My children’s book career began with a story book I was given the opportunity to illustrate, HORSES WITH WINGS, by Dennis Haseley, for Harper Collins. With my second book I began writing myself, and started the series of non-fiction, informational picture books for older children, which continues today.
My fourth book was RUSHMORE, published by Scholastic. With it I found a solid niche, writing and Illustrating books about great historical monuments and architectural icons. This led to a series of books at Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon and Schuster. LIBERTY, BROOKLYN BRIDGE, a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book for 2002, and SEVEN WONDERS OF THE ANCIENT WORLD. At this point, we wanted to find another American subject. We brainstormed and came up with CAPITAL, the story of the national mall in Washington, DC.
The text was written, edited and dummied. I began painting in June 2001, dutifully turning out painting after painting in a workman-like manner. Then the terrorist attacks of 9/11 happened. About one third of the way into the painting the importance of the subject was utterly transformed. What began as a pleasant job turned into a terribly serious and timely one.
Paintings already planned and begun took on a depth and richness for me that they might not have possessed before the tragedy. My feelings came to the forefront, and I think it shows in the finished book.
I have had the rare privilege and honor of making books about some of the most important and iconic monuments of our American heritage, and I thank my publishers and editors for this wonderful opportunity.
After CAPITAL, I revisited the ancient world and did a book about the Parthenon, one of the most amazing buildings every built. Then came the story of America’s baseball parks, the “green cathedrals” of sport. Next was the story of tall buildings, SKYSCRAPER. After so many projects about great buildings, I finally have made a book about one of my favorite subjects, called MYTHOLOGICAL CREATURES, A CLASSICAL BESTIARY.
Books by LYNN CURLEE are available at all major bookstores.