Their artistic conversations, in two-part harmony, have ended.

When Beth and Joseph Krush were interviewed in 1988, the reporter wrote:

"When one talks, the other listens - head slightly cocked, totally engrossed - before swooping down, in midsentence, to carry on the tale of their lives together.

"In this long, productive marriage, the meeting of like minds has spawned a single vision . . ."

On Feb. 2, Beth Henninger Krush, 90, of Wayne, a celebrated illustrator, with her husband, of children's books, died at Bryn Mawr Hospital of complications following a stroke.

The Krushes might be known best for their work on the American edition of the five-book series

The Borrowers

by the British writer Mary Norton, published here from 1953 to 1971.

She also did the artwork for

The Shoe Bird

, (1964) the only children's book by Eudora Welty, the 1973 Pulitzer Prize winner in fiction.

Their son, Jay, a music lecturer at Temple University and a published illustrator, said that as a child he was welcomed into their collaboration.

"They were very open about letting me be in their studio. And so I saw most of [their work] being created."

All familiar stuff.

"One of the things I enjoyed in looking at their illustrations . . . was how many things from our home made it into the pictures." Such as? "Me at various ages."

The house sounded with their collaboration.

"The studio was above my bedroom," he said. At night, "I could hear them walking around and working . . .

"Whenever I heard the paper cutter," cutting cardboard to protect their work, "I knew that they were packing the job to ship out. And they'd finished."

The Krushes met on their first day at what is now the University of the Arts in 1935.

"We never dated," Joseph Krush said yesterday. In the midst of the Depression, "we went places together. It wasn't a time of dating."

In 1948, they bought an old Victorian summer house in Wayne and, he said, "rebuilt it by hand."

On their collaborations, her husband said, "we both read the [works] and both made notes, separately, of where the pictures should go.

" . . . I was surprised at how many times we came up with the same answers."

Separately, they illustrated other books. And painted in watercolor.

"One thing I realized, in putting a show together for a memorial service," her husband said. "We never painted pictures to hang on a wall, never to be sold as wall pieces."

All fodder for the books.

Born in Washington, Mrs. Krush was a 1935 graduate of Forty Fort (Pa.) High School and a 1939 graduate of what is now the University of the Arts.

She taught in the illustration department at Moore College of Art for 22 years from the 1960s to the 1980s, eventually serving as department chairwoman.

In 1980, the Krushes received the Drexel Citation, given each year to a regional children's book author or illustrator by the Free Library and Drexel University College of Information Studies.

She is survived by her husband of 66 years and her son.

A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at Wayne United Methodist Church, 210 S. Wayne Ave., Wayne.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Mary B. Sweeney Scholarship Fund at the University of the Arts, 320 S. Broad St., Philadelphia 19102.

Contact staff writer Walter F. Naedele at 215-854-5607 or wnaedele@phillynews.com.