Woodcut Artist Antonio Frasconi

Antonio Frasconi became well known for his woodcuts after moving to the U.S. in 1945 to study at the Art Student's League in New York City. Frasconi has done a variety of work over the course of his career in advertising, magazine illustrations, posters, record covers, Christmas cards and books - the latter of which I will be showing, specifically some of the children's books that Frasconi has illustrated.

The House That Jack Built (1958) via Kline Bookseller

The House That Jack Built (1958)

From The House That Jack Built, via Kline Bookseller

From The House That Jack Built, via Kline Bookseller

From See and Say, (1955) via Iconoclassic

Frasconi wrote and illustrated See and Say: A Picture Book in Four Languages (1955) for his son Pablo to expose him to other languages. Multilingual books were a recurring theme for Frasconi who felt that children should be exposed to other languages.

From The Little Blind Goat, (1981) via TheVintageWordShop

Six Spanish Nursery Rhymes (1960) via Bibliopolis

Frasconi was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to Italian parents who immigrated to South America during World War I. Soon after the family moved to Uruguay, where his parents ran a restaurant. Antonio was just 12 years old when he was apprenticed to a printer. As a teenager he published cartoons and drawings in satirical newspapers. In the early 1940's he started to experiment with woodcuts. After studying in the U.S. woodcuts and lithographs became his main media. By the early 1950's he was recognized as one of America's foremost woodcut artists. In 1951 Frasconi married artist Leona Pierce.

From At Christmastime, (1992) via Old Children's Books

From Overhead the Sun via Vintage Kids' Books My Kid Loves

From 12 Fables of Aesop, via Topittori

From 12 Fables of Aesop, via Topipittori

From 12 Fables of Aesop, via Topipittori

Kaleidoscope in Woodcuts, published in 1968, is an accordian fold book, when fully opened it is 130" long. Publisher Harcourt, Brace and World published this book to honor the selection of Antonio Frasconi by the Republic of Uruguay as it's artist at the 34th Biennale in Venice in 1968.

Though picture books compromise a small portion of Antonio Frasconi's career, the work he did in them is exceptional. I would encourage anyone who likes woodcuts to read about him and seek out more of his work.

In continuing the theme of woodcut illustrators, my next post will be about artist    Ed Emberley. 


  1. Hi Jil,

    Thanks so much for stopping by my Jane Austen blog today. I love the C.S. Lewis quote at the top of your blog!