Wendell and Florence

Wendell Minor is nationally known for the artwork he has created for over fifty award-winning children’s books. His many collaborators include Jean Craighead George, Robert Burleigh, Buzz Aldrin, Tony Johnston, Mary Higgins Clark, and last but not least, his wife Florence. In 2009 Wendell and Florence’s If You Were a Penguin, was chosen by Pennsylvania for their “One Book, Every Young Child” 2009 early literacy program, and they enjoyed the month they spent speaking to children in Pennsylvania’s libraries, schools, Head Start facilities, and Museums.

Wendell is also the cover artist and designer of over two thousand books for authors Pat Conroy, David McCullough, Fannie Flagg, and Nathaniel Philbrick among many others.  His portrait of “Truman” for the cover of David McCullough’s book is in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

Following a productive and fulfilling career as a documentary film editor for ABC News in New York, Florence was happy to find a second, and equally fulfilling career in publishing after she and Wendell moved to Connecticut.  Her first project was co-editing a twenty-five year retrospective of Wendell’s book cover art, Wendell Minor: Art for the Written Word while also handling the business aspects of the minorart studio. In keeping with her lifelong love of reading and writing, and her interest in editing, the timing was perfect to begin collaborating with Wendell, to creating books that entertain, teach, and inspire children.

In 2013 Wendell and Florence were given the New England Independent Booksellers Association (NEIBA) President’s Award for lifetime achievement in arts and letters, and in April of 2015 they will be honorees at The Associates of the Boston Public Library’s  27th annual Literary Lights Dinner, which recognizes outstanding writers from the Northeast for their inspiring work.

Among the awards Wendell’s books have garnered are: Cook Prize honoring the best science, technology, engineering and math picture book for children aged eight to ten, Notable Children’s Trade Books in Social Studies, ALA Booklist Children’s Choices, International Reading Association Teacher’s Choices, Parents Choice Foundation “Silver Honor,” Smithsonian’s Notable Books for Children, the John Burroughs List of Nature Books For Young Readers, Bank Street College of Education’s Best Children’s Books of the Year and Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year.

Wendell’s paintings has been exhibited widely throughout the country in various venues.  An exhibition of 25 years of his children’s book art, “Wendell Minor’s America” was on display at the Norman Rockwell Museum from November 2013 through May 2014.  The exhibit, which is traveling, will open at Aurora University’s Schingoethe Museum on October 2nd, 2015. A book featuring the art was published in conjunction with the exhibit, and is available through the Norman Rockwell Museum: http://store.nrm.org/browse.cfm/4,4050.html

In 1988 Wendell was chosen as one of a six member team commissioned by NASA to document the shuttle Discovery’s return to flight.  He has created paintings for Chicago’s Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum and the U.S. Postal Service.

As President of the Society of Illustrators from 1989-1991, Wendell considers one of his most important contributions the organization of an international exhibition, and the subsequent publication of the book of the same name, entitled Art for Survival: The Illustrator and the Environment. He is Trustee Emeritus of the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge,  Massachusetts, is a member of the Low Illustration Committee at the New Britain Museum of American Art, and served on the Advisory Council for the Connecticut Center for the Book. Wendell received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Aurora University in Illinois in 2004, and one from the University of Connecticut in 2010.

Wendell lectures at schools and universities across the country, frequently on environmental themes, and his books which have been featured on the PBS-TV program “The Reading Rainbow” are used in classrooms throughout the country.

In addition to illustrating and writing his own picture books for children Wendell continues to create paintings for book covers.

School Visits

For information about school visits, contact Florence Minor: florence@minorart.com or Catherine Balkin: balkinBuddies@aol.com

Selected private and public collections:

David McCullough

Pat Conroy

Mary Higgins Clark

Norman Rockwell Museum

NASA, Kennedy Space Center, FL

Library of Congress, Washington, DC

National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC

National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature

Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Wendell and Florence share their home and studio with their cats Sofie and Cindercat in Connecticut’s

Litchfield Hills.  You can visit them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/358339906231/

and learn more about their work here:

Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast: A Blog About Books:


The Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College of Education has selected "Rachel: The Story of Rachel Carson" for the Best Children's Books of the Year 2003

Wendell Minor will receive an Honorary Doctorate from Aurora University on Sunday, June 6th, 2004.

The John Burroughs Association has selected "Rachel: The Story of Rachel Carson" for the 2003 List of Nature Books for Young Readers

"Rachel" was also selected for the 2003 NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children list

All the paintings from the book "Into the Woods: John James Audubon Lives His Dream" have been added to the permanent collection of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

"Into the Woods: John James Audubon Lives His Dream" has been selected for the 2003 NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children list

Two Wendell Minor paintings have been added to the permanent collection of the New Britain Museum of American Art

Wendell Minor has been elected to the Board of Trustees of the Norman Rockwell Museum

Wendell Minor Inducted into Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame

Wendell Minor was inducted as a charter member of The Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame on April 4, 2002.

Selected Solo Exhibitions
“America the Beautiful Illustrated”
Norman Rockwell Museum
“Fifteen Years of Picture Book Art”
The Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT
“The Illustrated Book:
A Wendell Minor Retrospective”
The Aurora Public Art Commission, Aurora, IL
“Every Picture Tells a Story: The Children’s Book Art of Wendell Minor”
The Gallery at the University of New Haven, West Haven, CT
“The Illustrated Word”
Chautauqua Center for the Visual Arts, Chautauqua, NY
1999 “The Fine Art of Book Illustration”
Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI
“Art For the Written Word”
The Boston Public Library, Boston, MA
The Chicago Public Library, Chicago, IL
“Art For the Written Word”
Babbidge Library/University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
“The Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration”
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
“Art for the Written Word”
Mattatuck Museum of Art, Waterbury, CT
“Art for the Written Word”
Elizabeth Stone Gallery, Birmingham, MI
“Art for the Written Word”
Tatistcheff & Co., Inc., New York City
“Art for the Written Word”
Thurber House, Columbus, OH
“Magnificent America”
HarperCollins Publishers, New York City
“American Places”
Elizabeth Stone Gallery, Birmingham, MI
“An American Perspective”
Museum of American Illustration, New York City
University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL
Hadler Rodriguez Galleries, New York City
Hadler Rodriguez Galleries, Houston, TX

Selected Group Exhibitions
“The Art of the Book: Twenty Years of Art & Design from the University of Georgia Press”
Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, GA
“The Real and the Imagined: Animals in Children’s Book Illustration” The Birdcraft Museum, Greenwich, CT
“The Real and the Imagined: Animals in Children’s Book Illustration” Bruce Museum, Greenwich, CT
“Visual Solutions: Seven Illustrators and the the Creative Process”
Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Massachusetts
“Down Under and Over Here: Children’s Book illustration from
Australia and America”
Cedar Rapids Museum of Art, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin
“American Country”
Duracell Corporation, Bethel, CT
“Illustrations From Children’s Literature”
Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA
“The Boys of Summer”
Storyopolis, Los Angeles, CA
“Purr! Children’s Book Illustrators Brag About their Cats”
Boca Raton Children’s Museum, Boca Raton, FL
Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH
The Lexington Museum, Lexington, KY
“Speak! Children’s Book Illustrators Brag About Their Dogs”
Mazza Museum, University of Findlay, Findlay, OH
Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, Pittsburgh, PA
Austin Children’s Museum, Austin, TX
Chicago Children’s Museum, Chicago, IL
The Dog Museum, St. Louis, MO
Muskegon Museum of Art, Muskegon, MI
Saginaw Museum of Art, Saginaw, MI
South Ohio Museum of Art, Ohio
Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH
Sixteenth Annual Mystic Maritime Gallery International Marine Art Exhibition
Mystic Maritime Gallery, Mystic, CT
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI
Schaumburg Township District Library, Schaumburg, IL
“This Wondrous World-Children’s Book Illustration in New England”
Lyman Allyn Art Museum, New London, CT
“Sights and Sounds: The Art of STS-26” NASA
Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Traveling Exhibition for the U.S. Coast Guard’s 200th Anniversary
National tour
“The Image Makers”
Museum of Art, Science and Industry, Bridgeport, CT
Moran Fine Arts, Tulsa, OK
Tokyo Gakuin Designer’s College, Tokyo, Japan

Selected Public Collections
Norman Rockwell Museum, MA
Illinois State Museum
Muskegon Museum of Art, MI
Mattatuck Museum, CT
NASA, Kennedy Space Center, FL
Arizona Historical Society
U.S. Air Force Collection, Pentagon, Washington, DC
Library of Congress, Washington, DC
Museum of American Illustration, NYC
U.S. Coast Guard, Washington, DC
U.S. Postal Service, Washington, DC
Schaumburg Public Library, IL
Mazza Museum, The University of Findlay, OH
The Festival Gallery Collection, Keene State College, NH
The Aurora Public Art Commission, IL
Kerlan Collection, University of Minnesota
Dodd Center, University of Connecticut