I am a writer who focuses primarily on the history of illustration. My debut book The Bird was published in 2021 through Laurence King Publishing. My website Illustration Chronciles explores the history of illustration through an ongoing series of essays.


Laurence King Publishing
Hardback, 352 pages
Size: 315 x 220 mm

English Edition  / Edición en español

The Bird

The Great Age of Avian Illustration (2021)

The Bird is a celebration of ornithological illustration, featuring remarkable images of all kinds of birds, from the smallest hummingbirds to the largest birds of prey.

The Bird explores the fascinating world of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century ornithological illustration. This was a period of scientific, artistic and geographic discovery, when people began to fully appreciate the immense variety of form and colour within the natural world. This book celebrates this beauty through the lavish illustrations produced at that time.

Each chapter focuses on a category of birds, from shorebirds to birds of prey. Feature sections on key ornithological artists such as John James Audubon, Elizabeth Gould and Edward Lear demonstrated how technology, travel and ambition shaped these amazing images and how their work transformed our understanding of the wonderful world of birds.

Illustration Chronicles

Illustration Chronicles was established in 2015 as a way to learn more about the history of illustration. The website contains an ongoing series of essays that explore the images, illustrators and events of the past 175 years.

Every few months, the site picks a topic as a way to celebrate the diversity of the discipline. Previous topics have included: satire, music, animals and war.

In addition to writing essays on the site, Illustration Chronicles is also active on social media – where short histories are shared on Instagram and Facebook.

Museums and Culture

I enjoy collaborating with museums and cultural institutions. In the past, I have developed a broad variety of educational materials for both children and adults.

Below are a few examples from a series of family activity trails that I designed for young visitors to the Chester Beatty in Dublin.

This project was made in collaboration with the museum's Education Service to introduce visitors to many of the exciting treasures that are held within the museum's Western, Islamic and East Asian collections.

Other Writing

Design. Art. Culture.

I was previously a staff writer for the (now defunct) design, art and culture blog The Fox Is Black. During my time there I wrote a total of 650 articles focusing on everything from illustration and art, to photography and film.

Books and Zines

I also produce small illustrated zines and books. Many of these can be purchased through my online shop.


To inquire about my availability for a writing opportunity, drop me an email: hello@philipkennedy.net