• R.I.P. George Ancona, 91, in Jan. (Handtalk series, 1974-1991)

    From Lenona@21:1/5 to All on Wed Mar 10 19:32:27 2021
    (includes photos and book covers)

    First paragraphs:

    By Shannon Maughan.

    Mexican American children’s book author, photographer, and filmmaker George Ancona, widely acclaimed for his crisp slice-of-life photo essays introducing children to new experiences or cultures, or depicting laborers doing the everyday work in a
    community, died on January 1 at his home in Santa Fe. He was 91.

    Ancona was born December 4, 1929 and grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., where some of his earliest memories—and jobs—were connected to the Steeplechase Amusement Park in Coney Island. In his website biography, Ancona recalled assisting his father, an amateur
    photographer, as he developed film in the bathroom darkroom and enjoying “fabulous Mexican meals” cooked by his mother. By age 12, one of Ancona’s first jobs was at the amusement park’s haunted house.

    In junior high, Ancona wrote in his bio, he developed an appreciation for the beauty of type while taking a sign painting class and he learned to paint signs for the Coney Island rides. When he entered high school, his passion for art and design was
    encouraged by graphic arts teacher Leon Friend, who organized an “Art Squad” of students who met after school to “design, paint, and draw for competitions.” Also during high school, Ancona took Saturday classes at the Brooklyn Museum Art School
    where he met renowned Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo and was able to show the artist his portfolio. “Immediately after graduation,” Ancona recalled, he accepted Tamayo’s invitation to visit him in Mexico City, and embarked on the five-day bus trip.
    South of the U.S. border Ancona studied art tuition-free at the Academia de San Carlos (arranged by Tamayo) for several months and eventually met his extended family in Yucatan for the first time.


    (birthday post from 2019; it includes a LONG booklist, videos, reviews and interviews)


    The "Handtalk" series is co-authored by Remy Charlip and Mary Beth

    He's written about 60 books and illustrated well over 40 more by other authors, including Barbara Brenner, Sue Alexander, Maxine B.
    Rosenberg, Joan Anderson, and Shirley Climo.

    He also did films for Sesame Street. In 1975, he worked on an episode of Big Blue Marble - "Switzerland, Tunisia, Yugoslavia, Iceland, California, Connecticut."

    (cover of the first "Handtalk" book)


    From an interview:

    I started getting assignments from Vogue magazine, because I had done
    a lot of pictures with my children, and that's what I showed. And they
    had a magazine called "Vogue Children" at the time, and I fit right
    in, and I started doing that.

    Then a friend of mine was Freddy Brenner, who was a men's fashion
    illustrator when we had worked at Esquire. His wife was Barbara
    Brenner, who wrote children's books. And we were having lunch one day
    at the house, and she said, "You know, I have an idea for a book, and
    I think photographs might be better than illustrations. It's called
    Faces." And she asked me would I like to try it.

    I said, "Sure." So, I tried it, and I designed the book also. And we
    presented it, and they loved it.

    We did another book together, called Bodies. And then after that, the
    editor said, "George, why don't you try writing a book?"

    "Me? Write? I never went to college. I'm always a visual person."

    And he said, "Well, you see, if you were to write the text, you would
    get the other 50 percent of the royalty."

    "Alright." So, I wrote, and I did a book called Monsters on Wheels.
    They liked it. They published it and, voila, I'm an author.

    (photos and covers)

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)