Ashley Bryan, a New York City native artist, poses for a picture surrounded by his paintings at his home in Islesford on Little Cranberry Island in 2014. Credit: Ashley L. Conti

Acclaimed artist and longtime Islesford resident Ashley Bryan will have his decades-spanning archive housed at the University of Pennsylvania, according to a recent announcement from the university.

Bryan’s collection of paintings, drawings, manuscripts and correspondence will go to the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts at the Penn Libraries. The Kislak Center will celebrate the acquisition, as well as the publication of the 96-year-old Bryan’s newest children’s book, “Infinite Hope,” on Dec. 5. The book tells Bryan’s firsthand account of serving in the Army during World War II.

The BDN reported on the initial plans to transfer the archive from the Islesford-based Ashley Bryan Center to the Kislak Center in February.

Bryan’s career as a painter, puppet maker, author and illustrator dates back to his teenage years during the Great Depression, when he was growing up in New York City. Best known for illustrating children’s books, during the course of his career he has won multiple Coretta Scott King book awards and has received a Newbery Honor, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award and the Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award, among others. In 2008, he was named a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library along with Edward Albee, Nora Ephron and Salman Rushdie. Bryan has lived on Little Cranberry Island for more than 50 years.

Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.