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The Lifetime Achievement Awards were established in 2005 by past chairs of The Original Art. Nominees must be judged to have a body of work that documents an innovative and pioneering contribution to the field of children's book illustration, and final selection is made by artists whose work has been juried into the previous year's show. Two awards are given annually: one posthumously and one to a living illustrator.

2021: Melissa Sweet
Melissa Sweet has illustrated over 100 books for children, and her exuberant watercolor, gouache, collage, and assembly art is full of found objects, rich textures, and eye-catching details. As she writes, “All of my work is done by hand. Working…
2021: Leonard Weisgard
Leonard Weisgard (1916–2000) was an inventive, prolific, distinctive, and beloved illustrator. He published his first book at age twenty, in 1937, and over the next fifty-two years illustrated over 200 more children’s books, winning the Caldecott Medal and many other…

Previous Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

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