Jerry Pinkney (born 1939) is a master watercolorist and one of the most beloved artists in children’s literature. He has built a career creating paintings about legendary people and characters whose lives exemplify a journey of moral character and freedom of spirit. This intimate exhibition included a recent portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and one of Pinkney’s famous paintings for a 1996 National Geographic article on the Underground Railroad by Charles Blockson, founder and curator emeritus of the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, Temple University Libraries. This exhibition offered a snapshot of a larger, thematic exhibition Woodmere is planning for 2019.
Pinkney grew up in Germantown and studied at the Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts). He has illustrated more than one hundred books and in 2010 received a Caldecott Medal for The Lion and the Mouse. Pinkney was honored by the Society of Illustrators with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 and a Hall of Fame induction in 2011; and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2012. He has received two lifetime achievement awards: 2016 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, for making “a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children;” and the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, recognizing books that “explore cultural and ethnic identity” with “insight, skill and distinctive style.”
His art can be found in the permanent collections at the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Delaware Art Museum, the Brandywine River Art Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art, as well as in private collections.