Fun Facts Friday: Randolph Caldecott

Randolph Caldecott (22 March, 1846 – 12 February, 1886) was an artist and illustrator, mainly of children’s books, from England.

  1. Born in Chester, Mr. Caldecott was the third of 13 children.
  2. Caldecott worked at a bank, but went to the Manchester School of Art. Once he knew he could make a living with his art, he moved to London (1872).
  3. After only 2 years, Mr. Caldecott was already known to be a successful magazine illustrator.
  4. The Royal Manchester Institute exhibited the works of Mr. Caldecott in 1869 and the Royal Academy in 1876.
  5. In 1877 Mr. Caldecott was commissioned by Edmund Evans to illustrate two Christmas books (The House that Jack Built and The Diverting History of John Gilpin).
  6. The two Christmas books were so successful that Evans commissioned the artist for two books every year until Mr. Caldecott’s death.
  7. The original colored printing woodblocks can be seen at St. Bride Library in London.
  8. Suffering all his life from poor health, probably from a child hood illness, he used to travel to warm climates during the winter.
  9. Caldecott passed away before he was 40 years old in Florida, during an unusually cold winter.
  10. The Caldecott Medal for the “most distinguished American picture book for children” is named in his honor.

Zohar – Man of la Book

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