Born in Chester, England on March 22, 1846, Randolph Caldecott, the British artist and illustrator, made an indelible mark in the world of children’s book publishing during his short life, having died just shy of his 40th birthday on February 12, 1886. This is why, in 1937, at the suggestion of Frederic G. Melcher, the American Library Association established The Randolph Caldecott Medal.
I’m sure that if I had properly attended art school and focused on illustration, I would’ve long ago known more about Randolph Caldecott. During my research, I discovered his artistic skills and innovation to be remarkable, especially considering the time period in which his picture books were printed. The ideal pairing of Caldecott as an illustrator, and Edmund Evans as engraver and printer, resulted in high-quality books that were—and still are—more than impressive. Caldecott’s work was so outstanding at that time, it is said that Beatrix Potter’s father purchased Caldecott originals to inspire his daughter. Continue reading