A barrier-breaking visual artist who has nurtured the imaginations of children around the world will be the subject of a new show at the Charles H. Wright museum opening Thursday.

Jerry Pinkney, an undisputed legend in the world of children's illustrators, has created over 100 children's books since he began working in the field in 1964. His stories, which often explore the African-American experience, have been translated into 16 different languages.

In 2010 Pinkney became the first African-American to win the prestigious Caldecott Medal -- the top prize for the illustrators of children's literature -- for his book "The Lion & the Mouse," a retelling of one of Aesop's fables.

Rita Auerbach, chairwoman of the Caldecott committee who recognized Pinkney, described his skill with watercolors as “unparalleled” to the New York Times.

“You turn the page, and you’re caught up in the drama of what’s happening in a really thoughtful, brilliant way,” she told the Times about his award-winning book.

"I love the act of making marks on paper, and seeing those marks develop into a picture," he said in a statement on his website. "My intent and hope is to lead the viewer into a world that only exists because of that picture."

"Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney," is a retrospective of his nearly 50-year career organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. The show includes a 96-page illustrated catalog that features essays by Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Dr. Gerald L. Early, Steven Heller, Leonard S. Marcus, and Dr. Joyce K. Schiller.

The show runs June 14 to September 9 at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History located at 315 East Warren Avenue in Detroit. For more information visit the Museum's website.

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