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Ernest Howard Shepard MC OBE (1879-1976)


Ernest Howard Shepard, MC OBE (1879-1976)

While Shepard is now best remembered for his immortal illustrations to
Winnie-the-Pooh and The Wind in the Willows, he was a wide-ranging illustrator, with an unsurpassed genius for representing children, and an underrated talent for political cartoons.

The son of an architect, E H Shepard was born in St John’s Wood, London on 10 December 1879. He was encouraged in his early talent for drawing at St Paul’s School, taking extra classes at Heatherley’s School of Art. Between 1897 and 1902, he studied at the Royal Academy Schools, winning the Landseer Scholarship and the British Institution Prize. Receiving much pleasure from his work as an oil painter, he exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1901. He also developed a great interest in the illustrators of the 1860s and hoped to contribute to
Punch. While beginning to establish himself a book illustrator, he had his first cartoon accepted in 1907, and from that time the two careers worked in parallel.

Serving as an officer in the Royal Artillery throughout the First World War, Shepard was awarded the Military Cross in 1917.

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