Howard Pyle (1853-1911) is considered the king of illustration. His four-volume 1902 version of the King Arthur stories, which he wrote and illustrated, catapulted children’s book illustration to a new standard of excellence. It is probably not a coincidence that the baby name “Arthur” remained in the top 20 most popular names through the mid-1920s, according to babycenter.com, with Pyle’s King Arthur books as one possible reason.
Some of Pyle’s fans included artists in his day like Vincent Van Gogh. He also illustrated the books of Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, and had a great influence on illustrators who followed in later years, such as Norman Rockwell.
This is why the Delaware Art Museum’s Howard Pyle exhibit (www.delart.org/visit/visitor-information/) is a valuable investment of time.
Read Pyle’s The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood, which you can find as a free e-book at www.gutenberg.org. It includes some of his best-known illustrations.
This is the second stop on our Delaware Trail!