Born on August 5, 1890, in Kingston, New York, Maud Fuller grew up the daughter of a Baptist minister. The family traveled a lot and Maud enjoyed sketching her world and reading. After graduating from Vassar College, she studied a year at the New York School of Fine and Applied Arts. Taking a job at the International Art Service changed her life forever. There she met her future husband when he gave her professional criticism and tutored her. With Miska Petersham, Maud embarked on a prestigious career in illustrating and writing children's books.
Their first project together was a book called Miki named after their son. Its acceptance for publication surprised them both. When a friend of Miska's asked the couple to illustrate a book for him, their illustrations were so successful that many more offers came to them. Maud worked with her left hand and Miska drew with his right hand, and they often started a book with drawings before words. Their attention to detail, their use of new technology, their ability to naturally incorporate ethnicity and a social consciousness, and their high standards for illustrations made them extremely popular with children and adults. The Petershams were runners-up for the Caldecott Medal in 1942, and they won the prestigious award in 1946 for The Rooster Crows. After her husband's death, Maud sold the home they'd built and moved into a smaller place. Passing away on November 29, 1971, she outlived Miska by 11 years.
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