Macaulay in November 2012
December 2, 1946 |
Lancashire, England, UK
|Subjects||Architecture, engineering, history|
David Macaulay (born December 2, 1946) is a British-born American illustrator and writer. His most famous works have been graphic, nonfiction children's books about architecture and engineering, some of which have been adapted as public broadcasting hybrid documentaries and animated film dramatizations in the 1980s. For his contribution as a children's illustrator he was U.S. nominee for the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1984 and 2002.
Born in Lancashire, England, Macaulay moved to Bloomfield, New Jersey at the age of eleven. He began drawing while in the United States. After graduating from high school in Cumberland, Rhode Island in 1964, he enrolled in the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), from which he received a bachelor's degree in architecture. He spent his fifth year at RISD in the European Honors Program, studying in Rome, Herculaneum and Pompeii.
Macaulay's books have sold more than two million copies in the U.S., have been translated into a dozen languages, and have been widely praised. TIME said of his work, "What [Macaulay] draws, he draws better than any other pen-and-ink illustrator in the world". His numerous awards include the MacArthur Fellows Program award, the Caldecott Medal, won for his book Black and White, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, the Christopher Award, an American Institute of Architects Medal, the Washington Children's Book Guild Nonfiction Award, the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, the Dutch Silver Slate Pencil Award, and the Bradford Washburn Award, presented by the Museum of Science in Boston to an outstanding contributor to science.
Macaulay is the author of several books on architecture and design. His first book, Cathedral (1973), was a history, extensively illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings, of the construction of a fictitious but representative Gothic cathedral. This was followed by a series of books of the same type: City (1974), on the construction of Verbonia, a fictitious but typical Roman city; Pyramid (1975), on the building of monuments to the Egyptian Pharaohs; Castle (1977), on the construction of Aberwyvern castle, a fictitious but typical medieval castle; Mill (1983), on the evolution of New England mills; and Mosque (2003), which depicts the design and construction of an Ottoman-style masjid. Cathedral, City, Pyramid, and Castle would later be adapted into documentaries produced by Unicorn Productions, and aired sporadically on PBS from 1983 to 1994. Other books in this series are Underground (1976), which describes the building foundations and support structures (such as water and sewer pipes) that underlie a typical city intersection, and Unbuilding (1980), which describes the hypothetical dismantling of the Empire State Building in preparation for re-erection in the Middle East.
Macaulay has illustrated a number of other books, including the popular The Way Things Work (1988, text by Neil Ardley) which was expanded and rereleased as The New Way Things Work (1998). These works remain his most commercially successful and served as the basis for a short-lived educational television program. He has also written a number of children's fiction books.
His books often display a whimsical humor. Illustrations in The Way Things Work depict cave people and woolly mammoths operating giant-sized versions of the devices he is explaining. Motel of the Mysteries, written in 1979 following the 1976–1979 exhibition of the Tutankhamun relics in the USA, concerns the discovery by future archaeologists of an American motel and the archaeologists' ingenious interpretation of the motel and its contents as a funerary and temple complex. Baaa is set after the human race has somehow gone extinct. Sheep discover artifacts of lost human civilization and attempt to rebuild it. However, the new sheep-inhabited world develops the same side effects of economic disparity, crime, and war.
To research his book The Way We Work, Macaulay spent years talking and studying with doctors and researchers, attending medical procedures, and laboriously sketching and drawing. He worked with medical professionals such as Lois Smith (a professor at Harvard University and researcher at Children's Hospital Boston) and medical writer Richard Walker to ensure the accuracy of both his words and his illustrations. Anne Gilroy, clinical anatomist in the departments of surgery and cell biology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, consulted on the book, and says of Macaulay, "His remarkable curiosity and meticulous research led him into some of the most complicated facets of the human body yet he tells this story with simplicity, ingenuity and humor."
- Cathedral: The Story of its Construction (1973) (winner of the 1975 Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis for children's non-fiction)
- City: A Story of Roman Planning and Construction (1974)
- Pyramid (1975)
- Underground (1976)
- Castle (1977)
- Great Moments in Architecture (1978)
- Motel of The Mysteries (1979)
- Unbuilding (1980)
- Help! Let Me Out! (1982, David Lord Porter (Author), David MacAulay (Illustrator))
- Mill (1983)
- Baaa (1985)
- Why the Chicken Crossed the Road (1987)
- The Way Things Work (1988; text by David Macaulay and Neil Ardley; updated in 1998 as The New Way Things Work)
- Black and White (1990)
- Ship (1994)
- Shortcut (1995)
- Rome Antics (1997)
- The New Way Things Work (1998)
- Pinball Science (1998) (CD-ROM video game)
- Building the Book Cathedral (1999)
- Building Big (2000)
- Angelo (2002)
- Mosque (2003)
- The Way We Work (October 7, 2008)
- Built to Last (2010)
- Toilet: How It Works
- Eye: How It Works
- "Candidates for the Hans Christian Andersen Awards 1956–2002". The Hans Christian Andersen Awards, 1956–2002. IBBY. Gyldendal. 2002. Pages 110–18. Hosted by Austrian Literature Online (literature.at). Retrieved 2013-07-17.
- "MacArthur Fellows 2006". John D and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. September 2006. Retrieved 2009-06-03.
- "Vermont Life Catalog-Guide to back issues-2005 to 2009-Winter 2006–2007". Retrieved 2009-06-03.[dead link]
- Cooney, Elizabeth (August 4, 2008). "Evolution of an anatomist". Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- "The Way We Work: Getting to Know the Amazing Human Body". Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Retrieved 2011-12-19.
- David Macaulay at Library of Congress Authorities —with 37 catalog records
- David Macaulay at the Houghton Mifflin site
- A shorter biography of David Macaulay
- NCBLA David Macaulay bio
- NCBLA David Macaulay interview
- Exhibition at the Cincinnati Art Museum in 2008
- Exhibition at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, TN in 2008
- TED Talks: David Macaulay's Rome Antics at TED in 2002