Garth Williams Charlotte's Web
Rabbit's Wedding Little Town on the Prairie

Whether or not you recognize Garth Williams’ name, you must surely recognize his illustrations. Born on April 16, 1912, in New York City, his was an artistic family. As he said, “Everybody in my home was always either painting or drawing.”

Growing up on a farm in New Jersey must have given him an excellent background for illustrating books such as Charlotte’s Web, The Cricket in Times Square, Little House on the Prairie, and Bedtime for Frances. His family moved to England, where Mr. Williams studied architecture and graduated from the Royal Academy of Art. He won a British Prix de Rome as a sculptor. Williams was injured in World War II, serving as an ambulance dispatcher in London.

Returning to New York City, he wanted to illustrate for the New Yorker magazine, but the editors felt his style was too European. Ursula Nordstrom at Harper Brothers saw his work, asked him to illustrate Stuart Little and, from then on, Mr. Williams was a children’s book illustrator. He died on May 8, 1996 in Guanajuato, Mexico, and was buried in Aspen, Colorado.

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