When Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince was still in its nascent form, he left the project with a friend before leaving New York City to rejoin the war effort. At that point, Saint-Exupéry was carrying around the book in a sad paper bag and the illustrations featured stains and even cigarette burns.
Now, an exhibition at The Morgan Library — The Little Prince: A New York Story, on display from January 24th through April 27th — showcases 43 of the book’s earliest drawings, as well as the author’s personal letters, photographs and more.
Below, some of The Little Prince’s original artwork. What’s amazing is that despite the lack of color, the drawings are still full of life.