Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Robert Lawson was born  on October 4, 1892.  He was a gifted author and illustrator---in fact he is the only person, so far, to have received both the Caldecott and the Newbery medals.  I first discovered his work when I was given, as a child, his book "Rabbit Hill."  I read that book over and over.  It still entrances me, both text and illustrations.

Many people today may know of him only for his illustrations for "The Story of Ferdinand," written by Munro Leaf.

But in fact he produced a huge body of work:  books he illustrated for other authors, as well as books he wrote and illustrated himself.  One of the most striking aspect of Robert Lawson's visual work, and the work of other accomplished illustrators of his time, was his stunning virtuosity in black and white media.  It would be difficult, I think, to find an illustrator of today who could match Lawson's elegant, masterful, and expressive black and white work.  The emphasis today in illustration is so much on full-color work; contemporary illustrators never have the chance to hone and refine their black and white techniques.  I am finding that it is difficult to find much about these earlier illustrators on the internet; but this link will tell you a bit more about Lawson, as well as give a bibliography of his work.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Lawson_(author)

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