Henry Clarence Pitz

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Henry C. Pitz
Born Henry Clarence Pitz
(1895-06-16)June 16, 1895[1]
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died November 26, 1976(1976-11-26) (aged 81)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nationality American
Known for Illustration, painting

Henry Clarence Pitz (June 16, 1895 – November 26, 1976) was an American artist, illustrator, editor, author, and teacher who wrote and/or illustrated over 160 books, and dozens of magazine covers and articles.[2] His most well-known book is The Brandywine Tradition (1968).

Pitz was born in Philadelphia in 1895. His father was a bookbinder who immigrated from Germany. Pitz graduated from West Philadelphia High School and was awarded a scholarship to the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art. There Pitz studied illustration and became particularly fond of the work of Howard Pyle. One of Pitz's instructors at the Museum School was Thornton Oakley,[3] who had been a student of Pyle.

After a few years in the Army Medical Corps spent in Europe, Pitz returned to Philadelphia. There he began a career of teaching and book illustration, his first notable book being Early American Costume, published by The Century Company of New York.[4]

Faery Magic
Illustration and Poem
in St. Nicholas Magazine,
June 1921

In 1935, Pitz married Mary "Molly" Wheeler Wood. They remained married until his death in 1976. In 1988, she wrote a short summary of his life, now available online.[5]

In the 1930s Pitz joined the monthly magazine American Artist as an associate editor and writer. He was a regular contributor to the magazine for the rest of his life.[6] In 1950 Pitz was elected to the National Academy of Design.

In the 1960s Pitz was commissioned by Houghton, Mifflin and Company to write The Brandywine Tradition, which remained on the best seller list for ten weeks. A few years later, in 1975, Pitz published a comprehensive book on his favorite illustrator, Howard Pyle.

Henry Clarence Pitz died at his home in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, on November 26, 1976, after working on a painting the day before.[7]

Partial bibliography[edit]

The following is a partial list of published works by Pitz:

  • A Treasury of American Book Illustration (editor). New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 1947. OCLC 459521213
  • The Practice of Illustration New York, Watson-Guptill, 1947. OCLC 491120297
  • Drawing Trees. New York: Watson-Guptill, 1956. Rev. and enlarged ed. How to Draw Trees. New York: Watson-Guptill, 1972 ISBN 978-0-823-01441-5
  • Ink Drawing Techniques. New York, Watson-Guptill Publications, 1957. ISBN 978-0-823-02550-3
  • Illustrating Children’s Books: History, Technique, Production. New York: Watson-Guptill, 1963. ISBN 978-0-82302-535-0
  • Drawing Outdoors. New York: Watson-Guptill, 1965. ISBN 978-0-273-01155-2
  • Early American Costume (with Edward Warwick). New York: Century, 1929. Revised edition Early American Dress: The Colonial and Revolutionary Periods (with Edward Warwick and Alexander Wyckoff). New York: Benjamin Blom, 1965. OCLC 607002650
  • The Brandywine Tradition. New York, Weathervane Books, 1968. ISBN 978-0-517-16431-0
  • Charcoal Drawing. New York: Watson-Guptill, 1971. ISBN 978-0-823-00615-1
  • 173 Drawings and Illustrations (with Frederic Remington). New York: Dover, 1972. ISBN 978-0-486-20714-8
  • Howard Pyle: Writer, Illustrator, Founder of the Brandywine School. New York: Clarkson N. Potter, 1975. ISBN 978-0-517-51665-2
  • 200 Years of American Illustration. New York: Random House, 1977. ISBN 978-0-394-41474-4


  1. ^ "United States Social Security Death Index," index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JY3G-DJH : accessed 19 Jul 2013), Henry Pitz, November 1976.
  2. ^ "Henry C. Pitz papers, 1919-1973". University of Oregon Special Collections & University Archives: Archives West. Retrieved November 4, 2016. 
  3. ^ Pitz, Henry C. (1968). The Brandywine Tradition. p. 186. ISBN 978-0-517-16431-0. 
  4. ^ Oliver, Valerie Burnham (1996). Fashion and Costume in American Popular Culture: A Reference Guide. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press. pp. 21 and Bibliography. ISBN 978-0-313-29412-9. 
  5. ^ Pitz, Molly. "Henry Pitz, American (1895 - 1976)". ROGALLERY.COM. Retrieved 3 November 2016. 
  6. ^ Lavelle, Matthew. "Pitz, Henry Clarence". Pennsylvania Center for the Book. Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved 3 November 2016. 
  7. ^ Lavelle, op. cit.

External links[edit]