American, b. 1924
Fisher began his art training at the Heckscher Foundation (NY), and later studied with Moses Soyer at the New Art School, Reginald Marsh at the Art Students League, and Olindo Ricci and Serge Chermayeff at Brooklyn College where he also minored in geology (1932-1942). During World War II, he served with the Operations Section, U.S Army's 30th Topographic Engineers, assigned to the staff of General George C. Marshall and later JICPOA (Joint Intelligence Command Pacific Ocean Area), and participated in the tactical topographic mapping of major Allied campaigns in the Mediterranean, European, and Pacific Theaters. These included 5th Army operations in Italy; 7th Army invasion of South France; 3rd Army operations in France; the invasions of Iwo Jima and Okinawa; and the aborted invasion of Japan (1942-1946).
Following the war, he attended Yale University's School of Art where he earned BFA and MFA degrees (1949, 1950), taught design theory as a graduate fellow, and was awarded Yale's William Wirt Winchester Traveling Fellowship and John Ferguson Weir Prize. His art was first seen in Manhattan at the Jacques Seligmann Galleries (1946-1948) and later at the Edwin C. Hewitt Gallery under the auspices of Lincoln Kirstein (1950-1952). Between 1954-2007 he illustrated some 260 books for young readers (published in a dozen plus languages world-wide), authoring 90 of these; designed ten United States postage stamps; executed paintings for the Norwalk (CT) Transit District Building lobby, and numerous easel works. His illustrations pioneered the first eight Reading Laboratories for Science Research Associates (Chicago, IL). In 1959 he revived the soft engraving (i.e. scratchboard) technique for children's books and went on to produce some 6,000 such pieces over the next 25 years not only for books but for postage stamps, posters, and magazines.
He is a recipient of a Pulitzer painting award (1950), the Premio Grafico Fiera Internazionale di Bologna (1968), the University of Southern Missisippi Medallion (1979), a National Jewish Book Award (1980), the Christopher Medal for Illustration (1981), the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal (1991), the University of Minnesota's Kerlan Award (1991), the American Library Association's Arbuthnot citation (1994), and the New England Booksellers Association Children's Literature Award (2002), among other honors.
He was a delegate to the 1979 White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services during the Carter Administration; is Dean Emeritus of the Paier College of Art (CT) and a member of its program advisory committee. In addition, he is a member of the Lowe Illustration Committee of the New Britain Museum of American Art, and served on the advisory board of the Master of Fine Arts program of Western Connecticut State University. A longtime resident of Westport, CT, he is a founding member of the Westport-Weston Arts Council (now the Westport Arts Center), past president of the Westport Library Board of Trustees, and recipient of Westport's Lifetime Achievement Award for the Visual Arts. Also, he is an Honorary Lifetime