The Illustrators Exhibition at Bologna Children’s Book Fair has reached its fiftieth edition. A historic achievement that offers an exceptional opportunity to pause for a moment and look back at the developments made. The result is the exhibition-book “Artists and masterpieces of illustration. 50 Illustrators Exhibition 1967 – 2016”, edited by Paola Vassalli, which opened at the Children’s Book Fair in Bologna 2016. A story lasting over half a century, describing how a community of artists, publishers and readers with one great passion – books and reading – met together in Bologna. We have reconstructed the story in the company of the artists – fifty in all, ten from each decade – who made their debut or participated at the fair and were later to be honoured with international awards.