Illustration - Summer 2023 - Issue 76

News and Reviews

A round-up of interesting new exhibitions and scholarship, with short reviews of some beautiful illustrated books.

Rose O’Neill
Best known for her children’s illustrations of the “Kewpies,” Rose O’Neill was very famous in America, but is largely forgotten today. Professor Jo Devereux explores her work, finding half-hidden messages that go well beyond child-like cuteness.

The Illustrator’s Interview
Jack Teagle
is an illustrator and graphic artist with a highly distinctive vision of literary texts as diverse as Macbeth and the Beano. Jack talks candidly about the aims of his art while considering its challenges and opportunities.

Roger Harris
Roger Harris
is an artist of dreams and imaginings, visualizing moments of deep feeling in an imagery produced using the technique of the mezzotint.  Jenny Portlock provides some insights into his striking work.

Anatoly Kaplan
Conflict and oppression can often produce outstanding art, and this is certainly true of the work of Kaplan, who celebrated traditional Jewish life when it was overshadowed by Stalinism and the Nazis. His assertion of identity in the face of suffering is traced by Mordechai Beck.

Solomon Eytinge
was mainly illustrated by Cruikshank and Phiz, but other artists were just as effective in making sense of “Boz.” The American Eytinge was one of these; Professor Philip Allingham explains.

Albert Robida
Continuing his series on French illustrators, Brian McAvera outlines the life and work of this highly versatile artist who resists easy categorization as he moves between humour, topography, history, science-fiction, and the surreal.

Richard Kennedy
Everyone remembers their first job – and how it sometimes went wrong. Richard Kennedy drew his experiences in vivid, sketchy designs as he worked  at the Hogarth Press. Amy Hunter celebrates his achievement in one of her favourite books.

The Special Collections at Manchester Metropolitan University
The Metropolitan is blessed with a wonderful collection of work by Barnett Freedman, John Lawrence and many outstanding British illustrators. The Archivist, Jeremy Parrett, describes its remarkable scope and quality.

Review: Pivan’s Dream Big, Laugh Often
Mordechai Beck has a look at Pivan’s amusing, collage-based images of the Bible, and how we might make sense of it.

Amanda Steer
A recent MA graduate from the University of Gloucester explains her deeply felt imagery.


Look and Learn
The latest exhibitions along with details of important resources. 

Professor Jo Devereuxis Assistant Professor of English 

at the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, 

Canada. She is the author of The Making of Women 

Artists in Victorian England(McFarland, 2016) and editor 

of Nineteenth-Century Women Artists and Cartoonists

(Manchester University Press, 2023). She has been a fan 

of the Kewpies since childhood.

Jack Teagleis a freelance book illustrator who specializes 

in comic and comedic imagery with serious implications. 

Based in Newquay, Cornwall, he trained at the University 

of Plymouth. 

Jenny Portlockworked as a designer for publishers such 

as Longman’s and Purnell and is now a well-established 

illustrator specializing in wood-engravings. She is an elected 

member of the Society of Wood Engravers and has exhibited 

her work in the UK, China, Italy and France. Inspired by Italian 

and Japanese artists, she recently completed illustrations 

for a special edition of Lohengrin the Swan Knight, published 

by the Tudor Black Press.

Mordechai Beckis a printmaker, artist and writer born in

the UK, but based in Israel. His prints have been purchased 

by MOMA, the Library of Congress, the universities of

Yale, Berkeley and others. His articles appear regularly in 

The Jewish Chronicle, and in The Guardian, Print Quarterly

and Letter Arts Review. His fiction has been published in

the Literary Review, The Jewish Quarterlyand elsewhere.

Professor Philip Allinghamhas published widely on 

Dickens and Hardy with a focus on their illustrations, and 

is the longest-standing contributor to the Victorian Web. 

Having retired from his post at Lakehead University, he has 

continued to work on the Victorian and American illustrators 

of Dickens and Lever while teaching part-time for Vancouver 

Island University and Thompson Rivers University.

Brian McAverais a playwright, art critic, curator and, 

occasionally, an art historian. His best-known plays are the 

cycle Picasso’s Women, which have been translated for 

productions into over 20 languages. His most recent book

is a critical study of the Irish artist, Graham Gingles

(“Graham Gingles Boxed In,” Cyphers, Secrecy And Sensuality, 

F.E. McWilliam Gallery, 2022). Brian is an avid collector of 

French nineteenth century illustrated books.

Amy Hunteris a graduate of the MA course 

in Children’s Book Illustration at Cambridge 

School of Art. She was shortlisted for the 

V&A Student Illustrator of the year Award 

in 2022. For many years she has illustrated 

children’s educational publishing. Amy 

particularly enjoys opportunities to shine

a fresh light on an old text in order to 

engage a new audience.

Jeremy Parrett is the Special Collections 

archivist at Manchester Metropolitan 

University Special Collections Museum for 

over 20 years and is responsible for, amongst 

other things, holdings of artists’ papers with 

particular emphasis on artists’ working on 

any aspect of book design and illustration.