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Dahlov Ipcar (1917–2017) was an award-winning illustrator and author, as well as a prolific and accomplished fine artist. Best known for her colorful, kaleidoscopic paintings of animals, she also created murals, fabric collages, hooked rugs, needlepoint tapestries, and unique soft sculptures.

Ipcar began her career in children’s books by illustrating The Little Fisherman by Margaret Wise Brown (Islandport Press). It was published in 1945 and established her imaginative, graphic style and bold palette. She illustrated two more books by other authors, then wrote and illustrated over thirty titles of her own. For some books, such as One Horse Farm (Islandport Press) and Lobsterman (Down East Books), her art was influenced by social realism. For others, she took a more imaginary approach, working in the brilliant colors, intricate patterns, and bold designs that became her signature style. She offered a playful vision of dinosaurs in The Wonderful Egg (Flying Eye Books), a merman in Deep Sea Farm (Down East Books), tigers and leopards in Stripes and Spots, quilted creatures in The Calico Jungle (both Islandport Press), and all manner of whimsical insects in Bug City (North Atlantic Books).

Overall, Ipcar’s books received great acclaim. Eight of her titles were Junior Literary Guild Selections, and in 1998, she was honored with the Kerlan Award for Children’s Literature. Her fine art is in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

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