The Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators is proud to present an exhibit of work from the award-winning children’s book Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans. With his large scale brightly colored oil paintings, author/illustrator Kadir Nelson creates powerful images from the history of African Americans beginning with colonization to the civil rights movement. Written in the voice of a former slave that goes on to cast her vote for the country’s first African American president, Kadir’s book portrays scenes of triumph and hardships that have become important symbols to the nation’s history.
Kadir Nelson is considered the premiere illustrator of African American history and culture. He has won numerous awards including Caldecott Honors for Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine and Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People To Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, for which he also received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and won an NAACP Image Award. Kadir’s work has been exhibited in numerous galleries and museums including the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum, the Citizen’s Gallery of Yokohama, Japan, and the Studio Museum in Harlem. He is also the cover artist for Michael Jackson’s posthumous album, Michael.