Ashley Bryan Celebration

Beautiful Blackbird illustration by Ashley Bryan courtesy of The Ashley Bryan Center

Program Description: In celebration of Black History Month we are proud to present a month long tribute of famed children’s book author and illustrator Ashley Bryan. The library’s regularly scheduled Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday Story & Craft Hours will be showcasing the different works and artistry of Ashley Bryan and his impact in the field of children literacy and education.

Date/Time: Wednesday & Thursday Story & Craft Hour, 10am-11am. Saturday Story and Craft Hour, 11am-12pm

Born in the Bronx in 1923, Ashley Bryan entered the tuition-free Cooper Union School of Art and Engineering, after being denied entry elsewhere because of his race. Drafted into the segregated US Army during World War II, Ashley preserved his humanity by drawing, stowing pastel crayons in his gas mask. After the war, he completed his Cooper Union degree, studied philosophy and literature at Columbia University on the GI Bill, and went to Europe on a Fulbright scholarship, seeking to understand why humans choose war. Ashley returned to the United States, teaching art at several schools and universities, and retired to Maine’s Cranberry Isles as professor emeritus of Dartmouth College. Ashley Bryan has published over fifty books, including children’s books on African American spirituals and oral tradition. Among Ashley’s awards are the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award, Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, and the New York Public Library’s Literary Lions award. Ashley has stated: “If you put art into the world, you get beauty in return.”