May 7, 2015

Marcia Brown, Class of '40, (1918-2015)

Marcia Brown, New York State College for Teachers Class of 1940, was an internationally renowned illustrator and author of children's books. She was a three-time winner of the Caldecott Medal, the American Library Association's highest award for excellence in children's'picture-book illustrations, for three of her books: Cinderella, or the Little Glass Slipper (1954); Once a Mouse (1961); and Shadow (1982), and six more of her books are Caldecott Honor Books.

Brown produced over 30 children's books during her career and many titles have been reprinted in other languages, including Afrikaans, German, Japanese, Spanish and Xhosa-Bantu. Critics marveled at Brown's use of spare texts, strong images and the vitality reflected in the use of a variety of media ranging from her trademark woodcuts to pen and ink and gouache. Her characters -- lively, humorous and full of magic and enchantment -- included handsome princes, sly cats, evil sorcerers, flying elephants and snow queens. Ms Brown died on April 28th 2015 in her home in Laguna Hill, California.

Marcia Brown's collection of original illustrations and artwork are available in the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives. For more information, see digital exhibit and a video of Marcia Brown accepting an honorary doctorate from the University at Albany.

May 6th, 2015 New York Times Obituary

July 31, 2008

Leonard S. Marcus

Minders of Make-Believe: Idealists, Entrepreneurs, and the Shaping of American Children’s Literature

Where: Standish Room, Third floor Science Library, University at Albany, SUNY

When: October 23, 2008, 4:00 PM

cover copy.jpg Leonard Marcus, one of the foremost authorities on the history of children’s literature, will discuss and sign his new book, Minders of Make-Believe (2008, Houghton Mifflin), an animated first-time history of the visionary editors, authors, librarians, booksellers, and others whose passion for books has transformed American childhood and American culture.

What should children read? Marcus tackles this three-hundred-year-old question that sparked the creation of a rambunctious children’s book publishing scene in Colonial times. And it’s the urgent issue that went on to fuel the transformation of twentieth-century children’s book publishing from a genteel backwater to big business. Marcus delivers a provocative look at the fierce turf wars fought among pioneering editors, progressive educators, and librarians - most of them women - throughout the twentieth century. His story of the emergence and growth of the major publishing houses - and of the distinctive literature for the young they shaped - gains extraordinary depth through the author’s path-finding research and in-depth interviews with dozens of editors, artists, and other key publishing figures whose careers go back to the 1930s.

Free and open to the public. Seating is limited. RSVP to: Brian Keough, at or 518-437-3931

July 8, 2008

Selections from the Marcia Brown Collection


The cover of the November 1939 issue of The Statesman (right) was illustrated by Marcia Brown, class of 1940, New York State College for Teachers (NYSCT), whose career in the field of children’s literature is one of great distinction. While at NYSCT, her writing and artistic abilities blossomed, as she contributed to the school's literary and humor magazines.
horse_small3.jpgShe worked on the art and editorial staff of the State Lion and served as editor-in-chief of The Statesman. Her sketches of mice, lions and other illustrations can be seen in the pages of these publications which are preserved at the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives. These early illustrations provide a strong indication of Brown’s future abilities as an illustrator and author, a career that includes being honored as the only three-time Caldecott Medal winner and six-time Caldecott Honor.
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The M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives, University at Albany holds the papers and original art of Marcia Brown. More than 100 linear feet of material, the Marcia Brown papers provide an incredible look into the workings of a gifted artist and storyteller as well as showing the inner workings of the publishing trade. One can follow all the steps in creating an original piece of literature and art from early notes and sketches through the final artwork and the proof sheets and printing to the promotional material and reviews.

State Lion1.jpg

For more information consult the finding aid at: