Burnett, Virgil fonds

Born in Kansas in 1928, Virgil Burnett was an author, illustrator, and instructor whose work has been widely published in North America and Europe. He received his undergraduate education at Columbia University in New York, where he studied with Edward Melcarth, a Social Realist painter. In 1950, he was drafted, trained as a combat engineer, and sent to Europe where he served for two years in a propaganda company as an artist-illustrator. After his military service, he attended graduate school at Berkeley, taking a master's degree in Art History. When a Fulbright scholarship took Burnett to Paris in 1956, he encountered other expat artists including David Hill, whom he remained close friends with until Hill's death in 1977. Burnett also met Maurice Darantiere, a French publisher who made him aware of the expressive possibilities of the book arts. By 1960, he was working primarily as an illustrator. In the 1970s, he began as a professor in the Fine Arts department at the University of Waterloo. Burnett died in 2012.