“I first met Murray when he came to my school in Great Neck, Long Island. His slide presentation opened up the whole world of illustration. He was so passionate that his enthusiasm gave me the alibi I needed to pursue a career in the field. Murray was the fiercest proponent of illustration I’ve ever met. He made it clear to me that I was in a noble profession.”
– Peter de Sève.
Murray Tinkleman, a legend of the illustration field and an influential educator, died January 30, just several weeks after the passing of his wife and studio partner, Carol. Inquisitive, kind, and giving, Murray was a mentor to many and an advocate for artists everywhere. He was inducted into the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame in 2013 and the video I’ve attached at the end of this post marked the occasion.
Vincent Di Fate’s celebration of his friend’s multi-faceted career is far more knowledgeable and eloquent than anything I might say, so after you read it, you can enjoy some of Murray’s art below. It’s a good way to remember one of the greats.
Arnie Fenner has worn a number of hats in his career, sometimes several at once. He was a Senior Artist for Hallmark Cards for 19 years, and for the last 14 has been the Senior Art Director for Andrews McMeel Publishing (part of Universal Press Syndicate).
While working in the corporate world, he has also (as time permitted) been a junior partner in the Jankus/Tiber advertising agency, served as art director for Mark Ziesing Books, been a small press publisher (of both books and magazines), and worked as a freelance illustrator and designer.
Fenner has produced many CD and book covers over the years for titles by everyone from Stephen King to Harlan Ellison to Bob Dylan to R.E.M.; he's received medals from the Society of Illustrators, certificates from Communication Arts, and two World Fantasy Awards. He collaborates with his wife, Cathy Fenner, on a wide variety of art books (including retrospectives devoted to Frank Frazetta, Dave Stevens, and Robert McGinnis among others) and the annual SPECTRUM: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art.
This is a huge loss for the world of illustration and even more so for those of us who knew him well and considered him a mentor as well as a dear friend. Murray's personality was infectious and his enthusiasm for and knowledge of illustration was boundless. He along with his dear wife Carol adopted all of us when we entered the Hartford Art School MFA in Illustration program and I was proud to call them my “Jewish parents”. I will miss them both tremendously. RIP Murray and Carol. Our loss is Heaven's gain.