Leo and Diane Dillon: King on Horse, from the book Mansa Musa
Published by Gulliver Books, Harcourt, Inc.
© 2001 Leo and Diane Dillon
Photo courtesy of Akron Art Museum
The Global Artistry of Leo and Diane Dillon
AKRON, OHIO • Akron Art Museum • Ongoing
|This exhibition explores the careers of the husband and wife children's book illustration team Leo and Diane Dillon. The Dillons have earned many awards throughout their prolific career including two back to back Caldecott Medals for Why Mosquitos Buzz in People's Ears and Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions.|
The pair both attended Parsons School for Design in New York City in 1954, and upon seeing one another’s work, even before being introduced, recognized and envied the other’s talent. Upon meeting, they formed a competitive friendship, which evolved into a relationship and then a marriage and successful artistic partnership.
The couple’s works are essentially concerned with the shared experiences of the human condition – specifically with the idea that regardless of race and culture, “we have a lot in common. It is our beliefs that divide us. We have little control over what life brings us but we can change our thoughts.” Another facet of their works is a concern with artistic expression. “Art in its many forms has survived to inform us of lives long gone. Art inspires, lifts our spirits, and brings beauty to our lives. We wish to pay homage to it and to the people who created it.”
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