks and horns from animals that had died. “His father was superintendent of parks in Springfield, MA which included the zoo so he had access to real horns,” said DeFillippo.

The Art of Dr. Seuss Gallery is on the second level of Water Tower Place at 835 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611. For more information visit Dr. Seuss Gallery or call 312-475-9620.

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