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Leo Lionni

Leo Lionni

Storyteller, Artist, Designer

By (author) Steven Heller
By (author) Stephanie Haboush Plunkett
By (author) Leonard S. Marcus
By (author) Annie Lionni


Publishing 21st Nov 2023
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    • The first book to survey the protean career of Leo Lionni (1910–1999): creator of beloved children’s books like Frederick and Swimmy, influential graphic designer and art director of Fortune magazine, and fine artist 
    • Lionni was a “twentieth-century Leonardo,” who believed that a smart, pithy visual language could unite people across cultural boundaries
    • Edited by Steven Heller, the renowned design writer, and Leonard Marcus, one of the world’s leading authorities on children’s literature 
    • Illustrations drawn from Lionni’s key works, as well as unseen treasures from the Lionni family archives 
    • Catalogue of a major touring exhibition that will open at the Norman Rockwell Museum on 18 November 2023 
    Full Description

    The first survey of Leo Lionni’s protean career as a graphic designer, children’s book creator, and fine artist.
    Between Worlds: The Art and Design of Leo Lionni opens at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA, on 18 November 2023. Leo Lionni (1910–1999) was a key figure of postwar visual culture, who believed that a smart, pithy design language could unite people across generations and cultural boundaries. He first achieved success in the field of graphic design, serving as the influential art director of Fortune magazine from 1948 to 1960 and personally executing such innovative designs as the catalogue for the Museum of Modern Art’s seminal photo exhibition The Family of Man. Then, in the 1960s, he embarked on an equally groundbreaking career in picture books, using torn-paper collages to illustrate modern animal fables such as Frederick and Swimmy, which are still beloved today. But even as his books won multiple Caldecott Honors, Lionni — who had begun as a painter — also maintained a fine art practice centered on his Parallel Botany, a richly imagined world of fanciful plants. This volume, the catalogue of a major exhibition at the Norman Rockwell Museum, is the first to present Lionni’s extraordinary career in the round. Written by leading scholars and with an introduction by the artist’s granddaughter, it is illustrated with abundant examples of his work, including many little-seen items from the Lionni family archives. Leo Lionni: Storyteller, Artist, Designer will be an important, and eye-opening, contribution to the history of art and design.

    About the Author

    Steven Heller was an art director at the New York Times for 33 years and is co-chair of the MFA Design department at the School of Visual Arts. A widely recognised authority on the history of graphic design, he has written or edited more than 100 books about design and popular culture.
    Stephanie Haboush Plunkett
    is Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Norman Rockwell Museum. Annie Lionni is Leo Lionni’s granddaughter and the administrator of his work. Leonard S. Marcus is one of the world's preeminent authorities on the history of children's literature. He is the author or editor of more than 25 books on the subject; the curator of numerous important exhibitions, including the New York Public Library's landmark show The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter; and a founding trustee of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

    Abbeville Press
    Publish date
    21st Nov 2023
    World excluding USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, Australia and New Zealand
    279 mm x 228 mm
    240 Pages
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