This is Our Land

Discovering America and the World

Through Original Illustrations from Children’s Books

Meridian International Center, in partnership with the Library of Congress Center for the Book, presents the fourth in its widely acclaimed series of exhibitions drawn from children’s picture books beginning February 18, 2006. This is Our Land: Discovering America and the World through Original Illustrations from Children’s Books includes 80 original artworks by 80 well-known illustrators depicting pastimes and natural wonders from all 50 U.S. states, together with images of life in 20 countries around the world. Its theme is “exploration of place”, whether discovering a neighborhood, learning about nature, exploring one’s roots locally, or finding America and the world through travel.

This is our Land will be on view at Meridian’s Cafritz Galleries until late April. School groups and organizations devoted to geography or reading and literacy are encouraged to schedule tours of this unique exhibition. Books from which illustrations were chosen will be available and special group readings are planned. See below for information.

Following the Meridian venue, This is Our Land will visit museums and art centers throughout the country, on a tour organized by Meridian’s Traveling Exhibition Service. The exhibit will aid museum directors and educators in promoting the value of geographical knowledge, while encouraging a lifelong love of reading. Accompanied by the books for which the artworks were created, This is Our Land will include an Education Guide that provides information about geography and culture, museum activities for visiting school groups, materials intended to teach visual literacy (all available on-line to students around the world), and a full-color catalogue and poster.

Past Meridian exhibits in this series have involved state arts councils, members of Congress, school and library districts, and hundreds of thousands of children, parents and teachers in 40 host communities. One of the first in this series, A Carnival of Animals, was awarded White House Millennium status in 2000, and in 2002 Mrs. Laura Bush wrote the introductory statement for Exploring the Great Outdoors, an exhibition focusing on children’s health through the active pursuit of physical activities. Meridian collaborated with Leonard S. Marcus, a widely respected national expert in children’s literature, on This is Our Land with assistance from state librarians, representatives of the Library of Congress Center for the Book, publishing houses, literacy societies and individual artists. An international tour of a version of this exhibit is being considered.

This is Our Land, on view February 18, 2006 – late April 2006 at

Meridian’s White-Meyer Galleries, 1624 Crescent Pl., NW Washington, DC

Gallery Hours: Wednesdays – Sundays, 2:00pm – 5:00pm; Closed National Holidays.

School and other special tours may be arranged by calling Meridian’s Arts and Cultural Affairs Office at (202) 939-5568.

For general information on the exhibition, call (202) 939-5568 or check Meridian’s web site at


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