"The Magician's Nephew"

"Sleeping with Ghosts"

"Knight and Dragon"
The Art of Leo and Diane Dillon

October 21, 2014 - December 30, 2014

"Ashanti to Zulu"
The Society of Illustrators is proud to present “The Art of Leo and Diane Dillon,” on display October 21 – December 30, 2014 at the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators. Featuring a selection of work by the talented duo from a career that spanned over five decades, the exhibit includes illustrations that appeared in newspapers, magazines, advertisements, on book jackets, and in children’s books.

Leo Dillon and Diane Sorber met at Parsons School of Design in New York City in 1954. Right away, they were drawn to each other’s artistic abilities, at first as rivals. But over the years, their competitive friendship led to a personal and working relationship. They were married shortly after graduating and quickly developed a unique method of creating art together. As they once reported, “In terms of our work, it is virtually impossible to consider us separately. On every project we undertake, we hash out ideas together.”

During their long career, the Dillons created thousands of images, changing the approach they took and the media and techniques they used to suit each project. They might choose ink and watercolor for one piece, pastel and tempera for another, and alkyds on wood panel for yet another. They also incorporated diverse characters and cultures into their work, reaching a wide audience and inspiring generations to come.

The Dillons are the recipients of multiple awards, including two Caldecott Medals, five New York Times Best Illustrated Awards, four Boston Globe/Horn Book Awards, two Coretta Scott King Awards, and three Coretta Scott King Honors. They were inducted into the Society of Illustrators’ Hall of Fame in 1997, and their work has been shown in the Brooklyn Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others.

The Society’s exhibit features selections from several of the Dillons’ award-winning children’s books, including the 1977 Caldecott Medal winner Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions, written by Margaret Musgrove and published by Dial Press; the 2005 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales,written by Virginia Hamilton and published by Knopf Books for Young Readers; and the 1997 Chelsea Award winner for Best Science Fiction Hardcover Jacket Sabriel: The Abhorsen Trilogy, written by Garth Nix and published by HarperCollins.

Leo and Diane Dillon’s son, Lee, who is a painter, sculptor, and jewelry craftsman, also contributed to some of the Dillons’ illustrations on display. Leo Dillon passed away in 2012. This exhibit is dedicated to his memory and great talent.

Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions
Written by Margaret Musgrove
Dial Books, 1976
Watercolor and pastel on Bristol board
Collection of Diane Dillon

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Magician’s Nephew
By C. S. Lewis
HarperCollins / Harper Trophy
Acrylic on acetate with bronze frame by Lee Dillon (son)
Collection of Diane Dillon

To Sleep with Ghosts: A Novel of Africa
By G. F. Michelsen
Collection of Diane Dillon

Knight and Dragon
Scott Foresman
Pastel and Watercolor on Bristol board
Collection of Diane Dillon