An Iconic Children’s Book is the Inspiration Behind This Incredibly Joyous Exhibition

A friend of mine and I have often joked about how Goodnight Moon, the classic 1947 children’s book written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd, would make an excellent moodboard for a gloriously maximalist interior design project: The incredible color blocking! The striped drapes! The scalloped picture frames! The animal hide rug! And while we still would love to see those benchmarks turned into something truly livable, a new exhibition has done the next best thing. On view at the Fort Makers space in Lower Manhattan through May 27 is Goodnight House, an immersive installation, commissioned by Fort Makers, that features more than a dozen artists riffing on the book’s iconic imagery.

Here we have Keith Simpson, recreating the book’s instantly recognizable mantle pieces in Smurf-blue ceramics; a saturated, paper-pulp rocking chair by CHIAOZZA; the mother bunny carved in wood by Noah Spencer; Crying Clover creating candles in the book’s iconic, primary-colored palette; and Janie Korn reproducing some of the book’s most familiar faces — including the mouse! — in wax. A fabric fireplace spewing flame-colored yarns is the delightfully unhinged work of Liz Collins. In a year when the concept of home and comfort has taken on an outsized sense of urgency, the show is a must-visit.

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