A Journey Without End: Ed Young



What's Pictured: (Above) Jacket art for Tsunami!, 2009, collage; (Below) Jacket art for Lon Po Po, 1989, pastel; © Ed Young


Illustrator and author Ed Young finds inspiration for his more than 80 books in the philosophy of Chinese painting. “A Chinese painting is often accompanied by words,” explains Young. “They are complementary. There are things that words do that pictures never can, and likewise, there are images that words can never describe.”

A Journey Without End comprises over 40 artworks — in pastel, collage, dye with oil crayon resist, sumi ink on rice paper, and cut paper — from thirteen books including Lon Po Po, The Sons of the Dragon King, My Mei Mei, Wabi Sabi, Tsunami!, and Moon Bear.

Ed Young grew up in China and came to the United States, as a young man, on a student visa. He began his career as a commercial artist in advertising but soon discovered children’s books to be more expansive, expressive, and timeless. The subject and style of each story provides inspiration for his art and motivation for the design, sequence, and pace. Whether illustrating fact, fantasy, or folktale, accuracy in research is essential to his work.

In 1990, Young’s Lon Po Po was awarded the Caldecott Medal. He has received Caldecott Honors for The Emperor and the Kite as well as Seven Blind Mice and was nominated twice for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal, the highest international recognition given to authors and illustrators who have made a lasting contribution to children's literature.

This exhibition was organized by National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Abilene, Texas, and is sponsored in part by Joslyn’s Young Art Patrons.