Wendell Minor
1944 -   Charter Class of 2002  Visual Arts
Wendell Minor is a master of the narrative picture and his work is perhaps the most recognizable book art in the United States today. The son of Gordon and Marjorie Sebby Minor, Wendell was born in Aurora, Illinois in 1944. He attended Greenman Elementary, Jefferson Junior High and West Aurora High School (Class of 1962).

A child who loved to draw, he especially remembers his sixth-grade teacher, LaVerne Gilkey, who would read aloud to the class for forty-five minutes every afternoon. Head down on his desk, absorbing the literary voices of famous writers like Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe and Jack London, Wendell's artistic imagination took flight on the wings of words.

He graduated from the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, and began his career working as an illustrator in the studio of Paul Bacon in 1969. In 1970 he moved to Greenwich Village in New York and set up his own studio. He designed book jackets and illustrated his first children's book, Crowell Books’ biography of Eleanor Roosevelt.

For Wendell, the world of children's books was a welcoming one. He found that he enjoyed working with authors and refining a story through illustrations. Five of the books he illustrated - The Seashore Book, Sierra, Heartland, Mojave and Everglades - have won numerous honors from organizations such as the American Library Association, the International Reading Association and the Smithsonian Institution. He has illustrated for the works of naturalist-author Jean Craighead George (Julie of the Wolves series), Jack London (Call of the Wild), Alice Schertle (A Lucky Thing) and Pat Brisson (Sky Memories) as well as countless others.

His book jacket illustrations now number over 2000. Some of those authors are David McCullough (Truman), Pat Conroy, Garrison Keillor, Toni Morrison, James Michener, Mary Higgins Clark, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Fannie Flagg, Howard Fast, David Herbert Donald, Pat Conroy, Ray Bradbury and Sherman Alexie.

Wendell has collected medals and awards from every major graphics competition and has been the subject of articles in a variety of magazines and professional journals. As well, his work has been featured in numerous books about art and illustration.

Wendell is also an author. In 1995, Harcourt Brace published Wendell Minor: Art for the Written Word, a retrospective of his twenty-five years of book cover art. Over one hundred paintings are reproduced, and are accompanied by commentary from more than sixty authors. He has also written and illustrated the children's books Grand Canyon and Pumpkin Heads and If You Were A Penguin with his wife, Florence.

He has exhibited his work in group exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, the Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London, Connecticut and the Columbus (Ohio) Museum of Art. Original paintings hang in permanent collections at the Library of Congress, NASA, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Illinois State Museum, the Museum of American Illustration, the Arizona Historical Society and the Norman Rockwell Museum, as well as in private collections of authors and art lovers throughout the United States and Europe.

Books he illustrated for astronaut Buzz Aldrin and Mary Higgins Clark made the New York Times Best-Seller list.

Other notable work by Wendell Minor includes four U.S. postal stamps - Niagara Falls, Red Barn, Block Island Lighthouse and White Barn, as well as the State of North Dakota Centennial stamp in 1989. His painting of the Skidi Band of the Pawnee Native American Nation was projected onto the ceiling of the theater at the Adler Planetarium in of Chicago for the "Spirits From the Sky, Thunder on the Land" sky show. His Young Lincoln From Illinois has been muralized in the main lobby of his alma mater, West Aurora High School, where it serves as a daily reminder to today's youth that humble beginnings do not necessarily determine future accomplishments.

Wendell Minor lives with his wife and collaborator, Florence Friedmann Minor, and their two prize cats in rural Washington, Connecticut. Walking to the town green for the morning mail, or wrapping and labeling a piece of work to go off to a publisher, Wendell Minor has created a world as orderly and peaceful as his art. More information about Wendell Minor and numerous reproductions of his work can be viewed on his website.
Learn more about Wendell at: www.minorart.com
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 Creator of more than 2000 book jackets for classic and best