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Biography: Milo Winter

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Birth: August 7, 1888
Death: August 15, 1956


Book Illustrator

Bio Summary

Milo Winter was and is known for his great illustrations, especially the work he did for the Chicago-based printer and publisher Rand McNally’s Windermere series. The titles he is well-known for illustrating include Gulliver’s Travels, Arabian Nights, Alice in Wonderland, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, The Three Musketeers, A Christmas Carol, Treasure Island, and Aesop’s Fables. Winter’s illustrations covered the subjects of animals, the human figure, Genre (Human Activity), and Fantasy/Adventure/Sci-Fi. While prominently known for children’s book illustrations, he also did Muragraphs, a series of reproductions of 12 historical paintings that he did for libraries and schools. He worked in Chicago until the early 1950s, when he moved to New York, where he shortly died thereafter in 1956.

Early Life/Family

Milo Winter was born in Princeton, Illinois in 1888. He attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago to receive his art training. He wrote and illustrated his first book, Billy Popgun, which he submitted to Houghton Mifflin in 1912. Since then, Winter worked most of his life in Chicago, illustrating for publishers.


Winter attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago until 1912. He did illustrations for books from his teens to thirties.

Career Outline

Winter worked as a book illustrator starting from 1911. He gained recognition by doing illustrations for East Coast publications. He illustrated for Chicago publishers, such as Houghton Mifflin and Rand MacNally all the while still being active with the East Coast publications. From 1947 to 1949, Winter took position in Field Enterprises’ Childcraft books as the art director. From 1949, he worked in the Silver Burdett Company in the film strip division, again employed as the art editor.

Comments On Style

Winter’s art was masterful with accuracy and humor. His animal drawings demonstrate his ability to create personality in anatomically accurate depictions of animals. His illustrations also show great attention to detail.


Edmund Dulac, Walter Crane, Howard Pyle, N.C. Wyeth


Winter was adaptive to popular techniques and mediums. For example, in 1946, he created illustrations for Houghton Mifflin’s Animal Inn using the scratch board technique, a then-current technique. Also, his Muragraphs were in response to murals being popular in the 1930s.


Winter was a personal friend of Harry Clow, the president of Rand McNally, and he married a noteworthy sculptress and had a son in 1913 who also grew up to be an artist.



His credits roll long for book illustrations, but apparently none for film.


Part of the canon of established Chicago book illustrators

Related Links


Arabian Nights Books

The Children’s Literature Research Collections

Bibliographic References

Miller, Arthur H. “Children’s Book Illustrator Milo Winter.” Caxtonian. Jan. 2004: 4,5.

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