Cover image for Arthur Rackham : a biography
Arthur Rackham : a biography
Hamilton, James, 1948-
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Arcade Pub., [1990]

Physical Description:
199 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 32 cm
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NC978.5.R32 H36 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize
NC978.5.R32 H36 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Published on the fiftieth anniversary of the esteemed illustrator's death, this elegant book by the curator of a major 1980 Rackham exhibition at London's Victoria and Albert Museum captures the essence of the man and his work. Hamilton describes Rackham's family, early life, travels, and marriage, traces his artistic development (his failures and difficulties, as well as his successes), climb to cult status in the U.S. Discussions of Rackham's work are particularly insightful, accentuated with not only his book illustrations but also his not-often-remembered portraits and landscapes. The crisp reproductions are splendid and revealing. Detailed appendixes include a chronology of Rackham's life, a complete bibliography, notes on the chapters, and a review of his technique and earnings. Perusal of the pages brings understanding of why Rackham said that his work was "a question of nervous output." (Wonderfully so!) ~--Barbara Elleman

Choice Review

This new biography of one of Britain's greatest illustrators is sure to remain the definitive one for some time. (The last major biography was Derek Hudson's Arthur Rackham, 1960). Rackham, best known for his earthy illustrations of fairy stories, is revealed in Hamilton's book as a modest man with a gentle sense of humor. This may surprise those familiar only with Rackham's paintings where grotesque trees reach out, and dark elemental forces lurk everywhere, or, on the lighter side, where forests are peopled with pixies, all drawn in a vigorous, linear style. Hamilton is exhaustive in his documentation of Rackham's life, utilizing sources previously unpublished, some obtained from Rackham's family. The volume is generous in illustrative material that gives examples of drawings, silhouettes, and paintings. Many of the plates were newly color-separated from original art. Rackham has never been better reproduced. Included is a chronology of Rackham's life, an extensive (if not complete) bibliography of books illustrated by Rackham, lists of original drawings and of paintings in public collections, an essay on Rackham's business sense, and a selected secondary bibliography. Highly recommended! -C. Larry, Northern Illinois University