Thursday, December 31, 2015

LEONARD WEISGARD

Leonard Weisgard, born December 13, 1916, was an American-born illustrator and author of children's books.


When he first began working, children's books in this country were still being illustrated with pre-separated, two or three-color art.
 
The Mouse And The Lion

Today our first thought might be, "Only two colors? How limiting!" But a perusal of the two-color art from the prominent illustrators of Weisgard's era quickly forces us to rethink our assumptions.

The Clean Pig

Could there be any more "color" in a full-color piece than there is in this illustration of Weisgard's?


Weisgard did go on to illustrate many children's books in full color. The beautifully soft illustrations in "The Golden Egg Book" have always been amongst my favorites.

Pelican Here, Pelican There

Other styles Weisgard employed reflect clearly the influences and trends in the art of his day. In fact, tracing the history of children's book illustration can be one way of tracing the development and evolution of the art of any modern era.

Alice In Wonderland

Whatever style and media Weisgard used, his work was distinct, totally recognizeable as his own and no one else's...


...so full of color, so full of emotion and warmth, so enticing and accessible and irresistible---inviting the viewer to jump into his world and become completely immersed.

Like many other illustrators, Weisgard did not confine his work to children's books. There is a lovely website about him, created by his children, as well as a couple of other sites, all of which give the public more online information than is often available for artists from the earlier 1900's. Do check these out and enjoy more of Weisgard's gorgeous art.

http://leonardweisgard.com

8 comments:

  1. i can see something of his work in your own. was he one of your inspirations?

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    1. I am sure I was inspired by all of the artists whose work I'm highlighting in these brief posts. I was fortunate in that our house was always overflowing with illustrated books; an excellent education in the genre.

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  2. Oh, THANK YOU! The Golden Egg Book was one of my favorites, much more visually than textually. Now that I know her work a little, I think I love Jan Brett's work for the same reason.

    Happy New Year!

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    1. You are so welcome! I also admire the text of The Golden Egg Book---it is such a perfect example of a picture book text.

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  3. What a wonderful gift you've given us in uncovering the work of these extraordinary illustrators who have been lost under the layers of time.You shine a beam of light on them and allow us to see the magic of their work again.

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    1. Thank you very much. These artists all worked not so long ago, and yet because they are not usually widely represented on the internet, they perhaps are not known that well to the general public anymore.

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  4. Fantastic illustrations! I'm less familiar with Leonard Weisgard than with other illustrators you've featured. Looking forward to reading more about Garth Williams, too!

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    1. And the few images that I've included here hardly show the range of Weisgard's delightful work.

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