Pyle, Howard, 1853-1911

Alternative names
Birth 1853-03-05
Death 1911-11-09

Biographical notes:

American illustrator and writer of children's books.

From the description of Howard Pyle letter to Elmer Reynolds July 2, 1887. (Ohio University). WorldCat record id: 13054039

Illustrator, muralist, writer, art teacher, of Wilmington, Del.

From the description of Howard Pyle manuscript collection, 1898-1988. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70977558

Illustrator and children's book author; Wilmington, Del.

From the description of Howard Pyle letters, 1894 Aug. 19-1899 Nov. 14. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122370540

American artist and author.

From the description of Typewritten letter signed : Wilmington, Delaware, to Mr. F.A. Duneka, of Harper & Brothers, 1905 Dec. 29. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270615907

From the description of Autograph letters signed, letters signed, typewritten letters signed, autograph postal card signed, autograph bill, and telegrams (66) : Wilmington, Del., etc., addressed to members of the art and literary departments at Harper & Brothers, 1890 Jan. 24-1895 Aug. 15. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270615904

Howard Pyle was an American illustrator and writer from Wilmington, Delaware.

From the guide to the Howard Pyle letter to Elmer Reynolds, July 2, 1887, (Ohio University)

Pyle, an American illustrator, noted for his illustrations of children's classical tales.

From the description of [Letters, 1895-1905] / Howard Pyle. (Smith College). WorldCat record id: 319637737

Howard Pyle, b. Wilmington, Del., Mar. 5, 1853, d. Nov. 9, 1911, was a noted American illustrator and author whose work is characterized by an imaginative and colorful realism and attention to historical detail. He illustrated numerous historical and adventure stories for such periodicals as Harper's Weekly and St. Nicholas as well as his own books for children, including The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (1883) and Otto of the Silver Hand (1888). In his later years Pyle devoted most of his time to teaching such illustrators of the succeeding generation of the American Brandywine school as Maxfield Parrish, Frank E. Schoonover, Jessie Wilcox Smith, and N. C. Wyeth. Pyle taught and headed the Drexel Institute's School of Illustration from 1894 to 1900.

From the description of Howard Pyle collection, 1894-1940. (Drexel University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 62075793

Howard Pyle (1853 – 1911) was an illustrator and author, best known for his work in books for young people, such as The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood and King Arthur . He founded the Howard Pyle School of Illustration Art and his students included, among others, N. C. Wyeth, Frank Schoonover, and Elenore Abbott.

From the guide to the Howard Pyle Etchings, 1902-1903, (Boise State University Library, Special Collections and Archives)

American artist Howard Pyle was born on March 5, 1853 in Wilmington, Delaware. He was a popular illustrator, producing content for both magazines and books, as well as a painter.

He was the son of William Pyle, a leather manufacturer, and Margaret Churchman Painter Pyle. Pyle's formal art education consisted of three years of study with the Antwerp-trained artist, Van der Weilen, in Philadelphia from 1869–1872. Following the publication of an illustrated article in Scribners Magazine in 1876, Pyle moved to New York where he attended classes at the Art Students League and continued to produce short tales and illustrations for magazines such as Harper's Weekly and St. Nicholas. In 1879, Pyle moved back to Wilmington; he continued to contribute work to popular magazines and also obtained assignments for book illustrations and began to write and illustrate his own books. Among his best-known early works was an illustrated adaptation of the Robin Hood legends The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood (1883). For much of his career Pyle produced similar works with a particular emphasis on Arthurian and medieval legends, American colonial tales, adventure stories, and books for children. Pyle also produced illustrations for books by prominent authors of his time including William Dean Howells, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry Van Dyke, James Branch Cabell, and John Greenleaf Whittier.

Although Pyle is regarded as one of the pre-eminent illustrators of his time, he also maintained a successful painting career. In addition, he was a respected teacher at the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia (where he was appointed director of the School of Illustration), at the Art Institute in Chicago, and at the Art Student League in New York. In 1898, Pyle, with financial backing from Drexel, founded a summer art school at Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania; the summer school proved successful and continued until 1903. In 1900, Pyle resigned his position at Drexel and founded the Howard Pyle School of Art in Wilmington. Pyle's former students include many of the best-known American illustrators of the period including Elizabeth Shippen Green, Thornton Oakley, Violet Oakley, N. C. Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish, and Frank Schoonover.

In 1905, Pyle ceased his work as a formal art teacher, though he continued to lecture and advise former students. His illustration career remained highly successful and he also began to receive commissions for murals. In 1910 Pyle traveled to Italy to study murals. Howard Pyle died during that trip on November 9, 1911 in Florence, Italy.

Agosta, Lucien L. Howard Pyle . Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1987.

From the guide to the Howard Pyle correspondence, 1890–1904, (University of Delaware Library - Special Collections)


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Ark ID:


  • Art, American--20th century--Exhibitions
  • Pyle, Howard, 1853-1911
  • Arts
  • etching (printing process)
  • Mural painting and decoration
  • Illustration of books
  • Bibliophile Society (Boston, Mass.)
  • Bicknell, William Harry Warren, 1860-1947
  • Art--Study and teaching
  • Illustrators
  • Authors
  • Art, American


  • Artists
  • Illustrators--Delaware--Wilmington
  • Authors, American--Delaware--Wilmington
  • Artists--Delaware--Wilmington


  • Delaware--Wilmington (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Delaware--Wilmington (as recorded)