Article on E. H. Shepard

The BBC news ran an interesting article on E. H. Shepard, the man who illustrated A. A. Milne’s poetry collections and Winnie-the-Pooh stories. It is being run because there will be a show featuring his political cartoons at the Political Cartoon Gallery in London soon. The article is interesting because it talks about Shepard’s career as a political cartoonist for Punch, his inspiration for Pooh and the fact that he somewhat resented the silly old bear. It isn’t uncommon for children’s book artists to have their work for a famous book or set of books overshadow anything else they ever did. Dr. Seuss drew scathing political cartoons, but few people remember them because of his wonderful books. And John R. Neill, who illustrated the Oz books, will always be remembered for his illustrations for Baum’s books despite the fact that the majority of his time and effort was spent on beautiful drawings for magazines (lots of fashion plates and such). I understand that it must be frustrating to have what you consider your best or most important work largely forgotten, but at the same time I can’t help but think that it must be nice to be loved forever in a way that the artists of political cartoons or fashion plates will otherwise never know.

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