MICHAEL FOREMAN RDI (Born 1938)

While Michael Foreman is perhaps best known as one of the most outstanding contemporary creators of children’s books, he is a wide-ranging artist, illustrating literary classics and working as a painter.

Michael Foreman was born in the read more...

While Michael Foreman is perhaps best known as one of the most outstanding contemporary creators of children’s books, he is a wide-ranging artist, illustrating literary classics and working as a painter.
Michael Foreman was born in the Suffolk fishing village of Pakefield on 21 March 1938. He studied art in Lowestoft, and in London at St Martin’s School of Art and the Royal College of Art. The latter awarded him a travel scholarship to the United States in 1963 and, following his graduation, he went back to Chicago to spend four months as Art Director of Playboy. In 1966, he returned to London to become Art Director for King, which had him produce all the illustrative work, in a variety of styles, even resorting to the use of pseudonyms. He has lectured at St Martin’s (1963-66), the London College of Printing (1966-68), the RCA (from 1968) and the Central School of Art (1972). On his discovery that he had purchased what was once John Hassall’s School of Art at Stratford Studios, he further followed in Hassall’s footsteps by becoming a member of the London Sketch Club.
From his first children’s book, The General (1961), Michael has treated his young readers as responsible and mature. This attitude of concern has made him a great original and has resulted in many honours.
Prizes have included the Aigle d’Argent at the Nice Festival International du Livre (1972), the National Art Library Illustration Award (1972 for Horatio and 1977 for Monkey and The Three Wizards), the Graphics Prize at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (1982 for City of Gold), the Kurt Maschler Award (1982 for Sleeping Beauty and Other Favourite Fairy Tales), the Kate Greenaway Medal (1982 for Long Neck and Thunder Foot, 1983 for Sleeping Beauty and Other Favourite Fairy Tales and 1989 for War Boy) and the Nestlé Smarties Book Prize (Gold Award) (1993 for War Game). In 1985, he was elected Royal Designer to Industry.
In 1990, Michael had his first selling show, a greatly successful event at Chris Beetles Gallery. Centring upon his recent book, Michael Foreman’s World of Fairy Tales, it acted as a consolidation of his career to date. His recurring interest in environment – both in terms of visual atmosphere and as a human issue – was particularly patent in much of the work on show. Since then his work has been a regular feature of the annual exhibition, The Illustrators, mounted by the Gallery.
Michael finds regular inspiration in Cornwall, where he lives when not in London.
His work is represented in the collections of the V&A.

VikingCottagePrehistoric AnimalsAnimal Characters
Fairy TalesWild AnimalsMonstersChildren
Literary PortraitsFarmingManual WorkHumour & Satire
SeascapeCatsBirdsMusic
LiteraryFairy & FantasyHorsesAnimals
Children's LiteratureWildlife (British)Illustrations 
SWEETHEART GAVE THE DOG A BIG KICK AND THE RING PRICKED HIS FINGER JUST AS IF IT HAD BEEN A PIN by MICHAEL FOREMAN

SWEETHEART GAVE THE DOG A BIG KICK AND THE RING PRICKED HIS FINGER JUST AS IF IT HAD BEEN A PIN

THE STRANGE CREATURE, HALF BIRD, HALF WOLF, BARRED THEIR WAY WITH ITS GREAT TALONS, AND BARED ITS WOLF TEETH by MICHAEL FOREMAN

THE STRANGE CREATURE, HALF BIRD, HALF WOLF, BARRED THEIR WAY WITH ITS GREAT TALONS, AND BARED ITS WOLF TEETH

'WHAT'S THE MATTER', GROWLED THE TERRIBLE MONSTER, 
'FRIGHTENED ARE YOU?' by MICHAEL FOREMAN

'WHAT'S THE MATTER', GROWLED THE TERRIBLE MONSTER, 'FRIGHTENED ARE YOU?'

THE WOLVES SNAPPED AND SNARLED THEIR DISAPPOINTMENT, AS SVEN WAS HAULED HIGHER AND HIGHER by MICHAEL FOREMAN

THE WOLVES SNAPPED AND SNARLED THEIR DISAPPOINTMENT, AS SVEN WAS HAULED HIGHER AND HIGHER

'HELLO', SAID THE RAINBOW CAT. 'YOU CAN ASK ME THREE QUESTIONS.' by MICHAEL FOREMAN

'HELLO', SAID THE RAINBOW CAT. 'YOU CAN ASK ME THREE QUESTIONS.'

WHAT ARE YOU LIKE? by MICHAEL FOREMAN

WHAT ARE YOU LIKE?

TERRY JONES, HIS DOG AND RUPERT by MICHAEL FOREMAN

TERRY JONES, HIS DOG AND RUPERT

FIVE ON A SECRET TRAIL by MICHAEL FOREMAN

FIVE ON A SECRET TRAIL

A CAVALCADE OF CHILDREN AND DOGS AND CATS AND HORSES AND CREEPY-CRAWLIES by MICHAEL FOREMAN

A CAVALCADE OF CHILDREN AND DOGS AND CATS AND HORSES AND CREEPY-CRAWLIES

IT'S A BIT ON THE LARGE SIDE by MICHAEL FOREMAN

IT'S A BIT ON THE LARGE SIDE

WITH JASPER BALANCED ON HER SHOULDER, KATE SIPPED HER SWEET STRONG TEA AND LISTENED INTENTLY TO THE OLD LADY by MICHAEL FOREMAN

WITH JASPER BALANCED ON HER SHOULDER, KATE SIPPED HER SWEET STRONG TEA AND LISTENED INTENTLY TO THE OLD LADY

THEY GATHERED IN A CIRCLE AROUND THE ROCK WHERE THEY JOINED HANDS AND DANCED TOGETHER by MICHAEL FOREMAN

THEY GATHERED IN A CIRCLE AROUND THE ROCK WHERE THEY JOINED HANDS AND DANCED TOGETHER

THE LITTLE OLD MAN WAS SITTING CROSS-LEGGED UP ON THE HAYRACK by MICHAEL FOREMAN

THE LITTLE OLD MAN WAS SITTING CROSS-LEGGED UP ON THE HAYRACK

MAD MISS MARNEY by MICHAEL FOREMAN

MAD MISS MARNEY

THERE TO WELCOME THEM AS THEY NEARED THE ISLAND WERE THE BOBBING HEADS OF THE ENTIRE SEAL COLONY by MICHAEL FOREMAN

THERE TO WELCOME THEM AS THEY NEARED THE ISLAND WERE THE BOBBING HEADS OF THE ENTIRE SEAL COLONY

THE SEAL HAD SETTLED AGAIN IN THE CENTRE OF THE POOL, HIS GREAT WIDE EYES BECKONING by MICHAEL FOREMAN

THE SEAL HAD SETTLED AGAIN IN THE CENTRE OF THE POOL, HIS GREAT WIDE EYES BECKONING

THE SEAL WAS LOOKING DIRECTLY AT HIM OUT OF SAD, SOULFUL EYES by MICHAEL FOREMAN

THE SEAL WAS LOOKING DIRECTLY AT HIM OUT OF SAD, SOULFUL EYES

WILLIAM TREGERTHEN HAD THE LOOK OF A CHILD WHO CARRIED ALL THE PAIN OF THE WORLD ON HIS HUNCHED SHOULDERS by MICHAEL FOREMAN

WILLIAM TREGERTHEN HAD THE LOOK OF A CHILD WHO CARRIED ALL THE PAIN OF THE WORLD ON HIS HUNCHED SHOULDERS

PEGASUS WAS MORE AND MORE OCCUPIED ON THE FARM by MICHAEL FOREMAN

PEGASUS WAS MORE AND MORE OCCUPIED ON THE FARM

HE SPRANG OUT OVER THE RUINED WALL AND ONTO THE OPEN MOOR by MICHAEL FOREMAN

HE SPRANG OUT OVER THE RUINED WALL AND ONTO THE OPEN MOOR