Paul Bransom

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Illustration by Paul Bransom from An Argosy of Fables, plate facing p. 52

Paul Bransom (July 1885 – July 19, 1979)[1] was an American painter, cartoonist, and illustrator of animals.


Born in Washington, D.C., as a child Bransom started sketching animals he saw in his backyard and at the National Zoo.[2] He began his career as a technical draftsman for the U.S. Patent Office when he was 13 years old. In 1903 he moved to New York City where he worked for the New York Evening Journal as a comic strip artist. After moving to New York, his talent as a wildlife artist was recognized while creating studies of the animals at the Bronx Zoo.[3] His earliest commissions were covers for the Saturday Evening Post[3] and illustrations for editions of Kipling's Just So Stories and Grahame's The Wind in the Willows.[4]

Bransom was awarded the Benjamin West Clinedinst Memorial Medal,[3] and his works are included in the collection of the National Museum of American Illustration at Newport, Rhode Island.[5]

Bransom was a resident of New York City from 1906 until his death. He died on July 19, 1979, during a visit to Quakertown, Pennsylvania, several days before his 94th birthday.[1]

Selected works[edit]

  • Just So Stories (Garden City, NY: Country Life Press, c1912), by Rudyard Kipling
  • An Argosy of Fables (New York: F. A. Stokes, c1921), ed. by Frederic Taber Cooper
  • The Wild Heart (New York: Cosmopolitan Book Corp., 1922), by Emma-Lindsay Squier
  • The Wind in the Willows (New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1913), by Kenneth Grahame
  • The Country Gentleman (Curtis Publishing) cover illustration


  1. ^ a b "Paul Bransom, Illustrator, Dies; Called 'Dean of Animal Artists' ". Edith Evans Asbury. The New York Times. July 22, 1979. p. 34. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
      "died Thursday in Quakerstown, Pa., where he had been visiting. He would have been 94 years old next week."
  2. ^ "Paul Bransom papers, 1862–1985, bulk 1904–1979" (finding aid). Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution (
      With biographical sketch.
  3. ^ a b c "Paul Bransom (1885–1979)". Artists Gallery. Indianapolis: Curtis Publishing. Retrieved 14 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Online Books by Paul Bransom". The Online Books Page. University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 14 July 2011. 
  5. ^ "Artists". National Museum of American Illustration ( Retrieved 2 September 2016. 
      Formerly retrieved July 2011. Bransom's works are not among those included in the changing online display as of September 2016.

External links[edit]