by Jesse Marinoff Reyes:
Farewell to Leo Dillon (1933-2012), the Caldecott-winning children’s picture book artist and multi-disciplinary illustrator was 79. from the archives here is short piece we posted last Fall:
The Making of an Afro-American: Martin Robison Delany 1812-1885
Doubleday & Co., 1971 (trade softcover)
Illustration: Leo & Diane Dillon (each b. 1933)
The Dillons are a nigh-legendary illustration tandem, and it’s almost impossible at this point to separate the two of them, or determine who did what (though my wife Amy recently attended a presentation/talk they did for Random House and they “explained” their method). They met at the Parsons School of Design where they graduated in 1956, and married the next year, and have been collaborating ever since becoming along the way not only the iconic children’s book illustrators we know them best by—winning consecutive Caldecott medals, along with four New York Times Best Illustrated Awards, four Boston Globe/Horn Book Awards, two Coretta Scott King Awards, three Coretta Scott King Honors, and the Society of Illustrators Gold Medal—but also being mainstay sci-fi paperback cover illustrators for many years alongside the industry’s Frank Frazettas, Richard Powerses and Vincent Di Fates.
The example posted here is neither sci-fi nor children’s picture book—the Dillons did everything from album covers to magazine illustration—and even though the title is categorized as juvenile, it is a more classic history book treatment. Though, you won’t likely see anything quite this cool nowadays.