Paul E. Kennedy. Harpsichord Maker, Painter, Illustrator

Harpsichord Maker

Paul E. Kennedy is a notable American harpsichord builder. What started as a trial build for Wolfgang Zuckermann’s DIY blueprints sent him on a quest for authenticity and accuracy, ending up with half a century of harpsichord-building that produced around 70 instruments. Paul, an accomplished painter and an avid pianist, also painted and tested all of them.

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In contrast to period paintings that appear on Paul’s harpsichords, his own work stands out as hazy, romantic, and rust-colored. Paul actively showed work in exhibitions around New York City, and infamously was a group of young artists — and a beagle who carried the sign “Art is going to the dogs” — who protested against Museum of Modern Art’s preference for abstract work.

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Children's Book Illustrator

A versatile artist with a sense of humor, Paul illustrated more than more than 34 children’s books for authors such as Walter de la Mare, Mary Ellen Chase, and Anne Sinclaire Mehdevi. He also co-authored Otto the Growly Boy with his wife, Emily.

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