Event Summary
Event Date : November 7, 2013 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Address : Central Gallery
Phone : 713-942-8000
Subject : Opening Reception: "The Wartime Escape:  Margret and H.A. Rey’s Journey from France"
Detail : More than three generations of Americans have grown up reading the stories of an irrepressible little brown monkey known in this country as “Curious George.” But few people know about the incredible journey made by his creators, Margret and H.A. Rey, to escape the Nazi invasion of Paris at the start of World War II. Stashing a few precious belongings and manuscripts in their knapsacks and the baskets of their bicycles, the Jewish couple fled Paris in June 1940, starting a five-month odyssey by bike, train and boat that would eventually bring them to American shores. Beginning in the years prior to the war, "The Wartime Escape" explores the Rey’s early creative collaborations and traces how the story of George himself (originally titled "The Adventures of Fifi") spanned the wartime period. The monkey emerged as a character in one of the Rey’s pre-World War II stories, and the manuscript that became Curious George was already in progress by 1939. However, wartime constraints on printing as well as the general turmoil of the period prevented the original contract from being fulfilled. When the Reys were forced to flee Paris along with thousands of other refugees in advance of the German occupation, the manuscript and illustrations for the book were among the few personal possessions that they managed to take with them. Escaping via Spain and Portugal, then across the Atlantic to Brazil, the Reys finally reached the United States in October 1940. A month later, they received a new contract from Houghton Mifflin for "The Adventures of Fifi," later re-titled "The Adventures of Curious George." PLEASE NOTE: This event has reached its seating capacity, and advance registrations are no longer being accepted for the remarks portion of this event.