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Northport exhibition of Dr. Seuss sculptures dazzles fans

Brian Valery of Amityville holds his son, Chase,

Brian Valery of Amityville holds his son, Chase, on his shoulders as they look at exhibits in a traveling taxidermy exhibit of Dr. Seuss' works at the LaMantia Gallery in Northport on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016. Credit: Ed Betz

Never fear, the Goo-Goo-Eyed Tasmanian Wolghast is here!

The Wolghast is a figment of Dr. Seuss — put your imagination to good use!

Ol’ Goo-Goo-Eyes and 16 pals — including the Flaming Herring and Semi-Normal Green-Lidded Fawn — are on display in Northport through Nov. 27, the stars of a traveling exhibition of Dr. Seuss’ little-known zany sculptures.

The subjects of the sculptures won’t be found in any of Dr. Seuss’ beloved children’s books.

The “Collection of Unorthodox Taxidermy” at LaMantia Gallery consists of mounted reproductions of sculptures that Dr. Seuss, born Theodor Seuss Geisel, made between 1934 and 1936.

Inspired by his father’s tenure as superintendent of the Springfield Zoo in Massachusetts, Geisel used “parts of animals that met their natural demise” to imagine how they would be reincarnated as the Kangaroo Bird or Blue Green Abelard, according to Jeff Schuffman of Chase Art Companies, which publishes Dr. Seuss art.

“He was just creating them to have fun with it,” Schuffman said during a Saturday afternoon talk at the gallery.

The limited-edition reproductions, considered fine art, can be purchased — for a hefty sum. The Abelard, for instance, fetches $30,000.

The exhibition also features reproductions of Dr. Seuss paintings and drawings, mostly from favorites like “How The Grinch Stole Christmas!” and “Green Eggs and Ham.”

Tracey and Brian Valery of Amityville brought their 2-year-old son Chase, whom they have raised on copies of their own Dr. Seuss books, passed down from their parents and siblings.

“You’ve grown up on these books,” said Tracey Valery, 43, who dressed up as Thing 1 from “The Cat in the Hat” for Halloween. “You want to share them with your children.”

When Chase was born, his hospital visitors signed “The Foot Book.” For his first birthday, family and friends signed another classic, “Happy Birthday to You!”

On Saturday, Chase chose the Turtle-Necked Sea-Turtle as his favorite sculpture. He explained his choice in two words:

“Crazy animal.”


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