Rizzoli Bookstore and Simon & Schuster celebrated the 60th anniversary of "Eloise" with a conversation between "Eloise" illustrator Hilary Knight and three-time Tony winner Bernadette Peters, who can be heard narrating the new "Eloise" audiobooks.

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November 30, 2018

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Though she’s only six, Eloise may be among the most famous residents of New York’s swanky Plaza Hotel. The New York Historical Society has created a whimsical exhibition, Eloise at the Museum, to celebrate her literary tenure.

And the boutique show is a winner.

The brainchild of Kay Thompson, a renowned vocal coach and cabaret star, Eloise was initially part of her nightclub act. But such was the little girl’s charm, she debuted in print in 1955, two years before Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat.

And thanks to Hilary Knight’s superb illustrations, which brought Thompson’s vision to life, spunky Eloise was an instant hit.

The NYHS exhibit explains...

It's still a rawther good time to scamper over to the New-York Historical Society to see the “Eloise” exhibit, based, of course, on the iconic 6-year-old heroine who lived in the Plaza Hotel. (The fabulous picture books, written by Kay Thompson and illustrated by Hilary Knight, were first published in the 1950s.) More than 75 objects are on view, from original manuscript pages to vintage dolls. Don’t miss the portrait that was once stolen from the Plaza. Family activities throughout its run complement the exhibit. Long live Weenie and Skiperdee! Runs through Oct. 9. New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, nyhistory.org...

This unpublished illustration by Hilary Knight features Eloise slumped in a chair in the Plaza's enormous, opulent lobby. (Collection of Hilary Knight, © Kay Thompson)

NEW YORK —Sixty years after she captured America's heart, six-year-old Eloise is still making trouble at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

Eloise is the central character in a series of beloved children’s books, written in the 1950s by Kay Thompson, who died in 1998, and illustrated by Hilary Knight, who’s very much alive at 90.

Left: Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight on the set of Funny Face, 1956.

Thompson, who at various points in her life was a radio personality, a vocal arr...

Eloise looking regale with her dog. / Photo via Glenn Castellano, New-York Historical Society, used with permission.

The famed New-York Historical Society is celebrating the famouscharacter known as Eloise via an exhibition that is scheduled to run from June 30 to October 9, 2017. "Eloise at the Museum" is a celebration of the collaboration between illustrator Hilary Knight and Kay Thompson, a cabaret star, who brought the famous children's book icon to life. The exhibition will display more than seventy-five objects involving the seriessuch as photographs, sketchbooks, pages from manuscripts, portraits, vintage dolls, and even evocation...

More than 60 years after Eloise debuted in her first picture book, the precocious city girl remains a beloved icon of children’s literature and of New York itself. In honor of the irrepressible heroine, the New-York Historical Society in Manhattan has curated an immersive exhibit of original artwork by Eloise illustrator Hilary Knight. The exhibit showcases the legendary collaboration between Knight and the late performer and author Kay Thompson, featuring more than 75 objects, including original manuscripts, sketchbooks, photographs, and vintage dolls. “Eloise at the Museum” will run through October 9.

The exhibit is the result of the l...

 

Eloise was the brain-child of the multi-talented Thompson who at various points in her life was a radio personality, a vocal arranger at MGM and a popular cabaret performer. Thompson amused her friends with the voice of a little girl called Eloise, and one of those friends thought the character might make a good children's book. She lived next door to a young artist named Hilary Knight and introduced the two. It was the beginning of a close working relationship.

"We would get ideas and we would collectively paste them together," Knight says. "You know, she would talk to me and I would draw them."

Eloise has an absent mother and a cl...

Photograph: Courtesy New-York Historical Society/Glenn Castellano

Eloise is a rawther busy girl, but luckily for us she’s made time for a fawncy exhibition at the New-York Historical Society. At "Eloise at the Museum," fans of the precocious girl can view more than 75 objects, including original manuscripts, sketchbook, portraits and vintage dolls. These works of art—some rarely shown—display the evolution of the character as well as the collaboration between author Kay Thompson and illustrator Hilary Knight that made the little star prance off the page.

Photograph: Courtesy New-York Historical Society/Glenn Castellano

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