Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tasha Tudor, a Tribute

Today the world lost a talented and gifted friend. Beloved Tasha Tudor, author and illustrator of many books and gardener extraordinaire, passed away at her home in Marlboro, Vermont. Born in Boston, Massachusetts on August 28, 1915, she was named after her father, Starling Burgess. But her father, who enjoyed Tolstoy's War and Peace preferred to call her Natasha after a character in the book. Her mother's friends would sometimes refer to her as Rosamund Tudor's daughter. Tasha liked the sound of the name Tasha Tudor, and eventually had her name legally changed to reflect this preference.

Ms. Tudor received many awards and honors for her exceptional contribution to literature. A Caldecott Honor was given for her work for Mother Goose in 1945 and again in 1957 for the book 1 is One. She also received the Regina Medal in 1971 for her contributions to children's literature. Her prose was always simple and captivating, frequently including rhyming text. Enchanting illustrations were detailed and realistic in soft colors that seemed to fade away onto the page. She was known for her love of nature and flowers, birds, and other charming animals were frequently featured in her art.

Some of the books she wrote and illustrated are:

Pumpkin Moonshine
A Tale for Easter
Snow before Christmas
Thistly B
The Dolls' Christmas
Edgar Allan Crow
Amanda and the Bear
A is for Annebelle
1 is One
A Time to Keep
Corgiville Fair
Tasha Tudor's Seasons of Delight
The Great Corgiville Kidnapping

Tasha Tudor was one of the great artists of the 20th century. Her love for illustrating New England nostalgia and sentimental illustrations that made one think of a bygone era. She lived her life as she dreamed, simply and sustainably, preferring the old-fashioned in both lifestyle and dress. For 92 years the world has been blessed by her presence and contribution to American culture, literature, and art. Although she is gone from us now, her legacy and spirit will live on through the work she so fluently contributed to all.

Tasha, you will be missed.

The photographs today are taken from one of my favorite books: Tasha Tudor's Garden by Tovah Martin and Richard W. Brown.

Tasha Tudor

Born: August 28, 1915
Boston, Massachusetts

Died: June 18, 2008
Marlboro, Vermont

92 Years of Age

Tasha Tudor's Memorial Website
Memory Book & Obituary


  1. I hadn't yet heard this...what a treasure we've lost.

  2. Tasha Tudor will definitely be missed, but we have her wonderful books to remember her by. I also pulled out the same book to remember her. She was like no other, unique in her way.

  3. I hadn't heard. I'm deeply saddened. What a gift Tasha Tudor was to the world - in her quiet way she was so inspiring! I will certainly treasure the books I have of hers. ::Jill

  4. Anonymous5:31 PM

    Hi LaTeaDah,

    I hadn't heard until I came to visit you. She lived her life to the full - and will be missed for all her talents.

  5. What a beautiful tribute!! Thank you.

  6. I am sad to hear this. I so loved reading her books and seeing her TV specials. She was such a great inspiration in all that she accomplished. Maybe someday I will get to go see her mueseum.


  7. I am so sorry to hear about Tasha Tudor's death. I have so many of her books and my mother is a big fan also. Thanks for letting us know. your tribute is very nice.
    Blessings, Nancy

  8. What a nice post in her memory. I hadn't heard either! I love A Is For Annebelle.

  9. Anonymous9:04 PM

    I hadn't heard and I feel so sad right now. I so loved her illustrations and reading of her life. You've written a beautiful tribute. xoxo

  10. Anonymous9:47 PM

    I'm so sad she is gone. i fell in love with her when I worked at the tea shop. The owners carried several of her books in the store. I have a book she illustrated that's not on your list, A Little Princess.
    I love that Tasha dipped her own candles and she always had afternoon tea. I loved how she kept so much of the past alive by living it everyday.

  11. My adult life has been so inspired by Tasha Tudor!!! I have almost all of her books that I could get my hands on and even got to go visit with her at Corgi cottage several years ago. It was so wonderful and I even met Seth who I couldn't imagine to be an older man since I always see him as the son in the pictures about her house being built a book written by Bethany. Thanks for sharing this sad news and what a beautiful tribute you've written about her!

  12. This is so beautifully done (as usual) that I linked to it from my blog. :)

    Except for her artwork, to me Sasha's legacy will be that one can live their life in such a way that they do not have to be affected by the culture.

  13. I hadn't heard either. My daughter loves the illustrations she did in "The Doll's House" and has read a couple of her books as well.

    Beautiful photos, beautiful tribute and post. Thank you.

  14. Sorry to learn this. The world did lose a wonderful person.

    But I'm not sorry for her, because she lived an amazing life. And she lived it, totally as she wished to live it. How wonderful is that? How many people get to live such a life? Not many. Not many.

    And she sounded as if she would be ready to go, when her time came. She often said that when that time came, she was going right back to the 1830's where she felt she had lived before, and felt she belonged. I hope this is possible for her.

    I'm sure she rests in peace. Might we all live such a full and self-directed life!

    I will always love you Tasha...

    'Smilnsigh' blog

  15. A lovely tribute to a special lady!

  16. I have a beautiful copy of A Little Princess that she illustrated. I'm so sorry to lose her.

  17. Anonymous12:02 PM

    Tasha was a very nice person. I had the pleasure of working with her for 4 years at Corgi Cottage Industries. I spent many days at her home watching her draw, or sign prints, or just walk through her gardens. She will be missed.

  18. Anonymous1:06 PM

    If interested, I have the first chapter of my book on my site.

  19. Oh no, how sad, she will be missed.

  20. I love Tasha Tudor.
    Years ago I splurged and bought the fabulous "Tasha Tudor's Garden" book, full of color illustrations of her and her heavenly gardens.
    Oh the sweet peas and the blueberries and the little girls in old fashioned pinafores and six foot tall foxgloves in the secret garden.
    What a true lady. I believe Heaven's gardens are flourishing today with her gentle touch.

  21. oh to have more Tashas' ...what a beautiful tribute.She was a inspiring woman.

  22. I've heard about Tasha, she must have been an amazing woman. I love her drafts and the pictures you showed us!

  23. Tasha Tudor was truly amazing. I recently found an article online of there being a public memorial for her in Vermont, I thought I would share with you.

    The public is welcome to join friends and family of distinguished Vermont illustrator Tasha Tudor to celebrate her life.
    Fans of the beloved artist, who was known for her trademark Welsh Corgi dogs and her mid-19th century lifestyle, are invited to say farewell at the public memorial service on Friday, Sept. 12, beginning at 6:45 p.m. at the Adams Family Farm in Wilmington.
    The Adams family was close to the well-known illustrator for many years, so organizers say it was a natural fit to have the general public share their favorite Tasha memories at the family's farm.
    "There wasn't a good way for them (Tasha's fans) to grief and remember and celebrate her life," said Natalie Wise, officer manager with the Tasha Tudor and Family Inc. "The family would like to welcome everyone to come and celebrate Tasha's life."
    Participants will take a short walk to the pond where a brief ceremony will commence, with floating candles available for guests to release on the pond in the twilight. Wise said the floating candles are symbolic of one of Tudor's most beloved books, "Becky's Birthday," in which there is a floating cake and candles on the pond around sunset.
    Following the ceremony, a bonfire on the farm will allow family and friends to reminisce about the longtime illustrator and Vermont icon.
    "Tasha Tudor fans have posted over 2,000 messages of condolence on the Memorial Web site,

    but now they'll have a chance to say farewell at a ceremony held outside in nature, as Tasha would have preferred," said her grandson Winslow Tudor in a press statement.

    This will be the first public event since her death on June 18. While there is no charge to attend the ceremony, residents will have to reserve a spot ahead of time by calling 802-257-4444.

    Link for the complete article:

  24. I know it's old news now, but what a lovely tribute to the one and only Tasha Tudor. I was honored to have an essay in a gardening book several years ago, a book that also included an essay about Tasha's gardens. She left an impact on her world in many ways.

    I'm your newest follower. :)


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