Walter Trier: Satire, Children & Politics

Children’s illustrator Walter Trier remains a force in the graphic arts 60 years after his death, in part because of his mega-donation to the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Trier was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1890.  He moved to Berlin at age 20 where he became known for his caricatures and childrens’ book illustrations. Trier fled to England from Nazi Germany in 1936 and immigrated to Canada in 1947.  In Toronto, he illustrated books and designed posters. He died in Collingwood, Ontario in 1951.  In 1976 the Art Gallery of Ontario received a gift from the Trier-Fodor Foundation of over 1,100 works by Trier and 345 folk toys. The gift was accompanied by an endowment to support the acquisition of humorous, satirical and illustrative art.  (See more here)

These two illustrations (below) from an AGO exhibit on Trier, feature more than 30 original pen-ink-and-watercolor illustrations for The Animals’ Conference.  It’s a classic children’s book written by Erich Kästner and published in 1947.  It tells a story of a group of animals who hold a peace conference at the same time as government leaders meet to discuss war.


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