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 Howard Coale  (1958 - )

About: Howard Coale
 

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Lived/Active: Pennsylvania/New York      Known for: illustration-magazine, books

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Ad Code: 4
Howard Coale
H. W. Fowler - The New York, 1996
Photo provided by the artist
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following information was submitted by the artist:

Known for pen & ink portraits and caricatures, detailed pen and ink, he has lived and worked in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New York City, Los Angeles, California, Taipei, Taiwan, and Katmandu, Nepal.

Howard Coale was born in Philadelphia, PA., the grandson of the sculptor Margaret Wasserman Levy (1899-1998), and the great nephew of painter and muralist Griffith Baily Coale (1890-1950).  He established his reputation early in political caricatures for Philadelphia newspapers and portraits of writers for covers of The Philadelphia Inquirer Book Review. While in high school he began illustrations for a series of books published by Eric W. Johnson, published by The Independent School Press, starting with Improve Your Own Spelling, 1977.

As a writer and illustrator, he attended Cornell University, where he was an illustrator for Cornell’s literary magazine, Praxis.  At Cornell he won The Dorothy Sugarmann Poetry Prize.  After Cornell, Coale lived in Taipei and Nepal for two years, then returned to Philadelphia where he worked as draftsman and architectural illustrator for ecological planning and environmental design firm Andropogon Associates, an internationally prominent firm that was a finalist for Cooper-Hewitt’s National Design Award in 2004.

In 1985, Coale attended The School of Visual Arts in New York City, receiving an MFA in Illustration in 1987.  Two of Coale’s pen and ink portraits (of conductors Arturo Toscanini and Wilhelm Furtwängler), for the ground-breaking but now defunct literary magazine Normal, were given Honorary Mentions and featured in The Society of Illustrators Show of 1987.  Coale became a member of The Society of Illustrators that year.  He illustrated Rainbows, Curveballs and Other Wonders of the Natural World Explained (William Morrow & Company, 1988) by Ira Flatow, Host of NPR’s radio program Talk of the Nation: Science Friday.  From 1990 to 2003, Howard Coale’s drawings appeared regularly in The New Yorker and other newspapers and magazines, including The Wall Street Journal, Arts & Antiques and Self.

Howard Coale’s career as an illustrator always paralleled his career as a writer and novelist.  Coale’s comic novel, The Ouroboros, was published by Ticknor & Fields in 1991, when chief reviewer of The New York Times, Michiko Kakutani, called it “a lively and entertaining novel, a novel that heralds the arrival of a talented new writer.”  Coale’s poems were published in 1985 in the Seneca Review, and in American Letters & Commentary in 1991.  Assorted non-fiction of Howard Coale appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times Book Review from 1990 to 1994.

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