Sidney Quinn was an American illustrator and watercolor painter, best known as a longtime contributor to the magazine Highlights for Children, where he notably continued long-running features such as 'The Timbertoes' (1977-1994) and 'Goofus and Gallant' (1984-1994).

Early life and education
Sidney A. Quinn was born in 1914 in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he began drawing and painting scenes of the city. Upon graduation from high school, he enrolled at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 1932. The young artist discovered he was allergic to turpentine, and therefore could not work with oil paint. He thus spent the rest of his life making water colors and pen-and-ink drawings. Quinn's ambitions to become a book illustrator were initially tempered, as there was hardly any work during the Great Depression. He went back to school and earned a bachelor's degree in public school art education from Kutztown State Teachers College in 1942. During the war, Quinn worked as a technical illustrator for an aircraft factory in Emmaus, called Consolidated Vultee. After the war, he found work in advertising in Philadelphia.

Highlights for Children
His luck changed in 1946, when Dr. Garry Cleveland Myers offered him a position as staff illustrator for his new monthly magazine Highlights for Children. He however declined because he didn't want to leave his hometown Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Instead, Quinn began drawing for publishers of religious educational materials for children, becoming an expert on historical costuming and Bible trivia. From 1950 on his art eventually found its way to Highlights for Children, but then as a freelance contributor. He spent the next decades working for this educational magazine. In October 1977 he became the writer-illustrator of the picture story series 'The Timbertoes', after the original author John Gee had died. It was a comics feature with text captions beneath the images, starring a family of wooden pixie-like characters. In 1984 Quinn also succeeded Marion Hull Hamel as the illustrator of 'Goofus and Gallant', a feature presenting on one side a mischievous child engaging in unacceptable behavior (Goofus), and on the other side a model child (Gallant) showing how it should be done. The artist was well aware of the overtly moralistic tone of the comic, as he was quoted in his obituary article in The Morning Call on 10 December 1994: "Actually sometimes it's a little unreal. The good kid is too good and the bad kid isn't bad enough. I guess these days Goofus should be shown selling drugs or something."

Death and legacy
Sidney A. Quinn continued to work until his death in December 1994. 'The Timbertoes' were continued by the subsequent writer-artist teams Marileta Robinson-Judith Hunt and Rich Wallace-Ron Zalme. Following Quinn's death 'Goofus and Gallant' have lived on in the hands of illustrators Kit Wray (1995), Anni Matsick (1996-2005) and Leslie Harrington (2006-present). In September 1997, the Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College in Collegeville hosted a retrospective exhibition of Sidney Quinn's watercolors and comic strip illustrations, as well as the inventions he used in his studio.

Series and books by Sidney A. Quinn in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:


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