Maira Kalman's wise, witty drawings have appeared on numberless New Yorker covers, in a dozen children's books, and throughout the pages of the Elements of Style. Her latest book, The Principles of Uncertainty, is the result of a year-long illustrated blog she kept for the New York Times.

Why you should listen

Children know Maira Kalman for her series of Max storybooks, adults for her New Yorker covers and the gotta-have-it illustrated version of the Elements of Style -- simple proof that her sensibility blends a childlike delight with a grownup's wry take on the world.

With her husband, the legendary designer and art director Tibor Kalman, Maira spent several decades designing objets and assembling books like (un)FASHION. But after Tibor's untimely death in 1999, Maira herself became a cultural force. Her colorful, faux-naif illustrations -- and her very perspective -- tap a desire in all of us to look at the world the way she does.

Her latest book, The Principles of Uncertainty, is perhaps the most complete expression of Maira's worldview. Based on a monthly blog she kept for the New York Times website for one year, it is filled with carefully observed moments and briskly captured thoughts, an omnivore's view of life in the modern world.

Maira Kalman’s TED talk

Maira Kalman on the TED Blog
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Live from TED2014

In search for lost pants: Maira Kalman at TED2014

March 20, 2014

In the middle of a tense morning session – you know, just waiting for NSA deputy director Rick Ledgett to come online, ain’t no thing — illustrator Maira Kalman comes up to tell a lovely family tale about music and pants. In 1932 when Kalman’s family left their village in Belarus (“you can say they […]

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Live from TED2014

Hacked: The speakers in session 8 of TED2014

March 20, 2014

What does a hacked future look like? What will our bodies — and minds — be capable as bioengineering becomes more and more ubiquitous? In Session 8 of TED2014, speakers take on the hacked world of tomorrow. Here are the speakers who appeared in this session. Click below to read a full recap of each […]

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4 great talks for International Women's Day

March 8, 2009

To celebrate March 8, International Women’s Day, we suggest these four TEDTalks gems from some amazing speakers — artists, scientists and economists who think deeply about the role of women. Author and activist Isabel Allende discusses women, creativity, feminism — and the power of passionate thinkers and doers: The former Finance Minister of Nigeria, Ngozi […]

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Quotes from Maira Kalman

How do we actually know that these sentences coming out of our mouths are real stories, are real sentences?
Maira Kalman
TED2007 • 506K views Oct 2007
Funny, Inspiring
I don’t like plots. I don’t know what a plot means. I can’t stand the idea of anything that starts in the beginning — you know, ‘beginning, middle and end.’
Maira Kalman
TED2007 • 506K views Oct 2007
Funny, Inspiring