Book Collecting

Book Illustrators

Biographies and information on collecting books illustrated by notable artists.

Edward Gorey

A large influence on the works of artists like Tim Burton, Edward Gorey (1925-2000) became an iconic figure of the Goth subculture. Born and raised in Chicago, Gorey studied art for only one semester at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1943 and then attended Harvard University from 1946 to 1950. In 1953, Gorey moved to New York City and landed a job in the art department of publisher Doubleday, illustrating book…

Eric Gill

Eric Gill (1882-1840) studied at Chichester Technical and Art School before moving to London in 1900 to train as an architect with W.D. Caroe. Soon frustrated with his training, Gill took evening classes, both in stonemasonry at Westminster Technical Institute and in calligraphy at the Central School of Arts and Crafts. By 1903, Gill gave up his architectural training to become a calligrapher, letter-cutter, and monumental mason. The next year, he married Ethel Hester Moore.…

Gustave Dore

Though he primarily worked with wood engraving, Gustave Doré (1832-1883) was an artist, illustrator, sculptor. Believed to be a child prodigy, Doré was carving his own lithographic stones at the age of 12, making sets of engravings with stories to go with them. At age 15, Doré's first book was published by Charles Philipon, a satire titled The Labours of Hercules (1847). The book-written, drawn, and engraved all entirely by Doré-is now extremely rare. Later…

Ludwig Bemelmans

Author and illustrator Ludwig Bemelmans (1898-1962) is best known as the creator of the Madeline series of children’s books. The son of a troubled family, Bemelmans was born in Austria, lived for a time in Germany, and moved to New York in 1914 after a scrape with the law. Bemelmans seems to have been something of an eccentric. In addition to working as hotelier at various times throughout his life, he briefly owned a Parisian…

Quentin Blake

Quentin Blake (b. 1932) is an English illustrator and children's writer. Born in outside of London, Blake went to Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School, where there is now a Quentin Blake Art Building. Having drawn since he was five, Blake's first published drawing appeared in Punch magazine when he was just sixteen years old. Blake served two years in the Royal Army Educational Corps, during which he illustrated English Parade, a booklet to help soldiers…