Etienne Delessert was born in 1941 in Switzerland, and now lives in Lakeville, Connecticut, with his wife Rita Marshall and their son Adrien.
For more than thirty years this self-taught artist has been translating his - and the world's -ideas, passions, fantasies, and nightmares into the visual language of books, magazine illustrations, posters, animated films, paintings, and sculptures. He reaches both children and adults with his imaginary creatures and landscapes, juxtaposing the familiar with the fantastic to clarify this world and create new and lasting universes.
Delessert has illustrated more than eighty books, some translated into 14 languages, with more than four million copies sold worldwide. From his groundbreaking "The Endless Party," created in the 60's, along with his influential collaborations with Eugene Ionesco ("Silly Stories 1, 2, 3, 4") and Jean Piaget ("How The Mouse..."), to his more recent award-winning "A Long Long Song;" "Ashes, Ashes; Dance!;" "The Seven Dwarfs;" "Who Killed Cock Robin?;" "Humpty Dumpty;" "Big and Bad;" and "Moon Theater" he is considered as one of the fathers of modern children's picture books.
Twice he was honored by the Premio Grafico of the Bologna World Children's Book Fair. His illustrations have appeared in leading magazines and newspapers such as The Atlantic Monthly, Le Monde, and The New York Times. His animated films include the adventures of the endearing Yok-Yok and creations for Sesame Street. He is also the recipient of thirteen gold and twelve silver medals of the American Society of Illustrators as well as the 1996 Hamilton King Award.
Throughout his career Delessert's work has won acclaim around the world. In 1975 his one-man retrospective hung at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, in the Louvre. A second retrospective, originated in 1991 by the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, travelled to Switzerland, France, Canada, and five American cities, before coming to the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. In 1997, another retrospective was initiated by the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. It then went to France before coming to New York at the School of Visual Arts Museum. In 2009, the Centre de l’Illustration in Moulins, France, presented a large section of his illustrations and paintings.