From Bondage to Freedom (Escape at Night), Cover illustration for The
Underground Railroad National Park Handbook, Jerry Pinkney, 1996.
©1996 Jerry Pinkney Studio. All rights reserved.
Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney, organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, touches on themes such as the African-American experience, the wonders of classic literature and the wisdom in well-loved folk tales. The works in the exhibition celebrate small, extraordinary moments, as well as significant historical events, reflecting the artist's belief in the transformative power of visual storytelling.
Pinkney's beautiful paintings are created from pencil, colored pencil, pen and ink, and watercolor. His style is distinctive: his scenes are known for their vibrancy of color, finely crafted detail, and realistic portrayal of their characters. His sensitivity and talent in this medium have provided him the opportunity to illustrate over one hundred children's books. His work has helped to advance multicultural and African-American themes in the world of children's literature.
Whether recreating history or breathing new life into classic tales, his art is always about much more than just the appearance of things. Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney explores this gifted creator's legacy through powerful images that offer insights into where we have been, who we are, and who we might become.
Organization & Support
This exhibition was organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Portrait of Jerry Pinkney, Thomas Kristich ©2008 All rights reserved.
A native of Philadelphia, Jerry Pinkney (born 1939) studied at the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts). He has been illustrating children's books since 1964 and has produced illustrations for more than 100 titles.
He received the Caldecott Medal in 2010 for the book The Lion & The Mouse, as well as five Caldecott Honor Medals, five Coretta Scott King Awards, four Coretta Scott King Honor Awards and many other accolades. His books have been translated into 16 languages and published in 14 different countries.
In addition to his work in children's books, Pinkney has created illustrations for a wide variety of clients, including the United States Postal Service, National Park Service and National Geographic. Mr. Pinkney was appointed to serve on the United States Postal Service's Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee (1982-1992) and in 2001 was invited by First Lady Laura Bush to illustrate and design the White House Christmas Program. He has held professorships teaching art at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, N.Y.; the University of Delaware, Newark, Del.; and the University of Buffalo, Buffalo, N.Y. In 2003, Pinkney was appointed to the National Council of the Arts (2003-2009).
His art can be found in the permanent collections at the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Delaware Art Museum and the Brandywine River Art Museum. Pinkney has exhibited in venues ranging from the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Ill., to the California African American Museum, Los Angeles, Calif. He has also exhibited in more than 100 group shows in the U.S., Japan, Russia, Italy, Taiwan and Jamaica. Pinkney lives with his wife, author Gloria Jean, in Westchester County, New York.