Last week I visited Millesgården in Stockholm. They are showing an exhibition about the illustrator Ingrid Vang Nyman. She was the first to illustrate Astrid Lindgrens character Pippi Långstrump/Longstocking. And she also did a lot of other commissions for Astrid Lindgren.
Publicly she is not well known, so the exhibition is a good introduction to her work and maybe to give her more credit than she has. But I am very familiar with her since before, so I was left a little unsatisfied after visiting Millesgården. I wanted to see so many more sketches and original drawings. But I am an illustrator nerd and always want more of everything!
Ingrid Vang Nyman was most productive during the years 1945 to 1959, when she ended her life. She had an art education from Copenhagen. And a strong sense of her work being more valuable, than illustrators normally was getting credit and money for. She fought for her rights and influence over the use of her images. A lonely and tuff struggle…
Her style of illustration was very modern to swedish eyes, with influence from the continent and Denmark where she grew up and studied. Astrid Lindgren liked her modern approach to childrens book illustration and so did the children. The characters where fresh and lively, in black ink and flat colours. There were no perspective laws and the illustrations were simplified, but with more and more decorative elements after some years.