RIP: Children’s Book Illustrator John Schoenherr

Today the New York Times announced that artist John Schoenherr died last week at the age of 74. Schoenherr illustrated more than 40 children’s books, including Owl Moon, his 1988 Caldecott winner. Science-fiction fans might also recognize his illustrations from Frank Herbert’s Dune series (Hebert famously called him “the only man who has ever visited Dune”) or book jackets for the likes of Philip K. Dick, John Brunner, and Anne McCaffrey.

As the Times notes, Schoenherr is “widely credited with helping shape midcentury America’s collective image of alien landscapes and their occupants.” That said, he started out with aspirations of painting, not commercial illustration: “I just got sidetracked into illustration by things like mortgages and children. Not a bad way to prostitute yourself.”

View a selection of his work after the jump.


Illustration from Owl Moon


Illustrations from the original serialization of Dune as featured in Analog Science Fact/Science Fiction, December 1963


Illustration from Children of Dune