Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Some Great Illustrators

Howard Pyle was an American illustrator and writer, primarily of books for young audiences. A native of Wilmington, Delaware, he spent the last year of his life in Florence, Italy, where he died. In 1894 he began teaching illustration at the Drexel Institute of Art, Science and Industry (now Drexel University), and after 1900 founded a school, where his students included Olive Rush and N. C. Wyeth. He taught others of the Brandywine school, including N.C. Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish, Frank Schoonover, and Jessie Willcox Smith. His 1883 classic The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood remains in print to this day, and his other books, frequently with mediaeval European settings, included a four-volume set on King Arthur that cemented his reputation. He wrote an original work, Otto of the Silver Hand (1888). He also illustrated historical and adventure stories for periodicals such as Harper's Weekly and St. Nicholas.

N.C. Wyeth (Newell Convers) was an American artist and illustrator. Born in Needham, Massachusetts, he studied under Howard Pyle. His first published work appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post in 1903. In 1911 he painted a series of illustrations for an edition of the book, Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson. He also illustrated editions of The Yearling, The White Company, Robinson Crusoe, The Last of the Mohicans, Kidnapped (1937), and Robin Hood. During his lifetime, Wyeth illustrated over twenty-five books for Scribner's.

Mary Blair was an American artist best remembered today for work done for The Walt Disney Company. Blair produced striking conceptual art for such films as Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. Her style also lives on through the character designs for the Disney attraction "it's a small world", as well as an enormous mosaic inside Disney's Contemporary Resort. Blair was honored as a Disney Legend in 1991.

Gustaf Tenggren was born November 3, 1896 in Vastergotland, Sweden. His early schooling and artistic influences were solidly grounded in Scandinavian techniques, motifs and myths. At the age of 20 he succeeded John Bauer as the illustrator for Bland Tomtar och Troll (Among Elves and Trolls), a famous Swedish Christmas annual for children. He illustrated the fairy tales by Swedish artists in the annual from 1917 through 1926 - the last six years from America. During this period he also illustrated an Andersen's Fairy Tales for a publisher in Denmark. In 1920 he immigrated to the U.S., to Cleveland and then in 1922 to New York. During his time in America he did illustrations for many well known books including; The Good Dog Book, The Red Fairy Book, Peggy's Playhouses, A Dog of Flanders, a "1925 Fairy Tale Calendar" for Beck Engraving Co, a dust jacket for a novel Quest, Small Fry and the Winged Horse. In the 30's he went to work for Walt Disney and you can see his artistic influence in movies like Snow White and Pinnochio. After his work with Disney ended he went on to illustrate several of the best known Little Golden Books and a version of King Arthur. He died in 1970 leaving behind a half century of art that continues to amaze and entertain to this day.

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