I love the illustrations in Willy Ley's Exotic Zoology, which appear to be line art. Sadly my copy is a battered library-discard; either the front matter never attributed the artist or it was on a page that's now missing. Wikipedia and Goodreads say the artist was Olga Ley, but they don't offer any particular citation for the information and I can't find her name in searches of any of Wikipedia's reference links--so I don't know how much they suffer from ambiguous citogenesis.

Who illustrated Exotic Zoology and how do we know?


3 Answers 3


"A Bibliography of the Works of Willy Ley" (PDF link) was compiled by Jean M. Perreault for the Special Collections of the M. Louis Salmon Library at the University of Alabama in Huntsville after they acquired Ley's collection of books and journals upon his death in 1969 (link). It lists the illustrator of Exotic Zoology (1959, 1st printing) as Olga Ley.

I think this is as definitive as it's reasonable to get without an edition to hand that makes the attribution itself (which is an answer I'd love to see, especially if it can say which edition!); while the claims made by Wikipedia and Goodreads concur that Olga Ley is the illustrator, they don't offer any support or citation for their claims. The UAH Library's commissioned bibliography of their own collection, on the other hand, can be considered the next best thing to an original source.


Doing a bit of Googling turns up a Google Books result, which gives this cover:

Which says 'Illustrated by Olga Ley' on the front cover.

It appears as if this version is from 1962 (at least, that's the date of the edition on the cover, as well as what Google Books says).


According to the Wikipedia page, the illustrator is Olga Ley.

  • 2
    The Wikipedia article doesn't source its information, which as I've said is not available in the book itself. I won't accept this answer until it can provide a more credible source for its (probably accurate) claim.
    – BESW
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 8:58
  • @BESW Goodreads cites Olga Ley as the illustrator of Exotic Zoology as well.
    – fi12
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 11:24
  • 2
    Do we have any reason to suspect goodreads isn't suffering from citogensis?
    – BESW
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 11:26
  • @BESW Good point. I'll do some more research.
    – fi12
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 11:27
  • @BESW This Google Books result lists Olga Ley as the illustrator. I'm still doing some more research to verify that result.
    – fi12
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 11:31

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