A New Immersive Exhibition Brings Interiors From the Book Goodnight Moon to Life
When Goodnight Moon was first published, in 1947, the chief children’s librarian at the New York Public Library didn’t like that its story—about a bunny’s bedtime routine that entails expressing well-wishes to various objects—was told from the perspective of a child, and refused to purchase it. (The institution didn’t carry the book, written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd, until 1972.) But Goodnight Moon’s honest presentation of sleep and solicitude still resonated with readers, who’ve since purchased more than 48 million copies of the title.
The book’s enduring themes and aesthetic recently struck a chord with Fort Makers, a New York–based studio and gallery known for mounting immersive, off-kilter installations that connect artists from various disciplines. Its latest show, “Goodnight House,” on view through May 27, features furniture and objects that look as if they could have appeared in Goodnight Moon’s bedroom setting, but with a contemporary twist. Highlights include colorful bedding and a handwoven rug by fabric artist Liz Collins, playful table lamps by ceramicist Samuel Harvey, and fable-inspired paintings by Chicanx artist Marcel Alcalá, housed inside papier-mâché frames by designer Nick DeMarco, who also hand-carved wiggly wooden spoons for the occasion. The New York creative duo Chiaozza contributed a rocking chair, stools, and a cloud-shaped bedside table and storage unit, while Fort Makers’s co-founders, Nana Spears and Noah Spencer, created a dollhouse light, a black balloon sconce, and etched wood cubes, rounding out an environment that invites visitors to step into another realm. In these distressing times, perhaps a bedtime story brought to life is exactly what we need.