Book Collecting

Book Illustrators

Biographies and information on collecting books illustrated by notable artists.

Alice and Martin Provensen

Whether you recognize their names or not, you are probably quite familiar with the work of the illustrating team of Alice and Martin Provensen. Together, the couple illustrated more than 40 children’s books, including Little Golden Books.

Alice Provensen was born on August 14, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois, but moved with her family to California when she was twelve. After attending both the Art Institute of Chicago and the University of California, Alice was employed as…

Aubrey Beardsley

Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898) was an English artist who became a leading figure in the Aesthetic movement and a significant contributor to the development of Art Nouveau. Beardsley's only professional instruction was a few evening classes at the Westminister School of Art in 1892, provoked by his meeting with artist Sir Edward Burne-Jones. Later that same year, Beardsley travelled to Paris, where he discovered what would become two of his major influences: the poster art of…

Barry Moser

After having been educated at Auburn University and the University of Tennessee in his hometown of Chattanooga, Barry Moser (b. 1940) moved to New England around 1967 and began teaching at The Williston Academy in Easthampton, Massachusetts. Though he was trained in painting, Moser took a new interest in etching and wood engraving around this time and soon devoted himself to learning, and later teaching, the crafts. However, in Moser's first commission, Vernon Ahmadjian's…

Tomi Ungerer: Children's books illustrator and political satirist

I moved in with my grandparents when I was a young reader and inherited the contents of my father’s childhood bookshelf. It was the early eighties and I was an avid reader. Along with the hardcover volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica and Childcraft series from 1962, I devoured the yellowing children's books and marveled over the names of my dad and aunts and uncles scribbled in penmanship so like my own on the interior…

Edmund Dulac

Edmund Dulac (1882-1953) was one of the great figures from the Golden Age of Illustration. Born in Toulouse, France, Dulac showed artistic talent in his early teens. Many of these efforts were in watercolor, a medium he would favor through most of his life. Dulac studied studied law at the University of Toulouse, and then, after becoming bored with law and having won an award at the école des Beaux-Arts, decided to study art full-time…