Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Happy Birthday Season, Garth

Garth Williams

Who doesn't love the characters in Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, The Cricket in Times Square and the Little House series?  They were all brought to life by none other than the illustrator, Garth Williams.  You can find his animal drawings in a dozen Little Golden books.  He illustrated 11 of Margaret Wise Brown's children's books.  He also illustrated books by Else Minarik, Jack Prelutsky, Byrd Baylor, Russell Hoban, and Charlotte Zolotow, among many others.

Williams was a master at drawing furry little critters.

Williams was born in New York on April 16, 1912, to parents who were both artists.  At age 10 he moved with his family to the UK. When  he was older, he studied architecture for a while.  Then he turned to painting and sculpture.  He became the headmaster at an art school. Later he returned to America where he illustrated for a short time for the magazine, The New Yorker. He was asked by Harper and Row to illustrate E.B. White's Stuart Little.  This book was such a hit he decided to become a full-time illustrator of children's books.


Garth Williams with his second wife

His successful career included creating the illustrations for the whole Little House series.  His oldest daughter, Fiona, was the model for Fern Arable in Charlotte's Web. He wrote and illustrated seven of his own books.  Williams estimated, at age 81, he had illustrated 97 books.


Williams had five daughters and a son from four wives. Later in life he moved to Marfil, Mexico and lived with a colony of expatriots.  In 1996 he died in his home there at age 84 and was buried in Aspen, Colorado.  


Check out the Facebook page that memorializes him, Garth Williams, Illustrator.

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