Hoban, Tana 1917(?)–2006

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Hoban, Tana 1917(?)–2006

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born c. 1917, in Philadelphia, PA; died January 27, 2006, in Louveciennes, France. Photographer and author. Hoban was an award-winning photographer and prolific author of children's nonfiction books whose emphasis on presenting ordinary objects in new ways was considered revolutionary. After graduating from what is now the Moore College of Art and Design in 1938, she studied painting in the Netherlands and England. Returning to America, she worked as an illustrator and graphic artist before becoming an editorial and advertising photographer for such magazines as Life and McCall's. Opening a studio in Philadelphia in 1946, she began to focus her work more and more on children, using them as her subjects in photographs that were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in 1949 and again in 1955. Four years later, she was named one of the ten top women photographers in the country. Beginning in 1970, Hoban started using her photographs to illustrate her own children's books. Her main focus was to take photos of everyday objects and present them in new and interesting ways; then, she would use these pictures to illustrate basic principles such as counting, the alphabet, shapes, and other fundamental concepts. She produced dozens of children's books over the next three decades, with her last being 2000's Cubes, Cones, Cylinders and Spheres. Many of these works won awards, such as the Golden Eagle Award for Look Again! (1971), the Washington Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award for More Than One (1981), the George C. Stone Recognition of Merit Award in 1986 for her body of work, and the lifetime achievement award from the American Society of Media Photographers in 1998, not to mention many notable book citations from the American Library Association and other honors. Hoban moved to France permanently in 1983, where she also occupied her time forming the Americans for Peace group that staged protests at the U.S. Embassy. In later life, a series of strokes limited her ability to continue working.



Los Angeles Times, February 20, 2006, p. B13.

New York Times, February 4, 2006, p. A11.

Washington Post, February 10, 2006, p. B6.