de Grummond Collection

McCain Library and Archives
University Libraries
University of Southern Mississippi



EDWARD ARDIZZONE PAPERS

Collection Number
Collection Dates
Collection Volume
DG0037
1952-1983
.30 cu.ft. (1 box)

Biographical Sketch | Scope & Content | Related Collections | Series & Subseries | Box Inventory

Provenance

Material received from Ardizzone in March 1966 and April 1970.

Restrictions

Noncirculating; available for research.

Copyright

The collection is protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). Reproductions can be made only if they are to be used for "private study, scholarship, or research." It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership, and obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials, other than that noted above.


Biographical Sketch

Edward Ardizzone was born October 16, 1900 in Haiphong, French Indochina (now Vietnam). His father served in the Far East with the Eastern Extension Telegraph Company. His mother moved the children to England when Ardizzone was five years old, where he remained for the rest of his life. As a child, he and his cousin Arthur explored the docks together and were given free run by the sailors. These experiences were the basis for the "Tim" books. Apart from these happy experiences, much of his childhood was lonely. His mother took long trips back to the Far East to be with his father, and Ardizzone attended boarding school where he had trouble fitting in. He took refuge in painting and drawing and began to excel.

While working as a statistical clerk from 1919 to 1926, at his mother's urging he also spent three evenings a week in art classes at Westminster School of Art. In 1926 after his father gave him a sum of money, he left his job and devoted all his time to art. In 1928 he married Catherine Anderson and received his first commission as an artist: forty drawings for Johnny Walker, the whisky distillery. Although he earned a good fee, he learned he was not destined to be an advertising artist. In 1930 Ardizzone's first show at Bloomsbury Galleries received glowing reviews. As a result, he won his first contract as an illustrator of Sheridan Lefanu's book, In a Glass Darkly (1929). Ardizzone has said he did his best work on this title. Later he wrote and illustrated the story of Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain for his own children; Oxford University Press published it in 1935 with great success. This book led to several more in the popular "Tim" series. Ardizzone developed his writing style from telling stories to his children and later his grandchildren. He believed an illustrator should not draw down to children but draw up to please oneself. In this way, he treated a small illustration in the same way as a piece for an exhibition.

Ardizzone spent World War II as an official war artist, which resulted in the book, Baggage to the Enemy (1941). He taught book illustration at Camberwell (1948-1952) and was visiting tutor in etching and lithography at Royal College of Art, London (1953-1960). During the course of his fifty-year career, Ardizzone wrote and illustrated about twenty books for children and edited and illustrated two volumes of classic fairy tales. He also wrote five books for adults and illustrated more than 150 books for other authors, including many of the classics by Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stevenson, Dylan Thomas and others. One of his best known paintings, Magic Carpet, was chosen by UNICEF for a collection of international Christmas cards. Ardizzone's work was exhibited at many individual and group shows, including Leger Gallery (1931-1936), Victoria and Albert Museum (1973), Illustrator's Art (1982), Scottish Arts Council Gallery in Edinburgh (1979), Royal Society of Painters in Water Colours (1954), and Royal Academy Summer Exhibition from 1964. He was an associate member of the Royal Academy, an honorary associate of the Royal College of Art, and a fellow of the Society of Industrial Artists. Ardizzone won the first Kate Greenaway Medal in 1956 for Tim All Alone and was named Commander, Order of British Empire in 1971.

He died at his home in 1979.

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