a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

Eloise in Washington, D.C.

Posted by Thomas Nephew on October 15th, 2007

Hilary Knight and Eloise
Hilary Knight and Eloise. Originally
uploaded by Thomas Nephew; see
also slideshow.

On Saturday we had a rather wonderful day, organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Willard Hotel, and Hilary Knight — illustrator of the famed “Eloise” children’s book series. The details of the event are described here (“WhereToGoNext”):

Mr. Knight will demonstrate the way he poses her figure, creates her expressions, and explores her gestures. Participants will use pen and ink to illustrate their own whimsical storybook character. Materials are included and parents are welcome to observe.

He did, and then about two dozen kids sat down and had two dozen good cracks at it themselves, while parents wandered from kids table to kids table, sipped their coffees, and just soaked up a beautiful day. Maddie created a couple of nice drawings, including one — a blue vase with flowers on a yellow table — that is quite good indeed, I think.

The workshop took place in Pershing Plaza, a small park in front of the (re-)refurbished, historic Willard Hotel (now Willard InterContinental) on Pennsylvania Avenue. Twain, Grant, Lincoln, have been there, Julia Ward Howe wrote “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and Martin Luther King finished his “I have a dream” speech there. (For his part, Grant coined the word “lobbyist” there for the people who laid in wait for him in the hotel lobby where he went to relax after a day at the White House.) There’s a nice little exhibit on the ground floor of the hotel that’s open to the public. (Use the F Street entrance, across from Border’s Books.)

It looks like this won’t be the last time Mr. Knight and his little creation are in town: the workshop “is the beginning of a series of “Eloise” events in conjunction with the Willard slated for 2008-9. Could be fun; it was for us.

One Response to “Eloise in Washington, D.C.”

  1. Nell Says:

    The most gorgeous day of the year, no question. What a nice way to spend it!

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