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Leonard Weisgard, 1916-2000
-- 1/31/00

Leonard Weisgard, Caldecott Medalist, frequent collaborator with Margaret Wise Brown and illustrator of over 180 books for children, died on January 14 near his home in Zealand, Denmark. He was 84.

Born in New Haven, Conn., Weisgard attended Pratt Institute and the New School for Social Research. His first children's book, called Suki, the Siamese Pussy, which he both wrote and illustrated, was published by Nelson in 1937. During his more than 50 years as a book illustrator, he worked with such authors as20Brown, Peggy Parish, Eve Titus and Faith McNulty. In addition to his books, Weisgard did editorial illustrations for the New Yorker, Good Housekeeping, Vogue and Harper's Bazaar. He also designed stage sets and costumes for theater productions. His work has been exhibited at a number of museums in the U.S., including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and throughout the former Soviet Union.

Weisgard was a strong supporter of school libraries, and he lectured frequently on creativity. His honors include the 1947 Caldecott Medal for The Little Island by Golden MacDonald (Doubleday); a 1947 Caldecott Honor for Rain Drop Splash by Alvin R. Tresselt (Lothrop); the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1959 for his illustrations in The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh (Scribner, 1954); the George G. Stone Center for Children's Books Recognition of Merit Award in 1968 for White Bird by Clyde Robert Bulla (Crowell, 1966); and awards from the American Institute of Graphic Arts and the Society of Illustrators.
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