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 Barry Moser  (1940 - )

About: Barry Moser


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Lived/Active: Massachusetts/Tennessee      Known for: book illustrator, landscape

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Ad Code: 3
Barry Moser
from Auction House Records.
"Jump! The Adventures of Brer Rabbit by Joel Chandler Harris."
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from Cara Moser, daughter of the artist:

BARRY MOSER was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1940. He was educated early on at a military academy there, The Baylor School, then at Auburn University and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He did graduate work at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1970. He studied with George Cress, Leonard Baskin, Fred Becker, and Jack Coughlin.

His work is represented in numerous collections, museums, and libraries in the United States and abroad, including The National Gallery of Art, Washington, The Metropolitan Museum, The British Museum, The Library of Congress, The National Library of Australia, The London College of Printing, The Pierpont Morgan Library, The Vatican Library, Harvard University, Yale University, Dartmouth College, Cambridge University, the Israel Museum, and Princeton University to name a few.

Mr. Moser has exhibited internationally in both one-man and group exhibits. He is a member of the Society of Printers, Boston; an Associate of the National Academy of Design elected in 1982 & made full Academician in 1994; and is a founding trustee of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art.

He has been awarded the Doctor of Fine Arts degree by Westfield State College, Westfield, Massachusetts (1999) and the Doctor of Humanities degree by Anna Maria College, Paxton, Massachusetts (2001). He has been nominated for the 2001 Chrysler Design Award which will be announced in the summer of 2001.

In addition to being an illustrator he is also a printer, painter, printmaker, designer, author, essayist, and teacher. Mr. Moser frequently lectures and acts as visiting artist and artist in residence at universities and institutions across the country. He is on the faculty of the Illustration Department at the Rhode Island School of Design, was the 1995 Whitney J. Oates Fellow in Humanities at Princeton University, was artist and writer in residence in the Childrens Literature department at Vassar College in 1998, and is currently on the faculty of Smith College. In the fall of 1999 he was artist in residence at Dartmouth College and the University of Iowa. He was the Elliott lecturer in the book arts at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto in the fall of 2000, and in the fall of 2001 will be the Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Louisville. Mr. Moser lives in western Massachusetts.

The books Moser has illustrated and/or designed forms a list of over 250 titles including the Arion Press "Moby-Dick" and the University of California Press "The Divine Comedy of Dante." Moser's edition of Lewis Carroll's "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," won the National Book Award for design and
illustration in 1983 and prompted the poet John Ashbery writing in NEWSWEEK (March 1, 1982), to call Moser's work "never less than dazzling."

Mr. Moser was honored as a "New England Living Treasure" in 1983 by the New England Artist Festival. His "Jump, Again! The Further Adventures of Brer Rabbit," was named by The New York Times as one of the "Ten Best Illustrated Children's Books" of 1987 as well as one of Redbook's Best Books for Children for that same year. His collaboration with Cynthia Rylant, "Appalachia, the Voices of Sleeping Birds," won the prestigious Boston Globe-Horn Book Award in 1991, and his collaboration with Ken Kesey "Big Double the Bear Meets Little Tricker the Squirrel," was named one of the best books of 1990-1991 by the International Board of Books for Young People (the IBBY Awards) of Zurich, Switzerland.

His collaboration with his granddaughter, Isabelle Harper, "My Dog Rosie," was named a Best of the Year by Parents Magazine in 1994. "Whistling Dixie," his collaboration with Marcia Vaughn was a 1995 ALA Notable Book, as was his collaboration with Virginia Hamilton, "When Birds Could Talk and Bats Could
Sing," in 1997.

He has won numerous citations and awards of merit from Communication Arts Magazine, Bookbuilders West, The American Association of University Presses, and The American Institute of Graphic Arts. His monumental work on the Pennyroyal Caxton Bible has been the subject of scores of articles in print, television, and radio as well as the subject of a documentary film called "A Thief Among the Angels." It was also featured in the only one-man exhibit ever to be mounted at the Library of National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. by a living artist. It will be exhibited in the summer and autumn of 2000 at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem as part of an exhibit called "The Bible in the Landscape."

Some Appreciations Expressed of Barry Mosers Work:

"The sample page from your Bible is splendid. Its the sort of thing that makes type designers think their work has not been in vain."
Matthew Carter to Barry Moser, December 1995

"Barry Moser is probably the most important book illustrator working in America today."
Nicholas Basbanes

"Moser moves from strength to strength."
John Updike

"Moser has the technical virtuosity to pull more out of a piece of wood than any other contemporary American engraver."
American Book Collector

"Mosers imagination is rich undulating, and unfathomable."
Joyce Carol Oates

"Barry Mosers illustrations are exquisite beyond the telling. He soars at an altitude where only such wondrous birds of passage as Lynd Ward and Rockwell Kent have tasted the wind. The passion, craft and imagination of Mosers work
have an impact that leaves the viewer speechless."
Harlan Ellison
Note from AskART:

Barry Moser's biggest illustration project, completed in 1998, was "The Pennyroyal Caxton Bible" for which he did about 235 engravings. It is the first "Bible" illustrated by a single artist since 1865. He is known for certain idiosyncrasies in his illustrations such as putting his own face into each book and using faces of real people for fictional characters such as Nancy Reagan as the Wicked Witch in "The Wizard of Oz." His studio has been in a farmhouse, and he uses boxwood for his engraving blocks.

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