The Museum of American Illustration at the Society of
Illustrators is proud to present The Original Art, an annual exhibit
celebrating the fine art of children’s book illustration, on display from
October 22 through December 30, 2014.
Founded in 1980 by
illustrators’ agent and art director Dilys Evans, this exhibit showcases the
original art from the year’s best children’s books. The 2014 exhibit features
166 books selected by a jury of outstanding illustrators, art directors, and
Gold and silver medals were awarded by the jury to three artists for their outstanding books.
This year’s Silver Medal winners are Carson Ellis for Wildwood Imperium (HarperCollins
Publishers / Balzer + Bray) and Gary Kelley for Harlem Hellfighters (The
Creative Company / Creative Editions). The Gold Medal winner is Benjamin Chaud
for The Bear’s Song (Chronicle Books).
Each year, The
Original Art honors artists with the Lifetime Achievement Award for
their distinguished accomplishments in children’s book illustration. The 2014
awards go to Lane Smith and the late Arnold Lobel.
Lane Smith’s offbeat
humor and unusual point of view have led to the creation of his own books, such
as Grandpa Green, a Caldecott Honor Book, It’s a Book, a New
York Times bestseller (both Roaring Brook), and John, Paul, George, and
Ben (Hyperion). He has also illustrated work by other authors, notably Jon
Scieszka. Among their bestselling collaborations are The Stinky Cheese Man,
a Caldecott Honor Book, and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (both
Viking). Four of his works have been designated New York Times Best Illustrated
Books, and in 2012 he was named a Carle Honor Artist for lifelong innovation in
the field of children’s books.
(1933-1987) wrote and/or illustrated nearly one hundred books for children. He
won the Caldecott Medal for Fables (HarperCollins), and Hildilid’s
Night by Cheli Duran Ryan (Macmillan), which he illustrated, was a
Caldecott Honor Book. But he is probably best remembered for his beloved Frog
and Toad series (HarperCollins). Frog and Toad are Friends was a
Caldecott Honor Book, and Frog and Toad Together was a Newbery Honor
Book. Among his other acclaimed works are The Book of Pigericks, Whiskers
and Rhymes, and popular I-Can-Read series featuring Mouse, Owl, and Uncle
Created in 2005, the Founder’s Award celebrates the most promising new talent in children’s
book illustration. This year, Mike Curato will be awarded the prize for Little
Elliot, Big City (Henry Holt), the first in a projected series of three
titles featuring Elliot, a spotted elephant. “To have been juried into this
exhibition is alone a major achievement and should be celebrated,” says Dilys
Evans. “To be selected by the Founder’s Award jury as the most promising new
talent is a tremendous vote of confidence in an artist’s ability and future in
the field of children’s book illustration.”
The Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony will be held at the Society of Illustrators (128 East
63rd Street, NYC) at 6:00 pm on Thursday, October 23rd. Tickets are on sale for
$25 members/ $30 nonmembers. A prix-fixe dinner is available by reservation
only in the Society’s historic Hall of Fame Dining Room immediately following
the awards ceremony.
year, the Society hosts special programming to coincide with The Original Art
and celebrate children’s books. This year, the Society is excited to announce a
special event with illustrator Gary Kelley, who will lead an informal
conversation and presentation on his award-winning book Harlem Hellfighters.
On November 8, the Society is partnering with the Inkwell Foundation for a
workshop led by illustrator Carin Berger and Materials for The Arts. Children
from New Alternatives for Children will make 3-dimensional projects. And on
December 8, the Society will host “Reading Pictures,” an event open to
librarians that includes a gallery talk and presentation by prominent
illustrators E. B. Lewis, Barbara McClintock, and Melissa Sweet. More
information can be found at www.societyillustrators.org.