Rhythms of the Heart: The Illustration of Ashley Bryan

In the spring of 2009 the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) exhibited Rhythms of the Heart: The Illustration of Ashley Bryan, showcasing the works of acclaimed award-winning artist Ashley Bryan.

Renowned for the extraordinary range and depth of his talent, Ashley Bryan is an artist, a writer, a storyteller, and a noted scholar of African and African-American folklore. He hopes that his work with African tales will be like “a tender bridge” connecting past to present, reaching across distances of time and space. Ashley Bryan grew up to the sound of his mother singing from morning to night, and has shared the joy of song with children ever since. One of our most beloved illustrators, he has been a May Hill Arbuthnot lecturer, a Coretta Scott King Award winner (most recently for Let It Shine and Beautiful Blackbird), six Coretta Scott King Honors, a Fulbright Scholarship and the recipient of countless other awards and recognitions.

This retrospective featured linoleum print from Ashley’s first children’s picture book published in 1967, Moon, For What do you Wait?, to his other spirituals and books published through 2007. It features a range of media from linoleum block prints and collage to tempera, gouache, watercolor, pen and ink from his award winning books.