The Sendak Grandfather Clock Case by Straight Line Designs


Can you guess what’s inside this 9′ X 4′ crate?

This behemoth box arrived just before the holidays and we were very excited to unpack what was inside (it almost felt like an early Christmas).

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After some very careful maneuvers and masterful positioning (where we just managed to fit the object past the wooden ceiling panel above the gallery entryway) our new installation was ready for unveiling. . .


Still can’t guess what it is?

This 104″ x 38″ polished maple and Plexiglas structure was designed and fabricated by Judson Beaumont and his company Straight Line Designs. Jud is a great friend of ours who also happens to have designed much of Bookscape (the current incarnation of the Cotsen Gallery).

But you’re probably still wondering what it is!

Well, it’s a display case of course! And what goes inside is just as unique and impressive as the case it is housed in. . .


what were you expecting?

A Maurice Sendak clock!  It was presented to the Cotsen Children’s Library by antiquarian bookseller Justin G. Schiller, who acquired it when the New York City Opera sold off the contents of a New Jersey warehouse.

The clock is a 94″ x 30″ painted board, canvas, and wood stage prop from the Frank Corsaro production of Maurice Ravel’s “L’Heure espagnol” at the 1987 Glyndebourne Opera Festival in England. Maurice Sendak designed and supervised the creation of this prop (and one other similar clock), costumes, and stage set for this performance. Our clock includes a removable back panel so that an actor can slip into the clock itself. One can open not only the clock-face but the face on the clock as well (the one with the nose that is).

Slightly hidden in our conference room since the end of August, it was finally time for the clock to be united with its new permanent home in the front of the Cotsen gallery.

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After some more careful maneuvers and masterful positioning the clock and its case were set in place.



With the new installation ready we went about setting up the rest of the gallery entryway.

Since our display table no longer fits in its old place, we brought out another Beaumont original to serve as our new “table”:

The accompanying books are made of wood, with a few displaying comical spine titles.

The accompanying books are made of wood, with a few displaying comical spine titles, just like the “library” in the gallery.

Complementing our new Sendak clock are 2 massive graphics being displayed on our exhibition cases. With images from Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen (New York: Harper & Row, 1970), these graphics softly announce our next exhibition coming this summer.


With the new and wonderful installation of the Sendak clock and case, along with the other accompanying objects, the entryway has never looked so good! Sendak and Beaumont are a perfect fit!


A special thanks to Jud and his daughter Shelby for visiting from Vancouver in order to oversee the installation our newest gallery item.