American Illustrators


This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "American Illustrators." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to these articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the Resource Library publication date.

Following the listing of Resource Library articles and essays is the heading "TFAO references." The count of pages in the TFAO website citing relevant keywords is an indicator of our breadth of coverage for this topic. We recommend that readers search within the TFAO website to find detailed information for any topic. Please see our page How to research topics not listed for more information.

After "TFAO references" are links to valuable online resources found outside our website. Links may be to museums' articles about exhibits, plus much more topical information based on our online searches.

Following online resources is information about offline resources including museums, DVDs, and paper-printed books, journals and articles.

We welcome suggestions for additional content by sending an email to ..

Also see Children's Illustrated Literature


Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order:


















TFAO references:

As of 8/19/11 TFAO's website contained: 623 pages referencing the word "Illustrator." To search TFAO's site please click here.

(also see Children's Illustrated Literature)


From other websites:

A Date with Art: The Business of Illustrated Calendars, an exhibit held January 25, 2014 - May 18, 2014 at the Brandywine River Museum of Art. From Terry Conway. Accessed February, 2016.

American Art Archives is a website dedicated to American Illustrators. Accessed August, 2015.

American Legacy Fine Arts, LLC. presents on its Research Library page several essays including "The Rise of an American Art" by Michael Zakian. Accessed August, 2015.

Book Illustration with artist names and examples of works from askArt. Accessed August, 2015.

Darley, Felix Octavius Carr (1821-88): American illustrator, from The Darley Society. [Link found to be expired as of 2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]

Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey, an exhibit held February - June 2011 at the Boston Athenæum. Accessed August, 2015.

Fins and Feathers: Children's Book Illustrations from The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, an exhibit held January 21-April 22, 2012 at the Figge Art Museum. Includes images. Accessed August, 2015.

How He Was to His Talents: The Work of Ernest Haskell, an exhibit held March 24 - August 7, 2011 at the Mead Art Museum. Includes checklist and more. Accessed February, 2015

Illustrators from Accessed August, 2015.

Julius J. Lankes, Survey of an American Artist, an exhibit held November 12, 2013 to January 26, 2014 at University of Richmond Museums. Includes 52-minute online video featuring Kate Meyer, Assistant Curator, Works on Paper, Spencer Museum of Art, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas. Accessed February, 2015.

Kelly Collection of American Illustration is a private collection of paintings and drawings by American Illustrators. The Kelly Collection website contains a list of relevant exhibitions and essays, plus other information. Accessed February, 2015.

More Than Words: Illustrated Letters from the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art, from Archives of American Art. Accessed August, 2015.

Mort Künstler: The Art of Adventure, an exhibit held November 8, 2014 through March 8, 2015 at Norman Rockwell Museum. Includes two online videos and press reviews. Accessed April, 2015.

National Museum of American Illustration website. Accessed August, 2015.

Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera, an exhibit held November 19, 2010 - April 10, 2011 at the Brooklyn Museum. The page for the exhibit includes a comprehensive teacher packet. Accessed August, 2015.

Samuel L. Schmucker: The Golden Age of Postcards, an exhibit held 1/22/05 - 5/30/05 at the Reading Public Museum. Accessed April, 2015.

Society of Illustrators website. Accessed August, 2015.

State of the Art: Illustration 100 Years After Howard Pyle, an exhibit held February 9, 2013 - June 2, 2013 at the Delaware Art Museum. Includes brief biographies. Accessed August, 2015.

The Unknown Hopper: Edward Hopper as Illustrator, an exhibit held June 7, 2014 through October 26, 2014 at Norman Rockwell Museum. Includes online video and press releases and reviews. Accessed April, 2015.

Warhol By the Book is a 2015-16 exhibit at the Andy Warhol Museum, which says: "This exhibition presents Warhol's book work, from early student-work illustrations of the late 1940s, through to his careers as a commercial artist in the 1950s, Pop fine artist and underground filmmaker in the 1960s, and photographer and Pop culture icon of the 1970s-80s. Article includes gallery guide. Accesed 11/16

Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney, an exhibit held in 2011 at Norman Rockwell Museum. Includes online 12-minute video. Accessed April, 2015.

The PBS American Masters series offers a page on children's books illustrator Maurice Sendak includes a 55-second video clip. PBS says: "...where Sendak discusses how there are little glimmers of similarity between his own childhood and the plot of his Caldecott-winning book, Where the Wild Things Are." Accessed August, 2015.

The Butler Art Institute featured a video library page on its website. As of September, 2009 the page offers four videos of illustrator Bill Dotsun at work. [Link found to be expired as of 2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]


DVD/VHS videos:

Charles Dana Gibson: Portrait of an Illustrator The "Gibson Girl," created by American illustrator Charles Dana Gibson, first appeared in 1890, and was the first popular image of the American woman. Her independent, self-assured spirit and beauty captivated the American imagination. This 28 minute 1997 Josiah Emery video, produced by Gibson's great-grandson, explores the origins of the Gibson Girl, with an in-depth look at her creator and his life's work. It features numerous pen-and-ink drawings, interviews with family members and illustration experts, plus rare archival footage of Gibson.
J. C. Leyendecker - The Great American Illustrator is a 2002 video from Kultur Video With hundreds of paintings for The Saturday Evening Post and other publications, J.C. Leyendecker was one of the most successful illustrators of his time. This 45 minute video biography explores the warmth and imagination that marked his work. Kultur Video says: J.C. Leyendecker was the most successful illustrator of his time, creating over 500 paintings for magazine covers - including 322 for the Saturday Evening Post - and advertisements that made his clients famous. His paintings portrayed a lifestyle that resonated with millions of Americans. Even when depicting those issues that mattered most - a woman's right to vote, the economic woes of the Depression, victory over Nazi Germany - he never employed a heavy hand or a dark mood; his images were always full of human warmth and imagination. Leyendecker told the story of consumerism as if it were lyric poetry; replacing the turbulence of cultural history with a beauteous glance, a beguiling child, a muscular vision, or a gentle hand."
Norman Rockwell: An American Portrait is a 60 minute 2002 video from V.I.E.W. Video is a PBS special, narrated by 3-time Emmy Award nominee Mason Adams. Norman Rockwell had a love affair with America. His poignant paintings captured the truths of daily life with a simple humane grace and greeted Americans from the cover of The Saturday Evening Post for over five decades. This documentary celebrates Rockwell's life and art, with interviews and commentary by art historians, close friends and the artist himself. "This notable documentary shows Rockwell was a perceptive social commentator of exceptional artistic skill and narrative power" (Entertainment Weekly). DVD: Bonus features include a Norman Rockwell biography, an art gallery and more.
Norman Rockwell. "Norman Rockwell's distinctive illustrations, glowing with the simple, noble character of average citizens, crystallized an image of 20th century American life." This 50 minute 1994 A&E Biography video "provides an intimate portrait of the artist and the man with interviews of friends and people he used as models and takes us on a tour of the Norman Rockwell Museum and his best-known images."
Norman Rockwell: Painting America is an 86 minute 1999 American Masters Production from Winstar Home Entertainment.based on the award-winning PBS series. Norman Rockwell: Painting in America looks at the life and art of one of America's most celebrated illustrators. Best known for his memorable covers of The Saturday Evening Post, Rockwell achieved unprecedented fame for masterfully showing warmth and humor in his renderings of everyday life. This program includes interviews with artists, critics, historians, friends and admirers, as well as archival newsreel and television footage of the artist himself. VHS/DVD.
Norman Rockwell's World: An American Dream is a 24 minute 1972 video directed by Robert Deubel that presents the world of American illustrator Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) through reenactment, stills, paintings, and old film footage. Rockwell himself narrates this Academy Award®-winning film. Using the artwork and the commentary of Rockwell himself in combination with old film footage and staged reenactments, the Saturday Evening Post covers once again come alive.

TFAO does not maintain a lending library of videos or sell videos. Click here for information on how to borrow or purchase copies of VHS videos and DVDs listed in TFAO's Videos -DVD/VHS, an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format.


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