Baynes, Pauline 1922-2008 (Pauline Diana Baynes)

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Baynes, Pauline 1922-2008 (Pauline Diana Baynes)


See index for CA sketch: Born September 9, 1922, in Brighton, Sussex, England; died August 1, 2008. Painter, model maker, illustrator, and author. By her own account, Baynes always wanted to be a book illustrator. Even in the early days of her career, even during wartime, she found employment that enabled her to pursue her goal. During World War II she volunteered as a model maker for the Camouflage Development and Training Centre of the British Army; later she was hired as a chart maker for the British Admiralty. Baynes fulfilled her artistic destiny early, not long after the war, when she was discovered by Middle English scholar and fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien, who commissioned her to illustrate a small book titled Farmer Giles of Ham (1949). Tolkien recommended Baynes's work to novelist C.S. Lewis, who then engaged her services to illustrate the phenomenally successful "Chronicles of Narnia" series (1950-56). Her illustrations enchanted readers around the world, and she went on to illustrate dozens of books by authors such as Beatrix Potter, Anna Sewell, Rudyard Kipling, and Mary Norton of The Borrowers fame. Baynes specialized in what she called "period art," rendering costumes and accessories with rigorous attention to accuracy from head to foot. She was awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal of the Library Association for illustrating Grant Uden's book A Dictionary of Chivalry (1968), and she illustrated many works of history, nursery rhymes, and fairy tales. Baynes often worked directly with authors, unlike many contemporary illustrators who are directed by book publishers and their editors, and she took pride in the collaborative nature of her projects.

Baynes was also an animal lover who drew many pictures of nature, especially dogs. She was both author and illustrator of a speculative story about the origins of the domesticated dog, How Dog Began (1985), with her illustrations in the style of prehistoric cave paintings. Baynes was a prolific and open-minded artist, so long as she could avoid contemporary scenery and "modern" inventions; she illustrated any type of book that came her way, from textbook to cookbook. She also supplemented her income with paintings and other artwork for magazines and newspapers, advertisements, greeting cards, and book jackets. Though she illustrated as many as seventy books by others, she only wrote a few original stories, including Victoria and the Golden Bird (1947) and Good King Wenceslas (1987).



Times (London, England), August 9, 2008, p. 59.