Longtime reader, author and guest contributor of all things historical in Southern Brooklyn Joseph Ditta managed to find a Maurice Sendak illustration published even earlier than the one we ran last week.
The newly unearthed work is the “cover of the June 1943 Boody Beacon, the yearbook of David A. Boody Junior High School at 228 Avenue S in Gravesend,” according to Ditta.
Ditta’s blog, the Gravesend Gazette, also shows Sendak’s 1943 class photo and a 1940 U.S. census, of which Ditta writes: “Incidentally, for those who insist on claiming Maurice Sendak as a son of Bensonhurst, we present the following page from the 1940 U.S. federal census, which shows the Sendak family (on lines 20 through 24) — parents Philip and Sadie with their children Nettie, Jack, and eleven-year-old “Morris” — living at 1717 West 6th Street, between Quentin Road and Kings Highway. That’s right smack in the middle of Gravesend.”
This most certainly must be the earliest known published Sendak illustration, unless of course Ditta finds a copy of Sendak’s childhood doodles, which given his researching abilities, may not be too far off.