"It still amazes me how much the projects I have illustrated have given back to me in terms of personal and artistic satisfaction. They have given me the opportunity to use my imagination, to draw, to paint, to travel through the voices of the characters in the stories, and, above all else, to inspire children."
These illustrations encompass issues of social justice, resilience and tenacity in the face of adversity. They convey powerful messages related to the history of the Civil Rights movement in America as well as personal tales of courage and aspiration. Pinkney’s transcendent art reflects his own compassionate nature, and his desire to be “a strong role model for my family and other African Americans.” The range of works reveal his multifaceted talents as a master watercolorist, draftsman, and story teller.
Jerry Pinkney was one of America’s most admired children’s book illustrators. He won the Caldecott Medal and five Caldecott Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, the Society of Illustrators’ Original Art Show Lifetime Achievement Award, and many other prizes and honors. Until his death in 2021, Jerry Pinkney lived with his wife, author Gloria Jean Pinkney, in Westchester County, New York.
Pinkney’s work was previously featured in a 1998 group show at the Montclair Art Museum entitled Shared Stories: Exploring Cultural Diversity. Pinkney also delivered the 29th Annual Julia Norton Babson Memorial Lecture in 2015 on the topic “The Illustrator’s Eye, Real and Imagined.”