Barbara Remington
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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.

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Published in New York Times from Jan. 26 to Jan. 27, 2020.
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MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
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11 entries
April 12, 2020
Sad to hear of her passing, I love children's book illustrations and illustrators and Barbara Remington is top of the tree, timber, plank and all things wooden for her absolutely wonderful BOAT. Incredible creative imagination and execution...thank you. From the good things written about you, you must have had a wonderful and long life, loving, loved and highly regarded by many. Thank you again for BOAT.
Laurence Blight
February 21, 2020

So saddened to read of Barbara's passing. She was an old friend and my neighbor on 17th St. (my first loft and where the Big Apple Circus began). Barbara was a belovedly eccentric personna, a gifted artist and animal lover. She lived directly across the street in the top floor of a brownstone and had two sliding door closets in her apt. fitted with glass doors and turned into a bird aviary. No less than twenty songbirds resided there, safe from her three prowling cats! Barbara also adopted "Ophelia", the albino skunk I rescued from a magician's garage, and kept her for several years. A wonderful woman who faced every conflict with humor, grace and stoic insight. I salute her memory and pray her soul is being serenaded by thousands of songbirds.
Karen Gersch
February 11, 2020
As a child, I adored Barbara's illustrations for THE PRINCE WITH A HUNDRED DRAGONS; as a teenager, her cover art for the Ballantine Tolkien; and as an adult, I had the extreme luck to work with her during my time as art director at CRICKET magazine. I'm not sure how I ended up working with her at CRICKET--I don't think she'd illustrated for the magazine prior, but I may be wrong. The world remembers her for those Tolkien covers, but oh-- I think her children's illustrations were some of the finest things! She was lovely to work with, a great communicator, and gracious about taking direction. She always brought her own amazing ideas that only added richness to the illustrations, and we always laughed and shared stories when we discussed sketches. I was lucky enough to visit her both in New York and Pennsylvania (she even let me use her rent-controlled apartment near Union Square when she was out of town.) I remember going up to see the bluestone quarry above the field near her house, hearing about the bear that always visited her bird feeder on her birthday, and watching the hummingbirds fighting over the feeders on her porch. My last face-to-face with Barbara was through the windows of the Amtrak Zephyr--she was returning from a trip to Colorado, and the train came right through Princeton. I'd hoped to be able to hop on and sit with her as far as Chicago, but alas, there was no return train service that night, so I put on a top hat, and painted a big sign that said "Hello, Barbara!" and waved from the platform--and she grinned her big grin and waved furiously back.
January 30, 2020
A remarkable woman and incredible talent!
January 26, 2020
Barbra was a beautiful soul with a smile that could melt the hart of those who would take the time to know her. She will be dearly missed by the art community of north eastern PA. A tear and a prayer I shed in her memory!
Bill Tersteeg
January 26, 2020
Barbara was the oldest and the most admired artist in our community, she was supportive and a mentor for many artists.
We are all fortunate to have known her.
Rest in peace, Barbara
Robert and Elizabeth Stark
January 26, 2020
Her home in the Susquehanna woodland was a community focal point for love and joy.
January 26, 2020
WHAT A LIFE
January 26, 2020
Barbara helped my kids learn how to warm smooth river rocks and use crayons to turn them into beautiful pieces of art. A very interesting woman who will be missed!
Amy Hirschland
January 26, 2020
It was Barbara who in 1988 brought all of us in rural PA together at her "Birthday of the Decades" party. She was a rare talent and one of a kind, for sure.
Susan Wyler
January 26, 2020
Barbara was a great friend for many years and she will be missed.
RIP Babs
Love
Tom Noone
Tom Noone
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