Sat . 20 Aug 2020
TR | RU | UK | KK | BE |

Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone

janet and anne grahame johnstone, janet and anne grahame johnstone babes in the wood
Janet Grahame Johnstone 1 June 1928 – 1979 and Anne Grahame Johnstone 1 June 1928 – 25 May 1998 were twin sisters and British children's book illustrators best known for their delicate, detailed prolific artwork and for illustrating Dodie Smith's classic book The Hundred and One Dalmatians


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Becoming popular children's illustrators
    • 21 Work in early television
    • 22 Their prolific career
  • 3 The end of an era
    • 31 Later work
  • 4 References

Early life

The twins were born in 1928 to successful British portraitist and costume designer Doris Zinkeisen and her husband, Captain Edward Grahame Johnstone They attended the Heathfield School in Ascot, Berkshire during World War II; their artistic bent nurtured both at home and at school Later, they attended Saint Martin's School of Art in London, where they studied period clothing styles before moving to Suffolk in 1966 The twins never married and would both live with their mother until their deaths Zinkeisen died in 1991

Becoming popular children's illustrators

The Johnstone sisters' popularity took off in the early 1950s, when they were noticed by publishers and acquired a growing reputation as talented illustrators They always worked together, passing drawings back and forth across their studio until both twins were satisfied with the final outcome Janet specialized in animals and birds Anne focused on the period costumes that so dominated their work Because of their symbiotic collaboration, until the death of Janet in 1979, there was never a book illustrated under either one of their names alone

The first important book the twins worked on was The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith, who was already a very successful playwright and author In 1956 she invited them to illustrate her first children's book, and it was an immediate success, captivating parents and children alike Eventually, Smith's book was made into a feature-length animated film by Walt Disney

The twins' further success with later Smith books, The Starlight Barking and The Midnight Kittens, made them the most widely recognized illustrators of children's books in England at the time Their business association developed into an enduring friendship until Smith died in November 1990

Work in early television

Although not widely remembered, the twins at an early stage of their career worked extensively in British television, during the formative years of children's programming They produced a considerable amount of artwork for programmes including "Tai Lu", "Andy Pandy," and "The Flower Pot Men" These programmes were very popular with British children during the 1950s and 1960s

Their prolific career

Over the course of their career together, the sisters illustrated more than 100 books These included classic fairytales by Hans Christian Andersen, the Brothers Grimm, J M Barrie, Charles Kingsley, a series based on Biblical tales, Roger Lancelyn Green's Tales of the Greeks and Trojans Purnell and Sons, London, 1963, as well as a large variety of rhyme and modern story-collections Early commissions included Enid Blyton's Tales of Ancient Greece 1951, and new illustrations for a shocking old German children's morality book, Struwwelpeter 1950 The Johnstones illustrated many of Paul Gallico's magical children's stories, working on Manxmouse, The Man who was Magic, and Miracle in the Wilderness Their most collectible book to date is Enid Blyton's 1979 Dean book, called, The Enchanted Wood

Most of their work was done designing Christmas cards and illustrating numbers of large, brightly coloured gift books, mainly published by Dean Their full-page illustrations surrounding nursery rhymes, fairy tales or children's prayers were in the tradition of undemanding effusiveness set by older artists like Hilda Boswell, still hugely popular with the public though increasingly frowned on by critics

Janet and Anne also illustrated many company logos and advertisements, including a wine label designed by the twins for their own brand of wine Chateau Badingham Their work was also featured in the British children's magazine Finding Out

The end of an era

In 1979, Janet died as a result of smoke inhalation following a fire in the kitchen, leaving Anne devastated and alone for the first time in her life Their brother Murray described them together as one and a half rather than two people Anne found herself unexpectedly responsible for the entire business enterprise previously shared with her sister, and managed to honour all of their outstanding commissions She had to master the techniques for drawing and painting animals, particularly horses, which had been the specialty of her sister Eventually she became so adept that she was elected a Member of the Society of Equestrian Artists in 1998

Later work

On her own in the 1980s, Anne produced many fine illustrations Two particularly notable books she illustrated were the editions of Peter Pan and The Water Babies, published by Award Publications Each year she also produced Christmas cards for Royles, which were very popular Other projects included designs for limited edition Christmas jigsaw puzzles for the British game manufacturer Waddingtons, and two books she wrote and illustrated about Santa Claus Over the years, she became an expert in 19th-century military uniforms and often worked as an heraldic artist through the College of Arms Anne died of liver cancer in Badingham, Suffolk on 25 May 1998 at the age of 69 She continued to work until two days before her death


  1. ^ a b c Tucker, Nicholas 1998-06-22 "Obituary: Ann Grahame Johnstone" The Independent Retrieved 2 October 2010 
  2. ^ "Art of Applying Mutual Talents: Obituary, Anne Grahame Johnstone" The Guardian Features 1 June 1998: 13
  3. ^ Antoinette Brazouski & Mary J Klatt: Children's Books on Ancient Greek and Roman Mythology: An Annotated Bibliography Greenwood Press, 1994 https://booksgooglecom/booksid=7mkeJTEqs8kC&pg=PA69&lpg=PA69&dq=%22tales+of+the+greeks+and+trojans%22&source=web&ots=dc6S0Up4lR&sig=9mDDUwi5QhF3pRLO7uxsCibzF9w
  4. ^ Johnstone Memorial Collection, Seven Stories, the Centre for Children's Books 1951-1999 http://archiveshubacuk/data/gb-1840-jajpage=1#id953604
  5. ^ Betty and Anthony Reid: "Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone: Illustrators of Over 200 Children's Books", Book and Magazine Collector, No 204, March 2001 http://wwwblurbwirecom/topics/Janet_and_Anne_Grahame_Johnstone::sub::The_End_Of_An_Era
  6. ^ a b "Anne Grahame Johnstone" The Times Features 30 May 1998

janet and anne grahame johnstone, janet and anne grahame johnstone angel, janet and anne grahame johnstone babes in the wood, janet and anne grahame johnstone books, janet and anne grahame johnstone illustrations, janet and anne grahame johnstone mermaid illustration, janet and anne grahame johnstone struwwelpeter, janet and anne grahame johnstone zoomed at it

Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone Information about

Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone

  • user icon

    Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone beatiful post thanks!


Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone
Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone
Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone viewing the topic.
Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone what, Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone who, Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone explanation

There are excerpts from wikipedia on this article and video

Random Posts

Body politic

Body politic

The body politic is a metaphor that regards a nation as a corporate entity,2 likened to a human body...


Kakamega is a town in western Kenya lying about 30 km north of the Equator It is the headquarte...
Academic year

Academic year

An academic year is a period of time which schools, colleges and universities use to measure a quant...
Lucrezia Borgia

Lucrezia Borgia

Lucrezia Borgia Italian pronunciation: luˈkrɛttsja ˈbɔrdʒa; Valencian: Lucrècia Borja luˈkrɛsia...