James McMullan is an internationally acclaimed artist who has done more than fifty posters for Lincoln Center Theater; Anything Goes, Carousel, Ah! Wilderness,
A Delicate Balance, South Pacific among them. He has also created illustrations for every major American magazine including New York Magazine for which he did the paintings of the Brooklyn disco which became the visual inspiration for the movie "Saturday Night Fever."
With his wife, Kate, He has created many award winning children's books including
"I Stink," about a garbage truck and "I'm Dirty" about a backhoe loader. In 2010 he illustrated the best-selling Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs and Lullabies.
Among his many critical and instructional writings are the recent columns on drawing, Line By Line, for the New York Times online.
His work for the theater will be honored in a spring-summer, 2011, exhibit, Turning Realism into Design: The Posters of James McMullan at the Vincent Astor gallery in the New York Library for the Performing Arts.
James McMullan, the internationally acclaimed illustrator and poster designer lives and works in New York. The following text is a biography of this artist.
James McMullan was born in June 1934 in Tsingtao, North China. His Grandparents had come from Ireland in the 1880's as part of the China Inland Mission, a group proselytizing for the Anglican Church. "What my grandparents, James and Eliza, confronted in their new country was a cruel solution to over-population, the officially decreed murder of second-born baby girls."
The McMullans decided to rescue the children and established an orphanage. Since Tsingtao was in an area known for its silk, lace, and embroidering businesses, they started a school to teach their young orphans how to make lace and to embroider, and in doing so, provided them with a livelihood. The export company James McMullan Ltd., that was started to market the embroidery, turned out to be profitable enough to sustain both the orphanage and its accompanying hospital.
The missionaries' son, after studying music in Canada, managed a branch of the family business in Tsingtao. It was here that James McMullan, the artist, was born. The family soon moved to Cheefoo, where the McMullan company had its headquarters. The years before the Second World War erupted were easygoing and even glamorous for Europeans and Americans living in China. Part of the McMullan family was still involved in missionary work at this time, but they allowed themselves some secular fun at fancy dress balls, amateur theatrical events and picnics on the spectacular Shantung coast. Even the presence, of an occupying Japanese army after 1937 failed to disrupt the lifestyles of the McMullans to any significant degree. It was not until 1941, when entry into the war by America was imminent, that life changed drastically. James and his mother left Shanghai on the penultimate evacuation ship, The President Coolidge. James's father had joined the British Army and had left for training in Rangoon. Because of his ability to speak several languages, he later became part of Force 317, the commando unit immortalized in the movie "Bridge on the River Kwai."