Alumni Profile: Ashley Bryan A’46

Ashley Bryan A’46

Alumni Profile: Ashley Bryan A’46

Ashley Bryan, Art 1946, is an author and illustrator of over 50 children’s books.  After graduating from The Cooper Union School of Art in 1946, Ashley Bryan earned a degree in philosophy from Columbia University.  He fought in World War II and later traveled throughout Europe and Africa on a Fulbright scholarship.  He was a professor of art and visual studies at Dartmouth College, where he served as head of the Art department.  His first published children’s books included retellings of folk tales of France, India, Nigeria, Zambia, and the West Indies.  For his first book of African folktales, The Ox of the Wonderful Horns and Other African Folktales (1971), bold woodcuts accompany Bryan’s original retelling of the stories. He also wrote and illustrated Beautiful Blackbird and All Night, All Day: A Child’s First Book of African-American Spirituals.

Ashley Bryan received six Coretta Scott King Honors.  His 1987 children’s book Beat the Story Drum, Pum-Pum received the Coretta Scott King Award for illustration. In 1990, Bryan received the International Reading Association’s Arbuthnot Prize, one of the highest honors in children’s literature.  He has also received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal and the New York Public Library’s Literary Lions award.

Ashley Bryan received the Cooper Union President’s Citation in 1989 and was inducted into The Cooper Union Hall of Fame in 2009.

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