For Adults

2020 Marian McFadden Memorial Lecture - Kadir Nelson


02/18/2020

Kadir Nelson

Save the Date!

The Indianapolis Public Library and The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation are pleased to announce Kadir Nelson as the 2020 Marian McFadden Memorial Lecturer.

Thursday, April 30th @7:00pm
Warren Performing Arts Center

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander

Kadir Nelson is a painter, illustrator, and author well known for his work featuring African-American culture and history. Just a few weeks after high school graduation his career was launched as a conceptual artist for Steven Spielberg's film, Amistad. Since that time he has had work featured in both Sports Illustrated and National Geographic, painted numerous covers for The New Yorker magazine, and created cover art for albums by the recording artists Drake and Michael Jackson. His paintings include a portrait of Shirley Chisholm which hangs in the US Capitol Building and other works shown in the National Museum of African American History & Culture and the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In addition to these distinguished accomplishments, Nelson has also authored and/or illustrated over 30 books for children. His most recently published illustrative work, The Undefeated, is a poetic love letter to black America written by Kwame Alexander. The Undefeated was recently awarded both The 2020 Randolph Caldecott Medal and the 2020 Coretta Scott King Award for Illustration.



Books will be available for purchase at the event with Kadir Nelson available for book signing. The lecture is free to the public, but tickets will be required for admission. Stay tuned for ticketing information.

Take a Look at Kadir Nelson's Work:

I feel that art’s highest function is that of a mirror, reflecting the innermost beauty and divinity of the human spirit; and is most effective when it calls the viewer to remember one’s highest self. I choose subject matter that has emotional and spiritual resonance and focuses on the journey of the hero as it relates to the personal and collective stories of people.


~ Kadir Nelson

What To Read


The Marian McFadden Memorial Lecture Series was established after the Library Foundation received a gift from the estate of Marian McFadden, Director of Public Libraries in Indianapolis from 1945-1956. This annual author lecture series, which typically takes place in the Spring, was named in her honor.

The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation 50th Anniversary LogoMade possible by Friends of the Library through gifts to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation.


Past Lecturers:

  • 2019 - Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • 2018 - Jeff Kinney
  • 2017 - Junot Díaz
  • 2016 - Jacqueline Woodson
  • 2015 - Khaled Hosseini
  • 2014 - David Wiesner
  • 2013 - Ann Patchett
  • 2012 - Mo Willems
  • 2011 - Bob Woodward
  • 2010 - Neil Gaiman
  • 2009 - Nicholas Sparks
  • 2008 - Eric Carle
  • 2007 - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (delivered by Mark Vonnegut)
  • 2006 - Patricia Cornwell
  • 2005 - Marc Brown
  • 2004 - John Irving
  • 2003 - Louis Sachar
  • 2002 - David McCullough
  • 2001 - Tomie dePaola
  • 2000 - Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • 1999 - Judy Blume
  • 1998 - Margaret Atwood
  • 1997 - Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith
  • 1996 - Amy Tan
  • 1995 - Gary Paulsen
  • 1994 - William Styron
  • 1993 - Chris Van Allsburg
  • 1992 - Gail Godwin
  • 1991 - Maurice Sendak
  • 1990 - John Updike
  • 1989 - David Macaulay
  • 1988 - Tom Wolfe
  • 1987 - Lloyd Alexander
  • 1986 - Kurt Vonnegut
  • 1985 - Jean Fritz
  • 1984 - James Baldwin
  • 1983 - Richard Peck
  • 1982 - Gail Sheehy
  • 1981 - Scott O'Dell
  • 1980 - Norman Mailer
  • 1979 - Elaine L. Konigsburg
  • 1978 - Saul Bellow