Brian Wildsmith biography
Brian Wildsmith (1930-2016)
Brian Wildsmith was one of the first artists in the 1960’s to establish new conventions for the picture book. Born and brought up in Yorkshire, he studied at Barnsley School of Art, the Slade in London and went on to become a freelance artist in 1957. His books were taken up by the Oxford University Press where he was encouraged and promoted by the leading and groundbreaking editor Mabel George. His revolutionary use of vivid colour first centred on Brian Wildsmith`s ABC published in l962 for which he won the Kate Greenaway Medal. He was commended for the same medal on two more occasions, for Birds in l967 and for The Owl and the Woodpecker in l971. Brian Wildsmith lived in France and much of his artwork is to be found at The Brian Wildsmith Museum of Art in Tokyo. He was recently one of seven leading British illustrators to be included in the prestigious exhibition entitled The World of English Picture Books, which toured Japan (1998).

Who’s Who Entry 2011

Wildsmith, Brian Lawrence; artist and maker of picture books for young children: b 22 Jan 1930 of Paul Wildsmith and Annie Elizabeth Oxley. Education: de la Saile Coll; Barnsley School of Art; Slade Sch. Of Fine Arts, Art Master, Selhurst Grammar School for Boys, 1954 -57; freelance artist, 1975 -. Exhibitions include: World of Seven English Picture Book Artists, tour Japan, 1998-1999; one man shows:Hong Kong, Kobe, Yukohama, Mihara, Imabari, 1992, Nakano, Sumida (both Tokyo) 1995; New World of Brian Wildsmith, Tokyo and tour of Japan, 1997, World of Nursery Tales. Pukui, 1997; Brian Wildsmith Museum of Art, Kohoku Tokyo, 1998; Kyoto Museum, 2000; Okazaki Museum for children, 2001; Tawain Museum of Fine Art and tour of Japan, 2004; retrospective exhibition, Fantasia from a Fairy Land, Tokyo, Fuji Art Museum and tour of Japan, 2003; lecture tours in USA, Canada, S Africa, Japan, Australia and NZ. Production design, illustrations, titles and graphics for first USA-USSR Lenigrad film co-production of the Blue Bird, 1974. Brian Wildsmith Museum opened in Izukogen, Japan, 1994. Kate Greenaway Medal, 1962; Soka Gakkai Japan Education Medal, 1988; USHI0 Publication Culture Award, 1991; Gold Medal, Tokyo Fuki Museum, 2003, Publications: ABC, 1962; The Lion and The Rat, 1963; The North Wind and the Sun, 1964; Mother Goose, 1964; 1,2,3, 1965; The Rich Man and The Shoemaker, 1965; A Child’s Garden of Verses (Lewis Carol Shelf Award 1966); The Hare and the Tortoise, 1966; Birds, 1967; Animals, 1967; Fish, 1968; The Miller, the Boy and the Donkey, 1969; The Circus, 1970; Puzzles, 1970; The Owl and the Woodpecker, 1971; The Twelve Days of Christmas 1972; The Little Wood Duck 1972; The Lazy Bear 1973; Squirrels, 1974; Python’s Party, 1974; The Blue Bird, 1976; The True Cross, 1977; What the Moon Saw, 1978; Hunter and his Dog, 1979; Animal Shapes, 1980; Animal Homes, 1980; Animal Games, 1980; Animal Tricks, 1980; The Seasons, 1980; Professor Noah’s Spaceship, 1980; Bears Adventure, 1981; The Trunk, 1982; Cat on the Mat, 1982; Pelican 1982; The Apple Bird, 1983; The Island, 1983; All Fall Down, 1983; The Nest, 1983; Daisy, 1984; Who’s Shoes, 1984; Toot Toot, 1984; Give a Dog a Bone, 1985; Goats Trail, 1986; My Dream, 1986; What A Tail, 1986; If I Were You, 1987; Giddy Up…, 1987; Carousel, 1988; The Christmas Story, 1989; The Snow Country Prince, 1990; The Cherry Tress,1991; The Princess and The Moon, 1991; Over The Deep Blue Sea, 1992; The Easter Story, 1993; Noah’s Ark Pop-Up, 1994; Saint Francis, 1995; The Creation (Pop-Up), 1995; Brian Wildsmith’s Amazing World of Words, 1996; Katie and the Dream Easter, 1996; Joesph, 1997; Exodus 1998; The Bremen Town Band, 1999; The Seven Ravens, 2000; My Flower, 2000; Jesus, 2000; Mary, 2002; The Road to Bethlehem, 2003; with Rebecca Wildsmith: Wake Up Wake Up, 1993; Whose Hat Was That?, 1993; Look Closer, 1993 ; What Did I Find?, 1993; Jack and the Measnstalk, 1995; Christmas Crib: a nativity pop-up and story, 2003. Recreations: squash, tennis, music (piano).

For more information pls visit Brian's website designed by Starbright books at