Saturday, July 21, 2007


Today is the 90th birthday of Walt Reed, the world's foremost scholar and historian of illustration art.

Walt is author of the seminal Illustrator in America, 1860-2000, the foundation of all scholarship in the field, as well as Fifty Great American Illustrators, A Century of American Illustration, monographs about artists such as Joseph Clement Coll, Harold von Schmidt, John Clymer, Mort Kunstler, etc., and Famous Artists School books on Figure Drawing and other subjects. Each book is respected for its integrity of scholarship, soundness of judgment and clarity of expression.

When I was a young boy, I saved the money from my paper route for an entire month to buy The Illustrator in America. When I finally had that treasure trove of artists and styles in my hands, I nearly wore out the pages studying it.

Since that time, I've had the pleasure of getting to know Walt personally. The sincerity and the purity of his love for the art form is an aesthetic experience all by itself. He has the respect and admiration of all who know him. Who else can say that at age 90?

He doesn't go on the internet and won't see this, but happy birthday anyway, Walt!