Pamela Bianco (December 31, 1906 – 1994) was an English-born American painter, illustrator, and writer, who came to fame as a child prodigy in the 1910s.
Early life and education
Pamela Ruby Bianco was born on New Year's Eve in the Barnes district of London, the daughter of an Italian scholar and bookseller, Francesco Bianco, and an English writer, Margery Williams Bianco (author of The Velveteen Rabbit). She was educated at home, though home for the Biancos was a shifting location, as the family lived in France, Italy, and the United States when Pamela was a child.
Her paintings and drawings were first exhibited as part of a children's show in Turin, then in London in 1919, and in New York City in 1921. After shows in several American cities, she returned to New York City for a more mature show when she was seventeen years old, at the Knoedler Gallery. Among her early patrons were John Galsworthy, Walter de la Mare, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Nina Wilcox Putnam, and Jo Davidson.
Bianco continued to exhibit her works into her twenties, in New York City and elsewhere.
In her adult career, she wrote and illustrated children's literature, and continued to exhibit her art. Books written and illustrated by Bianco include The Starlit Journey: A Story (1933), Playtime in Cherry Street (1948), Books illustrated by Bianco include Oscar Wilde's The Birthday of the Infanta (1930), Glenway Wescott's Natives of Rock (1925), and Hazeltine and Smith's The Easter Book of Legends and Stories (1947). She also illustrated several books by her mother, including The Skin Horse, The Adventures of Andy, and The Little Wooden Doll.
Personal life and legacy
Bianco married twice. Her first husband was Robert Schlick; they married in 1930 and divorced in 1955. She remarried in 1955 to fellow artist George Theodore Hartmann; he died in 1976. She had one son, Lorenzo Bianco Schlick, who became a dancer best known for appearing in Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway and in the film version. Larry Bianco (as he was known professionally) died in April 1994, and Pamela Bianco died later that same year, at the age of 87.
Works by Pamela Bianco are in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Whitney Museum of Art, and the Carnegie Museum of Art, among other institutions and private collections.
Drawings by Pamela Bianco
- "Francesco Bianco, Retired Dealer in Rare Books, Dies in Arlington, Va., at 68" New York Times (July 22, 1946): 19.
- "Wonder-Child Artist the Talk of London" Atlanta Constitution (July 21, 1919): 12. via Newspapers.com
- Helen Appleton Read, "Pamela Bianco, Child Prodigy who 'Grew Up'" Brooklyn Daily Eagle (March 30, 1924): 5. via Newspapers.com
- "Pamela Bianco Grows Up" Brooklyn Daily Eagle (March 9, 1924): 26. via Newspapers.com
- "Drawings of 14-Year-Old Girl Win World's Praise at Many Art Exhibition" Fayetteville Observer (April 7, 1921): 8. via Newspapers.com
- "A Girl Artist Who is Famous on Two Continents" Current Opinion 70(May 1921): 671-675.
- "Pamela Bianco at Maturity Justifies Fame her Art Won When She Was Child Prodigy" Brooklyn Daily Eagle (December 18, 1927): 61. via Newspapers.com
- Edwin Morgan, "Girl with the Brush" Brooklyn Daily Eagle (October 24, 1928): 38. via Newspapers.com
- "New Children's Books" New York Times (April 16, 1933): BR19.
- Helen K. Lippmann, review of Playtime in Cherry Street, New York Times (November 14, 1948): BR57.
- Oscar Wilde, The Birthday of the Infanta with drawings by Pamela Bianco (Macmillan 1930).
- Jerry Rosco, "Glenway Wescott: The Poetic Career of a Novelist" Chicago Review 37(1)(Winter 1990): 122. DOI: 10.2307/25305480
- Ellen Lewis Buell, review of The Easter Book of Legends and Stories, New York Times (April 6, 1947): BR27.
- Pamela Bianco, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
- "Lorenzo Bianco Schlick, Dancer, 61" New York Times (April 30, 1994): 13.
- Selina Mills, "Self-Taught Prodigy" The Spectator (December 11, 2004).
- University of Minnesota Libraries Children's Literature Research Collections, Pamela Bianco Papers.
- Art Institute of Chicago collections, Pamela Bianco.
- Pamela Bianco, "Pomegranate" Museum of Modern Art collections.
- Pamela Ruby Bianco, Brooklyn Museum collections.
- Pamela Bianco, "December" Whitney Museum of American Art.
- Pamela Bianco, "The Balsam Tree" Carnegie Museum of American Art.