New $10,000 Award for Children's Book Illustrators — 09.12.10

The Arts Foundation is thrilled to announce the establishment of a new award for children's book illustrators, which has been made possible by a significant private sector donation.

Portrait of Ann Mallinson by Alan Knowles.

Veteran childern's book publisher Ann Mallinson is making a donation, to the Arts Foundation's Endowment Fund, following the sale of her company Mallinson Rendel to Penguin last year. The new Award will be called the Mallinson Rendel Illustrators Award. It will be presented every two years to a children's book illustrator with published work of a high standard and includes a no-strings cash gift of $10,000. The recipient will be selected by a voluntary panel appointed by the Arts Foundation without the artist knowing that he or she is under consideration. It will not be possible to apply for the Award.

Ann Mallinson said "I have long felt the need for recognition of the painterly skills, imagination and artistry that are required to do justice to the words in a picture book.  This is an important artform, as it is a child's first introduction to books.   I am delighted that at the end of my publishing career I am able to make a contribution in this field".

Arts Foundation Chair, Fran Ricketts, applauded Ann on her initiative. "The Arts Foundation is proud to be producing an award for illustrators, it is an art form that does not get the level of recognition that it deserves. Ann's gift is also a fantastic way to celebrate the Mallinson Rendel publishing company, which has been such an important part of so many childern's lives both here and around the world."

Mallinson Rendel was an independent publishing company which specialised in children's books.   Established by David Rendel and Ann Mallinson in 1980, it operated until 2009.   Mallinson Rendel was best known for its picture books which, in Joy Cowley's words, "set in place in this country a standard of excellence that won't retire".   It was always Mallinson Rendel's belief that children's books deserve the best.   Illustrators published by Mallinson Rendel include Lynley Dodd, Robyn Belton, Jenny Cooper, Bob Kerr, Philip Paea, Lesley Moyes, Christopher White, Trish Bowles and Terewai Kemp.

Ann Mallinson's donation brings the amount of private donations made to the Arts Foundation this year to over $1.1 million. "We are having an incredible year", said Fran Ricketts. "The generosity of patrons is making a real difference to the lives of many of our talented artists. The Arts Foundation is proud to be working with private sector entrepreneurs to contribute to the development of outstanding talent in New Zealand".