Garth Williams


Real Name
Garth Williams
Year of Birth
April 16, 1912
Place of Birth
Official Website
Year of Death
May 8, 1996

Garth Williams (April 16, 1912 - May 8, 1996) was a prominent American illustrator known for his work on children's books. He was 84 years old when he died.



Garth Williams grew up on farms in New Jersey and Canada. When Garth was 10, he and his family moved to the United Kingdom, where he studied architecture. His knowledge got him a job as an architect's assistant, and a scholarship to the Royal College of Art. He also helped in an ambulance during World War II.when he went back to the United States, he illustrated The New Yorker for a small period of time. He got married 4 times and had five daughters and a son: Fiona, Bettina, Jessica, Estyn, Dilys and his son Dylan.

Books Written by Other Authors and Illustrated by Garth Williams

In 1952, he illustrated E.B. White's Charlotte's Web.

In the early 1950s, he teamed with Margaret Wise Brown on several Little Golden Books including Mister Dog and Sailor Dog. He also provided illustrations for her 1946 book, Little Fur Family.

Garth Williams illustrated at least the first four of Margery Sharp's series featuring the mouse Miss Bianca and her team of "rescuers". "The Rescuers", "Miss Bianca", etc. Wonderful illustrations. Unfortunately, in newer editions of the books, Garth Williams' original illustrations have been overwhelmed by the Disney cartoon "illustrations".

In 1953, Williams illustrated new editions of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series of books.

In 1960, he illustrated George Selden's The Cricket in Times Square.

File:Garth williams.jpg

An illustration by Garth Williams for Charlotte's Web, showing his techniques of careful lines, detail, action, emotion, texture, and shading.

Books Written and Illustrated by Garth Williams

Garth Williams wrote and illustrated a controversial story called The Rabbit's Wedding. The book was banned over its perceived theme of interracial love. The story was about a black rabbit marrying a white rabbit. Some have noted the obvious logic of illustrating the rabbits with two different colors so the reader might tell them apart more readily. Others, in their quest to depoliticize the book, have claimed a perception of the black and white motif as, perhaps, a reference to yin and yang (i.e. male and female, though, inconsistently, the color-to-gender associations in the book are reversed.)

Jonathon Green, in The Encyclopedia of Censorship (Facts on File, 1990) [1], wrote:

The Rabbit's Wedding, by Garth Williams, was transferred from the open shelves to the reserved shelves at the Montgomery (Alabama) Public Library in 1959 because an illustration shows a black buck rabbit with a white doe rabbit. Such miscegenation, stated an editor in Orlando, was "brainwashing . . . as soon as you pick up the book and open its pages you realize these rabbits are integrated." The Montgomery Home News added that the book was integrationist propaganda obviously aimed at children in their formative years.

Williams also wrote and illustrated the not-so-controversial Baby Farm Animals, Adventures of Benjamin Pink, Benjamin's Treasure and Baby's First Book.

See Related

  • "Williams, Garth (Montgomery) 1912-." Something About the Author. 66:228-235.





External links

Creator Gallery

Garth Williams Gallery

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