Friday, February 26, 2010

Tribute to Tibor Gergely


The other day I stopped in a used book store called Top Shelf and picked up a book called "Wheel on the Chimney." I was intrigued by the title, and when I saw it was by uber author Margaret Wise Brown, I was even more curious, though the cover art was pretty dull and unpromising. Then I opened it up and saw this spread. (click on it for a larger view.) "I'll take it," I said. The book tells the story of bird migration through a family of storks, with bold, colorful illustrations. When I got home and googled the book, I discovered it was a Caldecott Honor book in 1955. Then I googled the illustrator, Tibor Gergely (pronounced gare gay.) (I know, I was wishing it was pronounced "gurgully" too.) Turns out that aside from six months studying art in Vienna, Gergely was a self-taught artist. Born in Hungary, he fled the Nazis during WWII and came to New York, where he found great success illustrating many classic Golden Books. You can see more of his wonderful art here.

Hooray for self-taught artists! Hooray for used book stores!

6 comments:

  1. That is an amazing spread. In case you are looking for more on this artist, a few years ago there was a show in Aurora, Illinois of art from the Golden Books. It went along with a book by Leonard Marcus.

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  2. Ah, yes, I seem to remember that show -- wish I had gotten to it! Thanks for reminding me about the Leonard Marcus book -- he's a great font of information.

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  3. that's a fabulous image, what was the rest of the book like?
    There is a lot to be found in second-hand bookshops. In the UK I don't see as many of them around any more sadly, a lot have been driven out of business by the internet I suspect.

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  4. Lots of gorgeous, rich colors, John. Really fun to look at. Though as I said, the cover is terribly dull, and there's one picture with a woman who's head appears to be on backwards. Yes, the used bookshops are dwindling here too, though I'm fortunate to live near two.

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  5. Thank you for this! Not only was that a gorgeous spread but the link brought back so many Golden Book memories.

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  6. I just pulled a book, Animal Stories, from the lowest depths of my mom and dad's lifelong collection of THINGS and it's been sitting on my table and guess what... I just ran to look, the pictures are by Tibor Gergely! Yea!. I think the one that you found though, Janet, is really unusual-- It looks so beautiful. I'd like to see it!

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