Since 1958, the Society of Illustrators has elected to its Hall of Fame artists recognized for their “distinguished achievement in the art of illustration.” Artists are elected by former presidents of the Society and are chosen based on their body of work and the impact it has made on the field of illustration.This year’s honorees include contemporary illustrators Ted CoConis, Sandy Kossin, and Murray Tinkelman as well as posthumous honorees George Herriman, Charles M. Schulz, and Arthur Rackham.
Ted CoConis (b. 1927)
Ted CoConis has had a prolific painting and drawing career for over 65 years. After launching his career in New York at Chaite Studio, CoConis went on to pursue a highly successful freelance career. He became widely recognized for his iconic movie posters (including “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Man of La Mancha”, “Hair”, and “Dorian Gray”), as well as record albums, travel campaigns, books covers, and story illustrations. Ted’s paintings have appeared in many publications such as Cosmopolitan, Playboy, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Good Housekeeping. He has won numerous awards from the Society of Illustrators, The Art Directors Clubs of New York and Los Angeles, and other associations. CoConis currently divides his time working with his wife Kristen in Paris, the Gulf Coast of Florida and the bold coast of Maine.
Sandy Kossin (b. 1926)
Born in Los Angeles, CA, Sanford Kossin’s career began after he moved to New York in 1952. His work first appeared in science fiction and children’s magazines. Many of his finest illustrations have been reproduced in notable publications such as The SaturdayEvening Post, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Boy’s Life, Reader’s Digest, and he has been interviewed by American Artist andIllustration Magazine. Kossin’s most important and iconic work can be found in his series of illustrations for Life magazine covering the Bay of Pigs invasion. In it, Kossin covered the entire tragedy from the initial landing to final overwhelming defeat, and showed the public the effects of war in ways that a camera could not.
Murray Tinkelman (b. 1933)
Murray Tinkelman’s long career is shown in his impressive body of work. After leaving the prestigious Charles E. Cooper Studio in 1964, Tinkelman’s work began appearing in notable publications such as The Saturday Evening Post, New York Times, Playboy, Boy’s Life, The Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, American Heritage, Family Circle, and Field and Stream. He has done countless children’s books as well as a number of fantasy book covers. He was commissioned by the National Park Service to document National Parks and Monuments and by the U.S. Air Force to be an artist-reporter on specific missions. In 1994 he had a one-man show of his baseball art at The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Tinkelman’s impact on the illustration community is also felt by his passion for teaching. He has taught at Parsons School of Design, Syracuse University, and currently serves as the Director of the Low Residency MFA in Illustration Program at the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford. He is also the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from the Kendall College of Art & Design of Ferris University.
George Herriman (1880 - 1944)
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"George Herriman is our greatest living cartoonist except that he isn’t living and was much more than a cartoonist. Herriman was born in 1880 and physically passed in 1944. He will live forever in Krazy Kat. As for the cartoonist part, some of my best friends are such and there isn’t a thing wrong with that. But George Herriman’s Krazy Kat was only part comic cartoon. Krazy Kat, Ignatz Mouse and Officer Pupp were also part fine art and part, as the say, sheer poetry. This triumvirate of characters and disciplines were greater, much greater, than the whole. The innovative layouts, the southwestern desert-hued color pages, the gentleness, and the sure-yet-scratchy art that came from Herriman’s pen, his hand, his mind are unequaled. Krazy Kat was/is the most stupendous comic strip of all and maybe the world’s highest work of art. George Herriman was there in the beginning of comics and his work will forever go beyond the end, wonderously celebrating the pains and pleasure of life and love.” - Craig Yoe
Charles M. Schulz (1922 - 2000)
Beloved cartoonist and creator of the original Peanuts comic strip, Charles M. Schulz began drawing at an early age. After serving in the United States Army during WWII, Schulz was determined to realize his passion of becoming a professional cartoonist. He began his career selling intermittent one-panel cartoons to The SaturdayEvening Post and enjoyed a three-year run of his weekly panel comic Li’l Folks in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The first Peanuts strip appeared on October 2, 1950, in seven newspapers nationwide. Although being a professional cartoonist was Schulz’s life-long dream, at 27-years old, he never could have foreseen the longevity and global impact of his seemingly-simple four-panel creation. When Schulz announced his retirement in December 1999, the Peanuts comic strip was syndicated in over 2,600 newspapers worldwide, with book collections translated in over 25 languages. He has been awarded with the highest honors from his fellow cartoonists, received Emmy Awards for his animated specials, been recognized and lauded by the U.S. and foreign governments, had NASA spacecraft named after his characters, and inspired a concert performance at Carnegie Hall. And still today, the Peanuts Gang continues to entertain and inspire the young and the young at heart.
Arthur Rackham (1867 - 1939)
One of the greatest of British early twentieth-century illustrators, Rackham invented a new graphic language to depict gnarled trees, dark forests and the fairy and goblin creatures that lived in them. Beyond these imaginative subjects from the tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Andersen, Rackham transformed our enjoyment of such classics as Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland and The Wind in the Willows. His pen-work is always lively, rapid and assured, and his use of silhouette, colour and pattern has a subtlety that reflects maturity and circumspection. His influence, through the worldwide spread of the books he illustrated, was seen in theatre and film design during his lifetime and beyond, and in advertising and in book illustration of more recent generations.