1929 - 2020
Barbara Remington of Thompson, PA, prolific artist and renowned cover art illustrator of J. R. R. Tolkien novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, died January 23, 2020.
Born into a St. Paul, Minnesota family of artists and political activists, she moved to Chicago alone in her teens to pursue her art and discover city life. She later returned to Minnesota to continue her art studies and married musician Robert Tweedy from the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. The couple ventured West to the gold mining town of Central City CO where Remington worked steadily as a freelance artist / illustrator.
After ending her marriage she moved to New York's East Village becoming a fixture among it's burgeoning beatnik / hippie community, befriending such poets as Allen Ginsburg and personal mentor Lionel Ziprin. She opened up the "Boggle Shop" on Manhattan's Lower Eastside, focusing on handmade crafts and supplies (a brick-and-mortar Etsy pre-cursor), and as a former boatbuilder, volunteered restoring (and crewing on) the Petrel, the 70-foot yawl moored at South Street seaport. For 44 years she regularly opened her East 17th Street loft to itinerate artists, musicians, Union Square Farmers' Market vendors, and even members of a traveling circus in need of shelter. She frequented late night music venues and clubs such as Max's Kansas City, sketching many breakout personalities of the punk rock era.
Following two additional marriages (to the late Ed Preston, and later Brian Brughbinder), Remington settled full-time on her 25-acre remote rural property in Susquehanna Country, PA, where she was a beloved figure of Northeastern Pennsylvania's artists' and writers' community.
Her illustrated books include Boat, The Christmas Mouse, Really Not Really, The Billy Goats Gruff, and illustrations in Highlights Magazine and Cooking from a Country Farmhouse.
Remington was predeceased by her parents Heck and 'Pete' Remington, and brother Bob Remington.
Published in New York Times from Jan. 26 to Jan. 27, 2020.