Dr. Seuss creatures have arrived at the Napa County Library wall, a visual feast of Seussian beasts just hanging around to enthrall.
The downtown library on Sunday hung 16 sculpture reproductions from the Dr. Seuss Unorthodox Taxidermy series. Theodor Geisel – known as Dr. Seuss – created the originals during the 1930s with horns, bills and other parts of deceased zoo animals.
This is wildlife unlike anything seen in nature. There’s the smiling, blue Carbonic Walrus, the ram-like Goo-Goo-Eyed Tasmanian, the devious-looking, razor-toothed Sludge Tarpon and the toucan-in-a-Beatles-wig Andulovian Grackler.
“It’s just a celebration of reading and the imagination,” Library Director Danis Kreimeier said as she watched the sculptures being mounted by the library stairway, near the DVD collection.
Help is on the way for admirers who can’t differentiate between the Anthony Drexel Goldfarb and the Semi-Normal Green-Lidded Fawn. Kreimeier said the library will have a brochure describing which beast is which.
Steve and Sarah Aylard, who are retired from their 29-year careers as Napa dentists, donated the collection and four framed Dr. Seuss prints. The county estimated the worth at $130,000.
The Aylards saw one or two of the Dr. Seuss sculptures in 2000 in a Chicago gallery. They fell in love with them, bought them and continued buying new pieces as they were released.
They hung the Dr. Seuss sculptures in their children’s dental office. But, Sarah Aylard recalled, patients from the adult side would come to admire them too.
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“When we retired – we have left Napa – we wanted to be able to give something back to the community that had given so much to us,” she said.
Sarah Aylard has trouble naming a favorite Seuss beast. There’s the sleepy, smiling Blue Green Abelard, the stylish Turtle-Necked Sea Turtle and the small, rust-colored Tufted Gustard that looks like it has a bristly shaving brush growing out of its head.
“I think everybody loved touching the Tufted Gustard,” Sarah Aylard said.
Admirers won’t touch any of the Seuss creatures at the library, though, not unless they have a ladder.
Lori Bowling of Friends of the Napa Library was walking by on the Sunday when the Seuss sculptures were being hung. She zeroed in on the aptly-named Kangaroo Bird because she liked the little baby in the pouch.
“This is so cool,” she said as Jefferson Eisenberg and Brian Gardner hung the pieces, using their experience installing art at such places as the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art.
In addition to the 16 Unorthodox Taxidermy sculptures, the Aylards donated four framed prints featuring such Seuss favorites as the Cat in the Hat and Horton the elephant. These are displayed in the library children’s room.
So come to the Napa County library, where fans of the offbeat can happily see this whimsical Dr. Seuss menagerie, this Seuss-twisted, uplifted taxidermy.