ILLUMINATED: The Art of Children’s Book Illustration

Travel through worlds of OnceUponATimes in our online exhibition “ILLUMINATED: The Art of Children’s Book Illustration”. Travel from JJ Grandeville’s world of intricate engravings in The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1853) through the Golden Age’s sumptuous illustrations by Walter Crane and Kate Greenaway to the contemporary world of books honoured in the 2020 Children’s Book Council of Australia awards. You might even meet Blinky Bill and the Magic Pudding on the way

Childhood characters like Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland and Blinky Bill have become household names. The artists who brought these characters to life in illustrations, however, are lesser-known. In this timeline we explore some of the most iconic children’s books and the illustrators who brought them to life.

A section of the exhibition at the Moruya Museum

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Illustrators

Illustrators

1918
1918

May Gibbs writes and illustrates ” Tales of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’

May Gibbs writes and illustrates ” Tales of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’

May Gibbs (1877-1969), author, illustrator and cartoonist, captured the hearts and imaginations of generations of Australians with her lovable bush characters and fairytale landscapes. She was Australia’s first full-time, professionally trained children’s book illustrator.  Best known for her Gumnut Babies and Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, May Gibbs created a uniquely Australian bush fantasy..Read More

1920
1920

A. E. Jackson illustrates ‘Tales of the Arabian Nights’

A. E. Jackson illustrates ‘Tales of the Arabian Nights’

Alfred Edward Frederick Jackson was born in Kentish Town, London, England, in 1873. Jackson had a modest upbringing. His parents supported his artistic pursuits however, and he trained at Camden School of Art, where he was an exceptional student winning a Gold and Silver medal for his work. At the..Read More

1921
1921

Margaret Tarrant illustrates “Anderson’s Fairy Tales’

Margaret Winifred Tarrant was born in Battersea, London, England, on 19th August, 1888.  She was an English illustrator and children’s author, who specialised in children’s and religious subjects. Her first success came when she was just twenty. This was the publication of an edition of Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies..Read More

1926
1926

E. H. Shepard illustrates Winnie-the-Pooh

E. H. Shepard illustrates Winnie-the-Pooh

Ernest Howard Shepard OBE, MC (1879 – 1976) was an English artist and book illustrator.  He won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Arts, and later worked for Punch magazine as a cartoonist and illustrator. The collaboration between  A A Milne and E H Shepard, both of whom worked..Read More

1933
1933

Dorothy Wall writes and illustrates ‘The Adventures of Blinky Bill’

Dorothy Wall writes and illustrates ‘The Adventures of Blinky Bill’

Dorothy Wall (1894-1942), author and illustrator, was born in Wellington, New Zealand Her most famous book, Blinky Bill: The Quaint Little Australian, is based on stories told to Peter, her only child. It was published in 1933. Blinky Bill Grows Up (1934) and Blinky Bill and Nutsy (1937) followed. These..Read More

1940
1940

The Forties – Modernism AND ‘The Famous Five’

The Forties – Modernism AND ‘The Famous Five’

The 1940s were dominated by war. Modernism emerged as the leading artistic movement.. Illustrators withdrew from. the highly decorative style of children’s book illustration that was predominant during the ‘Golden Age’ .  In its place there was a commitment to a reduced stylization of figures and objects as well as..Read More

1950
1950

“Games, Puzzles and Pastimes’ for the ’50s

“Games, Puzzles and Pastimes’ for the ’50s

Post war austerity and shortages made way for optimism and technological advances during the 1950s. This optimism, along with mass consumerism and mass communication, was a hallmark of the period. Society was based on traditional family structures with their accompanying gender roles and racial stereotyping. These factors influenced the quickly..Read More

2020
2020

Children’s book illustration today

One of the best ways  to investigate just what quality children’s literature looks like in 2020 is to look at two very different books shortlisted by the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) for awards during Book Week in October 2020 – see full shortlist HERE.. The Good Son: A..Read More

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Thank you for ‘virtually visiting’ this component of our exhibition ILLUMINATED: The Art of Children’s Book Illustration. We would love your feedback about your visit. This feedback will guide future planning.
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This exhibition is kindly sponsored by