Matthew C. Reinhart ’94

“Pop-up” Engineer

Take a biology major, mix in a portion of art training and a large serving of creativity, and what do you get? A pop-up engineer!

That’s the combination that resulted in a successful career for author, illustrator and paper engineer, Matthew Reinhart.

Reinhart began his Clemson experience with intentions of becoming a physician, but he had always enjoyed art and took art classes to build up his portfolio. After graduation, he realized that medicine was not his true calling and took off to New York City.

Reinhart attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, majoring in industrial design, with a concentration in toy design. His focus soon shifted to becoming a paper engineer. More precisely, a pop-up engineer.

Cutting, folding and taping small pieces of paper to make model after model to create dancing princesses, open-jawed dinosaurs and flying super heroes became his passion.

Reinhart apprenticed with renowned pop-up bookmaker Robert Sabuda, and soon they were collaborating. Reinhart made his first big breaks into the pop-up world with The Pop-Up Book Of Phobias, Animal Popposites and The Ark. Many book collaborations with Sabuda followed, including a trilogy of New York Times best-selling Encyclopedia Prehistorica and the series Encyclopedia Mythologica. He co-authored Mommy? with the ever-popular Maurice Sendak, and Brava Strega Nona with famous writer and illustrator, Tomie DePaola.

Reinhart’s solo pop-up books include The Jungle Book, Cinderella: A Pop-Up Fairy Tale, The Pop-Up Book of Nursery Rhymes, and STAR WARS: Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy, DC Super Heroes Transformers: The Ultimate Pop-Up Universe and Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros.

He continues to work and live in New York City, cutting, taping and folding paper into pop-up masterpieces.

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