Apatoff, owner of the Illustration Art blog, is an internationally renowned expert on American illustration. His books about Austin Briggs, Bernie Fuchs and Al Parker have earned him a devoted global following.
Apatoff and his wife Nell Minow ’74 have successfully combined business with art in their careers. They possess an uncanny ability to bring out the best in people while encouraging their creative pursuits.
Early Life and Education
Apatoff was raised in the inner city of Boston as the son of Russian immigrants. He worked as a janitor and hoped to one day pursue art; earning money by sketching while riding his beat-up bicycle around town after school to look for odd jobs.
Apatoff went on to earn his law degree from Sarah Lawrence College. During his senior year, he worked as a work-study attorney in Bronx Family Court – an experience which Apatoff describes as “grim,” but necessary and essential.
Apatoff is an expert on illustration who writes a popular blog and has authored several books on American illustrators such as Albert Dorne and Robert Fawcett. Additionally, he has guest curated exhibitions of artworks related to illustration and written catalogs for them. His latest publication, Albert Dorne: Master Illustrator, features sixty artworks created by eight illustrators: story illustrator Bernie Fuchs; graphic designer Milton Glaser; MAD caricaturist Mort Drucker; The New Yorker cover artist Peter de Seve; editorial artist John Cuneo; painter Phil Hale; Pixar production designer Ralph Eggleston.
David Apatoff has achieved success in his professional life by blending business with art. As a lawyer, he has represented global corporations, research universities and major think tanks alike.
He is the creator of Illustration Art, a highly-regarded blog that has cemented him as an authority on American illustration (and graphic art in general). His books on Bernie Fuchs and Robert Fawcett have been highly acclaimed, while he also guest-curated an exhibit for the Delaware Art Museum about illustration.
Apatoff has also created academic labels for a range of species whose art seems to belong in distinct genres: Sequential Art (the legendary Mort Drucker), Pen-and-Ink Editorial Illustration (John Cuneo), Character Design (Peter de Seve) and Animation (Ralph Eggleston). He is proud to be an active member in the Association of Illustrators.
Achievements and Honors
Apatoff has been writing a blog on illustration for the Delaware Art Museum since 2012 and is widely recognized as an expert on the topic. In 2012 he guest-curated an exhibition celebrating 20th century illustration’s vast array of styles, which he also documented in its catalog.
This exhibition brings together artworks from eight major illustrators: story illustrator Bernie Fuchs; graphic designer Milton Glaser; MAD caricaturist and comic artist Mort Drucker; Peter de Seve (The New Yorker cover artist and character designer for animated films), editorial artist John Cuneo, painter Phil Hale (painting and book artist); Sterling Hundley (painter); Pixar production designer Ralph Eggleston. Each artist works at the intersection between fine art and illustration with their works often reflecting both styles. Come experience this fascinating exhibition in person or online!
David Apatoff ’74 and his wife Nell Minow ’74 have been married for 45 years, creating careers that seamlessly blend business with art.
In his free time, Apatoff is passionate about illustration and has authored several books on the topic. Additionally, he operates “Illustration Art,” a popular blog featuring essays and profiles ranging from early 20th-century masters to contemporary illustrators.
For a 2012 exhibition celebrating the 100 best American illustrations, Delaware Art Museum asked its founder to write its official catalog. Not only was this an impressive accomplishment in itself, but Apatoff also managed to compile an astonishingly large number of images from his personal collection of iconic works.