Tom Funk



Tom Funk: a photograph from c. 2000 and a 1930s (?) self-portrait

Tom Funk was born in Brooklyn on 18 July 1911, and attended Amherst College, the Art Students' League and the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design, New York. He was working in a display studio when he met Edna Eicke, later a celebrated New Yorker cover artist. They were married in 1943, and until 1953 they lived in Greenwich Village, New York. Like many other artists, writers and actors, they then moved to Westport, Connecticut – considered an artists' community, and at that time regarded as being way out in the country.

Tom's career included freelance book, magazine and advertising illustration. His work appeared regularly in the New Yorker and the Dramatists Guild Quarterly, and frequently in Harper's, Woman's Day, Gourmet, House & Garden and LIFE. He designed Christmas cards, and for many years contributed the Amherst College New Year card; he illustrated books and activity kits for children, textbooks, and many cookbooks. His grandfather and great-uncle had founded the dictionary publishers Funk & Wagnalls, and Tom illustrated four books on word derivations written by an uncle, Charles E. Funk, the firm's former head lexicographer.

After nearly fifty years in Westport, Tom moved to Norwalk, Connecticut, where he continued to draw and paint local scenes and was happy to prepare artwork for many local organizations. His last major project was a collaboration with the late William G. Cahan of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, NY, on a series of anti-Big Tobacco cartoons. His hobbies included folk dancing – until his death, on 9 October 2003, aged ninety-two, he was an active member of the Nutmeg Folk Dance Group – and playing banjo with friends. His grandson, Robert Colburn, is an artist based in Maine.

Selected artwork

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Late paintings

'Don't be your best friend's worst enemy' – illustration for an anti-smoking campaign

Smithsonian Museum

The Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC
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Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina
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Herbert von Karajan
The early microwave

Herbert von Karajan
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The early days of the microwave oven
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Some books illustrated

Pauline Arnold and Percival White, Food: America's Biggest Business (New York: Holiday House, 1959)

—— Homes: America's Building Business (New York: Holiday House, 1960)

—— Money: Make it, Spend it, Save it (New York: Holiday House, 1962)

Ralph Bailey (ed.), House & Garden Gardener's Day Book (New York: M. Evans, 1965)

Bank Street College of Education, Playing in the Playstreet (5 vols.), Early Childhood Discovery Materials (New York: Macmillan, 1968)

Benjamin F. Bart, La France, carrefour des civilisations (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1949)

Hamilton Basso, A Quota of Seaweed: Persons and Places in Brazil, Spain, Honduras, Jamaica, Tahiti and Samoa (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1960)

Edith Battles, Eddie Couldn't Find the Elephants (Chicago: Albert Whitman, 1974)

—— The Terrible Terrier (Reading, Mass.: Young Scott Books, 1972)

—— The Terrible Trick or Treat (New York: Young Scott Books, 1970)

Betty Crocker's Outdoor Cook Book (New York: Golden Press, 1961)

Craig Claiborne, Craig Claiborne's Kitchen Primer (New York: Knopf, 1969)

Elizabeth Coatsworth, Big Enough and the Do-Without Box (New York: American Book Co., 1963)

David Dachs, TV Jokes: A TV Comedy Spectacular (New York: Scholastic, 1978)

Julie Dannenbaum, Julie Dannenbaum's Creative Cooking School (New York: McCall, 1971)

Roy Andries De Groot, Feasts for All Seasons (New York: Knopf, 1966)

Mathurin Dondo, Laura B. Johnson and Morris Brenman, French for the Modern World Book 2 (New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1951)

Floss Dworkin and Stan Dworkin, Bake Your Own Bread and be Healthier (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1972)

Margaret C. Farquhar, A Book to Begin on Lights (New York: Holt, 1960)

Jeannette Fidell, Crazy Inventions (New York: Scholastic, 1980)

—— More Silly Signs (New York: Scholastic, 1991)

—— Then and Now (New York: Scholastic, 1976)

Charles Earle Funk, A Hog on Ice and Other Curious Expressions (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1948)

—— Thereby Hangs and Tale: Stories of Curious Word Origins (New York: Harper & Row, 1950)

—— Heavens to Betsy! and Other Curious Sayings (New York: Harper & Row, 1955)

Charles Earle Funk and Charles Earle Funk, Jr., Horsefeathers and Other Curious Words (New York: Harper & Row, 1958)

Tom Funk, I Read Signs (New York: Holiday House, c. 1962)

Roma Gans, Fact and Fiction about Phonics (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1964)

Arnold S. Gregor, A Short History of Science: Man's Conquest of Nature from Ancient Times to the Atomic Age (New York: Macmillan, 1963)

—— A Short History of the Universe. The Stars and Planets: Their Birth, Evolution, Nature (New York: Macmillan, 1964)

Otis L. Guernsey (ed.), Playwrights, Lyricists, Composers on Theater: The Inside Story of a Decade of Theater in Articles and Comments by its Authors, selected from their own publication, the Dramatists Guild Quarterly (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1974)

Charlotte Herman, String Bean (Chicago: J. P. O'Hara, 1972)

Ebbe Curtis Hoff, Decisions about Alcohol (Greenwich, Conn.: Seabury Press, 1961)

House & Garden's New Cook Book (New York: Condé Nast Publications, 1967)

William Howarth (ed.), Thoreau in the Mountains (New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1982)

Rachel Learnard, Mrs. Roo and the Bunnies (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1953)

The Little Chef's Book (Cincinnati: Avco Manufacturing Corporation, c. 1953)

Kenneth Lo, Chinese Vegetarian Cooking (New York: Pantheon, 1974)

John McPhee, Rising from the Plains (New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1986)

Harry Milgrom, Adventures with a Cardboard Tube: First Science Experiments (New York: Dutton, 1972)

—— Adventures with a String: First Science Experiments (New York: Dutton, 1965)

A. C. Moore, How to Clean Everything: An Encyclopedia of What to Use and How to Use it (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1952)

New Math (New York: Birk & Co., 1965)

Kay Kantor Pomerantz, Come for Cholent : The Jewish Stew Cookbook (New York: Bloch, 1991)

—— Come for Cholent Again: Cholent Stories and More Recipes (New York: Bloch, 1994)

—— Come for Everything . . . .but Cholent (New York: Bloch, 1995)

The Presidency in Conflict (New York: Collier, 1965)

Helen Roney Sattler, Train Whistles: A Language in Code (New York: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Co., 1977)

Ruth Crawford Seeger, Let's Build a Railroad (New York: Aladdin, 1954)

Stan Sesser, The Lands of Charm and Cruelty: Travels in Southeast Asia (New York: Knop, 1993)

Thoughts for Good Eating (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1975)

Leslie Waller, A Book to Begin on Weather (New York: Henry Holt, 1959)

Lucille Warner and Ann Reit, Your A to Z Super-Personality Quiz (New York: Scholastic, 1977)

—— Your A to Z Super Problem Solver (New York: Scholastic, 1978)

William K. Zinzer, Search & Research: The Collections and Uses of the New York Public Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street (New York: New York Public Library, 1961)

Magazine and other illustrations

Avco Lycoming, Berlitz, Cue, Fortune, Good Housekeeping, Gourmet, Harper's, Holiday, House Beautiful, House & Garden, Investcorp, LIFE, Mademoiselle, New Yorker, Park East, Woman's Day

All images © The Estate of Tom Funk
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