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This 1976 cover art from A Wrinkle in Time is uncredited. I'm shocked, and I was ignorant of this trivia mystery until it was brought up recently in a thorough research endeavor by S. Elizabeth on Unquietthings. I can't top the author's research: ISFDB really doesn't have it. Publishers have no info. Various sites like Reddit hit dead ends years ago. It's speculated to be Charles Lilly by some but confirmed by none.

ISFD gives in the notes:

"First Laurel-Leaf printing -- March 1976" stated on copyright page. No cover artist credit. Yunchtime.net is trying to prove that the artwork was created by Charles Lilly in here.

If they don't know, and all the sources contacted on that blog and image searching and such still brings up no artist, I'm at a loss and late to the party. Is this truly still uncredited art? If not, who (or Whatsit or Which) is the artist?

Cover art portraying a centaur-like creature with outstretched multicolored wings above a clear sphere, in it a frightening face with a bald head and red eyes. All over a background of sky, stars, clouds, mountains.

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  • 1
    It looks like most of the covers of Dell Laurel Leaf books from the 1970s are uncredited. Is there something that makes this one special?
    – DavidW
    May 12, 2023 at 21:42
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    There are a lot of works of unknown provenance but how many for a Newbery?
    – livresque
    May 12, 2023 at 21:46
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    The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle; no listed cover artist for the first UK edition or the 2009 Akasha Classics edition. No cover info for the 1986 edition of The Twenty One Balloons by William Pène du Bois...
    – DavidW
    May 12, 2023 at 22:11
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    @OrganicMarble If you look at this cover which is by du Bois, you'll see that's a redrawing of his cover, but I don't want to get bogged down in minutiae. My point is merely that, working from a very small sample size, it's not impossible, or even that uncommon, for an award-winning novel to have uncredited cover art on one or another edition. Here's one for Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.
    – DavidW
    May 13, 2023 at 1:18
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    @KlausÆ.Mogensen Yep, as I cited in my question for her extensive efforts, it was the impetus for asking here. Someone could answer it is uncredited, but I'm really hoping we've got more sleuths. It might help if the author's name were spelled correctly in the tag here, but my attempt to do so was denied.
    – livresque
    May 13, 2023 at 12:39

1 Answer 1

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There is such a thing as an artist.

Artist: Known — Illustrator for 'A Wrinkle in Time' gets long-overdue credit

Richard Bober is being credited for this cover art based on his related artwork, what remains of his personal archives, and his agent, Jane Frank. Family references include sources from his brother Leon Bober and nephew Matthew Bober, supporting this credit as researched by Amory Sivertson with Ben Brock Johnson presented in an interview on Endless Thread.

Thanks to blogger Sarah Elizabeth of Unquiet Things who jump started the topic asking about this uncredited mystery, Endless Threads producer pulled at this string as well, from publishers Dell and Doubleday to people, eventually to family and Bober's agent. When search engines and library stacks and L'Engle's own archives floundered, Amory reached out to even more people, doubling back and including the research of S. Elizabeth, who recently published comments of provenance left by the family on her blog.

Slides unearthed from Richard Bober's digital archive, as transcribed in the radio program:

Ben (reacting to a picture of slides): Oooo. So I see 4 paintings here and they're VERY cool. There's like a shark swallowing a person and the person's feet are sticking out. There's a painting of two hands holding up a television with a super creepy image on it. And... there's the painting! There it is! In all its glory! And it totally fits stylistically with the others. Like, this is clearly the work of one artist. And one really talented, kinda spooky, artist. It's really cool.

slides from Richard Bober's digital archive including cover art from A Wrinkle in Time and similar stylistic works

Madeleine L'Engle might take this opportunity to remind us of the power of names. "If someone knows who he is, really knows, then he doesn’t need to hate. That’s why we still need Namers, because there are places throughout the universe like your planet Earth. When everyone is really and truly Named, then the Echthroi will be vanquished.” (A Wind in the Door)

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    The fact that the pictured painting extends beyond the artwork of the cover is certainly extremely convincing.
    – DavidW
    Sep 2, 2023 at 0:48

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