The work of Dr. Seuss lives in this Georgia home, business

Valerie Jackson admires one of Dr. Seuss’ pieces of art entitled “Booby Trap.” (Photo Courtesy of Cathy Cobbs)

Credit: Cathy Cobbs

Credit: Cathy Cobbs

Valerie Jackson admires one of Dr. Seuss’ pieces of art entitled “Booby Trap.” (Photo Courtesy of Cathy Cobbs)

The magic of Dr. Seuss, which has delighted millions for more than 70 years, changed Valerie Jackson’s life both as a child and an adult.

Her major focus is to spread that magic to others through selling limited edition reproductions of his unique artwork.

Jackson, the owner of Ann Jackson Gallery, has turned her Roswell home into a homage to the art of Theodore Seuss Giesel, who is best known as an illustrator and children’s book author, penning more than 60 books that have been translated to more than 20 languages.

What most people don’t know, Jackson said, is that Giesel was also an English teacher, editorial cartoonist, political writer, and documentary producer who created thousands of pieces of original art he called his “Midnight Paintings.”

Jackson said her fascination with Seuss began as a young child “who was bored with reading the same basic books.”

Giesel’s books, with their wildly illustrated fantastical creatures and tongue-twisting dialogue, re-engaged her love of reading, she said.

That interest was reborn about six years after Giesel’s 1991 death, when she was in New York City and saw the “The Secret Art of Seuss” exhibition at Artexpo. She was instantly transported back in her childhood, again feeling the joy of a Seuss experience.

Jackson immediately bought three of his reproductions, and then more, and then more. Fast forward decades later, she owns more than 130 limited-edition reproductions, with about 120 of them hanging in her Roswell home. His reproductions are displayed in nearly every room in her two-story home, and include books, stuffed animals, and wall-mounted sculptures.

All of them, even Jackson’s favorites, are for sale.

Nearly every available inch of wall space at Jackson’s home contains Giesel’s works. (Photo Courtesy of Cathy Cobbs)

Credit: Cathy Cobbs

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Credit: Cathy Cobbs

“It’s hard to let them go, because I am so attached to them, but I know that there will be more,” she said. “His originals are worth millions, but this [the high-quality reprint] is an accessible way to own a Dr. Seuss.”

She regularly purchases new pieces as they are released by The Art of Dr. Seuss, which was established to share his well-known and not-so-well known art with the world.

According to the website, Giesel protected his “secret art” in order to avoid criticism, but he wanted it to be seen after his death.

“In 1997, this dream was realized when The Art of Dr. Seuss project was launched. For the first time collectors were able to see and acquire lithographs, serigraphs, and sculptures reproduced from Ted’s original drawings and paintings,” the website said.

Jackson has a deep knowledge of Seuss, his history, and the symbolism behind his art and books – including the story about how the Seuss dynasty, derailed by continuous rejection, almost went up in flames before it even started.

According to Jackson, Giesel’s first book, “And to Think I Saw it on Mulberry Street,” about a boy named Marco who describes a parade of imaginary people and vehicles traveling along a road, was rejected by 21 publishing companies. After hearing about the latest rebuff, Giesel decided to take the manuscript home and burn it, but a chance meeting with an old friend on Madison Street in New York changed everything.

“His friend worked at Vanguard Publishing, and told Ted, ‘let’s walk across the street,’ when he heard what was going to happen to the manuscript,” Jackson said. “That is where it all started.”

Jackson said Giesel is a “forever artist” and attributes him with changing her life’s trajectory.

“It has been a joyful 27 years,” Jackson said of her Seuss journey. “My life changed immediately when I saw his art as a child and as an adult.”

Those interested in touring the gallery or inquiring about Jackson’s collection can visit the gallery’s website. She is also planning to take the collection on a short tour in the Southeast in the fall to several to-be-determined cities.

Credit: Rough Draft Atlanta

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Credit: Rough Draft Atlanta


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