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Ian Falconer

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Ian Falconer
Born25 August 1959 Edit this on Wikidata
Ridgefield Edit this on Wikidata
Died7 March 2023 Edit this on Wikidata (aged 63)
Norwalk Edit this on Wikidata
OccupationIllustrator, children's writer, costume designer Edit this on Wikidata

Ian Woodward Falconer (August 25, 1959 – March 7, 2023) was an American author and illustrator of children's books as well as a designer of sets and costumes for the theater. He created 30 covers for The New Yorker and also for other publications. He wrote and illustrated the Olivia series of children's books, chronicling the adventures of a young pig, a series initially conceived as a Christmas gift for a young niece of his.

Theater designs[edit]

Falconer was active in the world of theater design. In 1987, he assisted the artist David Hockney with the costume designs for the Los Angeles Opera's production of Richard Wagner's Tristan Und Isolde; in 1992 he assisted Hockney with the Chicago Lyric Opera's production of Puccini's Turandot.[1] In 1992, Falconer designed the costumes (Hockney designed the sets) for The Royal Opera's production of Richard Strauss' Die Frau ohne Schatten at Covent Garden.[2]

In 1996, Falconer designed the set for The Atlantic Theater's production of The Santaland Diaries, written by David Sedaris. The theater critic for The New York Times, Ben Brantley, wrote "The cartoon cutout set by Ian Falconer looks totally chic in its monochromatic grayness."[3]

In 1999, Falconer designed scenery and costumes for the Boston Ballet's production of Igor Stravinsky's The Firebird, choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon. In the same year, he designed the sets for Scènes de Ballet. In 2001 he designed the sets and costumes for Felix Mendelssohn's Variations sérieuses. Wheeldon choreographed for both productions of the New York City Ballet.[4] In 2002, Falconer designed the sets and costumes for Stravinsky's Jeu de Cartes, choreographed for the New York City Ballet by Peter Martins.

In 2008, Falconer designed the sets and oversaw the installation for the operetta Veronique at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Francis Carlin, a critic, noted, "Ian Falconer’s clever play-off between background film and lavish sets climaxes in a stunning society ball."[5] Beginning with the 2015 season, the Pacific Northwest Ballet's The Nutcracker features costumes and sets designed by Falconer.[6]

Personal life and death[edit]

Ian Woodward Falconer was born on August 25, 1959 in Ridgefield, Connecticut.[6] He graduated from The Cambridge School of Weston; he studied art history at New York University before transferring to the Parsons School of Design and the Otis Art Institute.[7] He was gay.[8][9] According to Tom Ford, a designer and filmmaker, Falconer's boyfriends included the artist David Hockney[10] and Ford himself.[11][12] Ford said in interviews that he and Falconer were good friends since then. Decades after their breakup, Ford used Falconer's surname for the title character of A Single Man, his 2009 film (based on Christopher Isherwood's novel, in which the title character has no surname).[13]

Falconer lived in Rowayton, Connecticut, a village within the city of Norwalk. He died from kidney failure in Norwalk on March 7, 2023, at the age of 63.[6][14]

Written works[edit]

In the Olivia series:

  • Olivia (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2000)
  • Olivia Saves the Circus (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2001)
  • Olivia's Opposites (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2002)
  • Olivia Counts (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2002)
  • Olivia...and the Missing Toy (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2003)
  • Teatro Olivia (New York: Rizzoli Universe Promotional Books, 2004)
  • Olivia Forms a Band (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2006)
  • Dream Big (starring Olivia) (New York: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2006)
  • Olivia Helps with Christmas (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2007)
  • Olivia Goes to Venice (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2010)
  • Olivia and the Fairy Princesses (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2012)
  • Olivia's ABC (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2014)
  • Olivia the Spy (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2017)



[15] [16]

  1. ^ Edward Rothstein, "For a new 'Turandot,' Sets by Hockney," The New York Times, January 4, 1992.
  2. ^ John Rockwell, "The Talk of London," The New York Times, November 30, 1992.
  3. ^ Ben Brantley, "Reluctant Elf Adrift in Macy's Yule," The New York Times, November 8, 1996.
  4. ^ John Leland, "At Home with Ian Falconer," The New York Times, December 6, 2001.
  5. ^ Francis Carlin, "Véronique, Châtelet, Paris," Financial Times, January 24, 2008.
  6. ^ a b c Genzlinger, Neil (March 8, 2023). "Ian Falconer, Creator of Olivia, the Energetic Piglet, Dies at 63". The New York Times. Retrieved March 8, 2023.
  7. ^ Library of Congress Authorities cites for full name and date of birth Cataloging in Publication data provided in 2000 [1]. Retrieved 2015-09-28.
  8. ^ "'StageStruck' Exhibit Featuring Gay and Lesbian Broadway Design Talent Begins Nov. 14" by Adam Hetrick, Playbill Magazine, November 14, 2007, http://www.playbill.com/article/stagestruck-exhibit-featuring-gay-and-lesbian-broadway-design-talent-begins-nov-14-com-145399
  9. ^ "He's a pig success: Illustrator Ian Falconer dazzles children with his best-selling books starring Olivia the pig. - Free Online Library". www.thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 2023-06-29.
  10. ^ "Tom Ford: Immaculate Conception". www.telegraph.co.uk. 18 January 2010. Retrieved 2023-06-29.
  11. ^ "Tom Ford, The Marquis de Sex". GQ. 2004-11-01. Retrieved 2023-06-29.
  12. ^ "Filmmaker Magazine | Winter 2010: A Single Man - Interview with Direcor Tom Ford". filmmakermagazine.com. Retrieved 2023-06-29.
  13. ^ "The Visionary Tom Ford". www.advocate.com. Retrieved 2023-06-29.
  14. ^ Mouly, Françoise (7 March 2023). "Remembering Ian Falconer, the New Yorker Artist and Author of the "Olivia" Books". The New Yorker. Retrieved 8 March 2023.
  15. ^ "Ian Falconer". Kidsreads. Retrieved 2015-09-26.
  16. ^ Minzesheimer, Bob (October 6, 2003). "Oink if you love 'Olivia'". USA Today (usatoday.com). Retrieved 2015-09-26.

External links[edit]