Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Barbara Nessim V&A Exhibit and Book

There’s a wonderful article in today's TheGuardian about illustrator Barbara Nessim that leads with the news that she dated glam-rock icon Marc Bolan, lived with Gloria Steinem and captured a country in change. The major retrospective for this major American illustrator is not being held in this country but at the prestigious Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The V&A does an excellent job of promoting illustration within Great Britain and it’s exciting that Barbara is having her retrospective in that fine institution.

If there’s anyone who broke the glass-ceiling for female illustrators it’s Barbara, her intimate drawings have graced the covers of major publications going back to the 60s and in her new book Barbara Nessim: An Artful Life, we get an insight into this illustrator’s remarkable fifty-year career which shows no signs of slowing down.

The first illustrator to use the computer, she continues to amaze us with her virtuosity. A visit to her downtown studio is always a treat, opening any one of her sketchbooks, which are carefully filed by year, is always something special. I met Barbara when she was still chair of the Parsons’ illustration program, she was our first educator/illustrator honoree back in the beginning of 3x3 and she’s been a huge supporter of 3x3 ever since.

We’re happy to see that she is getting such attention from across the pond—richly deserved.

Barbara Nessim: An Artful Life
February 15 - May 19, 2013

Illustration, Star-Branded with Blue Wave, 1966


  1. Great news! Barbara was the ONLY female illustrator to visit RISD while I was a student way back in the day, but she made quite the impression.

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