Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car, Illustrated by Barney Tobey
Native New Yorker Barney Tobey’s (1906–1989) whimsical illustrations bring to life Ian Fleming’s fantastic tale Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! The Magical Car, which Al Perkins adapted for beginning readers in 1968. Fleming, best known for his James Bond novels, wrote one children’s book—this classic. “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” the sound the car makes upon ignition, is the name of the flying, self-driving automobile that takes the Pott family on a series of adventures. The book’s publication coincided with the popular British musical film starring Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes, whose theme song was nominated for an Academy Award. Tobey’s preparatory watercolor illustrations—exhibited here for the first time—are paired with the book’s page proofs and a few cartoons by Tobey, a prolific cartoonist and illustrator, who published over 1,200 cartoons in The New Yorker alone.
Exhibitions at the New-York Historical Society are made possible by Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang, the Saunders Trust for American History, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.