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Dale Maxey Illustrator from the 1950’s

March 8, 2013

a Dale Maxey 15

I can find very little info about today’s illustrator Dale Maxey, apart from the fact that he lived in Chicago, and worked as an illustrator for a magazine called The Rotarian during the 1950’s and 60’s. He also designed an amazing place called Casa Zorro (Maxey) during the 1970’s. It is a uniquely located house on the hill of La Mola on the island of Formentera. The house is unusual and unique, because unlike most houses on these islands, the ceilings are extremely high and the rooms very spacious. I think he may have painted a mural on the walls there too, looks like a great place to rent for the summer.

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Here’s some of his book illustration work.

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a Dale Maxey 1 a Dale Maxey 2

There’s a whole range of styles and differences in his artwork, some great expressions with his animals too. Look at the way his otters dip and undulate in the water and how the type also mimics and traces their swim patterns too.

a Dale Maxey 4 a Dale Maxey 5 a Dale Maxey 6

A classic book Dale is known for is ‘Seeing London’. I love his 3-D maps, they remind me of another fav illustrator of mine, Miroslav Sasek.

a Dale Maxey 7 a Dale Maxey 8

If anyone has any more news about this artist that they can share with us, then I’ll gladly add it to this post.

a Dale Maxey 9 a Dale Maxey 10

Finally a few images from Dale’s work for The Rotarian in the 1950’s and 60’s.

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27 Comments leave one →
  1. March 8, 2013 11:32 am

    Good find 🙂

    • March 8, 2013 10:02 pm

      Why thank you, and I’d like to see more Maxey if there’s more out there too.

  2. March 12, 2013 10:53 am

    I love the Little Lost Kitten cover and internal art, very very cute

    • March 12, 2013 10:55 am

      Thanks Wendy, and judging by your website name, Cute is a word you understand lol

  3. Belinda permalink
    March 13, 2013 10:54 am

    I’ve loved his work for years – ever since I found Fidget is A Great Hairy Beast in a charity shop in Scotland. And, like you, I’ve never managed to find out much about him. I also have Seeing London and I love the maps and the beautiful drawings of children.
    Great blog – thank you !

    • March 13, 2013 11:46 am

      Belinda hi there, thanks for the message. I haven’t seen the Fidget book and would love some pics of it or the Sightseeing one if there’s anything I’ve missed and you fancy taking some. Would be happy to post them here.

  4. Steve permalink
    April 8, 2013 11:50 pm

    Dale was my uncle. I have an original Fidget illustration he did for my fifth birthday, as well as the boards from an unpublished book he did in his final years, along with a number of works by his illustrator wife Elizabeth (Betty). (The horse in Little Lost Kitten seen above is actually her work.)

    • April 9, 2013 8:52 am

      Hi Steve, great to hear from you. If you have any more information you would be happy to share for the readers on here then I’d be happy to do an update. Any images of your uncles work etc would be much appreciated. You can email me here craig@fishink.co.uk Do you have any illustration links yourself ? Cheers Craig

    • Pete permalink
      March 10, 2014 3:33 pm

      Hi Fishink & Steve.

      I have long been a fan of Betty Maxey,Dale’s wife’s artwork.

      The Enid Blyton Society Journal has just published an article about Betty Maxey based on their friend, Peter Taylor’s memories,when he knew them both in London,before they left to live abroad.(Enid Blyton Society Journal 53 Spring 2014)

      http://www.enidblytonsociety.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6094

      I wondered if Steve had any memories or further information about the illustrations Betty provided for the Famous Five Knight paperback editions for which she did the artwork for,alongside the Eileen Soper originals?
      For instance,how she was chosen for the task,her brief on the style of her illustrations etc.

      Best Wishes

      Pete

      • March 10, 2014 4:42 pm

        Hi Pete.

        Many thanks for your comment and valued addition to this piece about Dale. I didn’t know his wife was an artist too. As I was one the generations who was also brought up with Enid Blyton Five and Seven books, her work looks very familiar. Great information.

    • Mandy permalink
      December 19, 2014 7:28 pm

      I found four prints (lithographs?) at an estate sale. It seems that they were issued by Prudential Insurance. Two of the prints are signed Dale Maxey. Two are signed “JPM”. Who is JPM? The artwork looks very similar.

      • December 20, 2014 9:33 am

        Thanks Mandy. Sadly I can’t help with the mysterious JPM signatures apart from finding a mention of them for sale which I’m thinking could be yours too (on Abebooks?). Perhaps someone reading this could enlighten us all !

      • Joel Cohen permalink
        August 20, 2015 2:50 pm

        JPM was John Parr Miller who worked for Disney Studios between 1934 and 1942. After WWII Miller decides not to work for Disney and he began doing children’s books for Little Golden Books.

      • August 20, 2015 4:58 pm

        Great thanks for the information Joel. I’m sure you’re referring to my JP Miller post here
        https://fishinkblog.com/2013/04/10/j-p-miller-mid-century-illustrator/ and not this Dale Maxey one : )

  5. Jan Cohen permalink
    April 30, 2013 7:52 pm

    Hi – I came across a pamphlet of Mother Goose Rhymes illustrations by Maxey that is a promo piece from Prudential Life insurance. There are 4 great prints and would love to upload them to you. Is that possible or should I send them in an email.. thanks Jan

    • April 30, 2013 10:43 pm

      Hi Jan, how kind of you, I’d love to see them if you could send them in an email to craig@fishink.co.uk that would be great. Obviously I’ll add them to the collection in the blog too when I get the chance. Many thanks

  6. Pete permalink
    March 10, 2014 3:36 pm

    Oh,and ps,

    Is there any chance of Betty Maxey having her own unique entry in her own right on this site if possible?
    Regards

    Pete

  7. Pete permalink
    March 10, 2014 5:22 pm

    Cheers,that would be great.
    I think Betty Maxey is far too unrecognised and appreciated considering the joy her work brought to an enormous amount of young readers.

    Regards

    Pete

    Here’s an example of some of her work:

    http://share.pho.to/4rgQI

  8. March 19, 2014 11:27 am

    Hiya – I blogged about ‘Seeing London’ a few years ago and the post was commented on by someone whose family were friends of the Maxeys. Please see http://busstop.typepad.com/blog/2009/08/dale-maxey-seeing-london.html
    Best wishes, Kristen @ Bus Stop

    • March 19, 2014 11:45 am

      Thanks for the link Kristen, great find, great post and it’s always an added bonus when someone who knows the people in the post get in touch too. I may do another one on Betty, Dale’s wife when I get a moment. Thanks again

  9. Pete permalink
    March 20, 2014 1:58 pm

    Thanks for the updates on Betty Maxey’s artwork.
    In the meantime,here’s another excellent set of illustrations she did in 1968 for the ninth Famous Five book ‘Five Fall Into Adventure’

    (Knight paperback and 1974 hardback edition)

    http://share.pho.to/4tzCa

  10. June 26, 2014 9:05 pm

    Another to look for is “Puppy Dog Tales” by Nita Jones, illustrated by Dale Maxey.

  11. Diana permalink
    May 20, 2015 2:13 am

    I have 3 vintage framed Nursery rhyme illustrations of his. Jack and Jill, the woman and the shoe and old Hubbard. Awesome to see others admiring his work!

    • May 20, 2015 10:42 am

      Great to hear Dale’s work is hanging in your home too. Thanks Diana

    • February 27, 2016 6:51 am

      Hi Diana – I have all 4 of the Prudential Nursery Rhyme prints. The Jack & Jill one and the 10 o’clock Scholar are by “JPM” who is John Parr Miller and Old Mother Hubbard and The Old Woman Who Lived In a Shoe were done by Maxey. If you check your Jack & Jill print you will find “JPM” at the bottom.

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