Sunday, November 28, 2010

Golden Age Illustrator Ethel Franklin Betts


Ethel Franklin Betts (1878-1956), golden age illustrator, is another female artist from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts -- the school is famous for the numerous book illustrators, led by Howard Pyle.

These illustrations are from A Host of Children by James Whitcomb Riley.

Betts style is unusual, combining a collage feel with folk art with traditional fine painting. Or at least that's how I perceive it. Above, the Pixie People.

Here are some more illustrations from the book:




The Land of Used-to-Be


The Bear Story

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ruth E Newton's Chubby Kids and Cubs

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Ruth Eleanor Newton (1884-1972)was a prolific illustrator as well as a doll designer. She illustrated more than 40 titles for Whitman Publishing. She was known for her adorably chubby babies and toddlers.

Along with many other of the best illustrators of the day, she studied art in Pennsylvania. According to a Wikipedia article, she studied at the Philadelphia School of Fine Art, but that was probably the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art.

Here are some images from Ruth E. Newtons Nursery Rhymes. I like the texture of this cloth-like book:

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Mistress Mary Quite Contrary

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Little Miss Muffet

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Lion Cubs -- Newton's animals are just as huggably cute as her children. They should have made stuffed animals based on her images.

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One of my very favorites. I really like the use of color in this illustration.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Three Bears, Victorian Illustration by R. Andre

The Three Bears McLoughlin Bros 1888

This was a great find, 1888 McLoughlin Bros. The Three Bears -- that was before Goldilocks name got into the title. Wonderful Victorian illustration by R. Andre. I really like the story as well, lots of detail. I will need to transcribe the story before I sell the illustrations. Since the book was very damaged, I decided to sell the illustrations rather than the book as a whole.

Here are the three bears going for a nice walk in the woods, dressed in their finest.

The Three Bears McLoughlin Bros 1888

Along comes Goldilocks, "She was very merry and lighthearted and when she laugher her voice rang out with a clear silvery sound that was pleasant to hear." And that is very pleasant to read.

I like the sense of humor here, with the Bears house plate -- Ursa Major, Ursa Minor and Ursa Minimus. But, of course, Goldilocks couldn't read Latin

The Three Bears McLoughlin Bros 1888

After Goldilocks eats the porridge and destroys some furniture she takes a nap in Little Bears bed, but soon the Bears come home. Little Bear wasn't happy to find her in his bed. Papa Dear and Mama Dear found her very sweet and did not want to hurt her.

The Three Bears McLoughlin Bros 1888

However, when she awoke to find the Bears all peering at her, she became scared and ran away.

The Three Bears McLoughlin Bros 1888

I am missing the last page of the book, but it looks like Papa Bear is trying to return Goldilocks' ribbon as she flees. A story that is sympathetic to the bears, who were very kind and forgiving of the home invader.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jessie Watkins Over The HIlls, Illustration with Victorian Charm

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This darling Victorian children's book gives us a glimpse into the life of a child in the 1880s. Very sweet. Over the Hills has poems from a child's perspective by E L Shute with accompanying illustration by Jessie Watkins. The book was published by Frederick Warne & Co. There is no date, however, similar books were published in the 1880s.
I have not been able to find any biographical information on the author or illustrator. Here is the cover illustration.

over the hills

In the pages we see the beauty of creative childhood play. Children had limited toys, but their imaginations were unlimited.

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Although we still have hula hoops, you don't see children playing these types of hoop games anymore (unless you visit a living history museum like Old World Wisconsin)

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Two little girls thrilled with seeing a bunny. Biophilia (love of nature) is natural for children, if they are allowed to experience nature.

I think the following two illustrations are very pretty.

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I love the way the illustrator chose peacock feathers as a border for this puppy love scene.

Quite a treasure!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Margaret Evans Price Prolific Childrens Book Illustrator

margaret evans price real story book

Margaret Evans Price 1888-1973 was a children's book illustrator and author. She was born in Chicago, but her family soon moved to Nova Scotia and then settled on the east coast, Massachusetts and later New York. It is interesting that her talents were discovered early. Her first illustrated story was sold to the Boston Journal when she was just 12. Her studies took her to the Boston Academy of Fine Arts and Paris.
Another interesting point in the life of Price, is that she was married to Irving Price who was the cofounder of Fisher Price Toy Company along with Herman Fisher.
Here are some nice images from The Real Story Book, published in 1927. I like this book because it has many lesser known stories, such as How the Sea Became Salt, The Seven Wonderful Cats, and Mr. and Mrs. Vinegar.

margaret evans price real story book

margaret evans price real story book

margaret evans price real story book

Saturday, April 24, 2010

John Austen's Fairie Queen Design Completed by Agnes Miller Parker

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John Austen was a carpenter turned prolific illustrator, and one of the most favored by the Limited Editions Club. While living in Kent, he brought his idea to the LEC directors, for an edition of Edmund Spenser's The Faerie Queen. He would draw a series of illustrations, which would be turned into wood engravings. The works would resemble the story-telling tapestries of Elizabethan times. While the Nazis fought the British overhead, Austen embarked on the project, drawing sample pages, headings and drawings. As he began to work on the wood engravings, he started to lose the use of his right arm, and then the use of all his muscles. He died in 1948.
Agnes Miller Parker, a wood engraver and friend of John Austen, finished the project. The results are lovely -- detailed patterns and rich textures. Top illustration is King Arthur.

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Britomart, the courageous lady knight

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The Redcrosse Knight and the Dragon

The Heritage Press version of this book is currently available.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Images of Oz From John R. Neill, Royal Illustrator of Oz

It was a good week and I had a nice find. I picked up a small lot of early printing Wizard of Oz books, Reilly & Lee, illustrated by John R. Neill. So now I have the opportunity to share some wonderful art from the Oz books.

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Neill was a naturally gifted artist and an art school dropout. He was reported as saying, "They have nothing to teach me." He delved into a career as a newspaper illustrator honing his skills in busy Philadelphia newsrooms. He branched out into book illustrations and eventually became a freelance illustrator.

He is the most well known illustrator of Oz, illustrating 35 books in the series. It is enjoyable to peruse the Oz books, as some were primarily illustrated in black and white; some were illustrated with color plates and some were illustrated with four-color throughout. The Patchwork Girl of Oz is an example of an edition which used four-color throughout. Love these bright illustrations.

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The illustrated endpapers are vibrant.

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I really like the design of these pages.

The first illustrator of Oz, W.W. Denslow, illustrated Dorothy as a younger, chubbier little girl with reddish-brown hair. Neill totally changed and modernized Dorothy in Ozma of Oz.

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Dorothy from Dorothy and The Wizard in Oz.

The Emerald City of Oz has some very pretty color plates of Dorothy in a very romantic style.

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Another great image from The Emerald City of Oz

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Dorothy with the Princess Ozma in Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz.

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Neill's OZ illustration career spanned 30+ years. What a fun way to make a living!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Little Golden Books Art: Viewing the Real Thing at Lake County Discovery Museum

I had a wonderful museum visit today where I saw 65 of the original watercolors, gouaches and pen and ink illustrations from Little Golden Books. I got a kick out of my friend's surprise that the Golden Book illustrations really were art.

Even though I've appreciated the talents of Golden Book illustrators for some time, my appreciation grew after seeing the "real thing." It was intriguing to see the texture and details of the works. It was also interesting to see the wide variety of artistic styles.

Here is one of Eloise Wilkins nature paintings featured in My Little Golden Book About God. Wilkins work has a harmonious quality.

wilkins book about god

Gustaf Tenggren is one of my favorite Golden illustrators and he was one of the most prolific. His work also shows great range. Here is a painting for King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. This as well as some of his other work has a folk art feel.

tenggren arthur

The mediums used were primarily pen and ink, watercolor and gouache. Gouache is a type of watercolor that is more vivid and opaque.

Garth Williams Elves and Fairies.

garth williams elves and fairies

Elizabeth Orton Jones' Big Bad Wolf from Little Red Riding Hood

big bad wolf elizabeth orton jones

It did surprise me that this is the most extensive showing of original Golden Book illustration. The art was borrowed from the Racine Heritage Museum; Racine, Wisconsin is the birthplace of the Little Golden Books. I would love to see a more extensive showing; maybe the Racine Museum will do that someday.

Learn more about the exhibit.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Folk Art Inspiration From Edgar and Ingri D'aulaire

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The illustrator pair Edgar and Ingri Parin D'aulaire, emigrated from Europe, and became well-regarded for their illustrations as well as their historical writing for children. It's funny when you find a new artist, it seems you tend to start running into their work more often. Some genre of synchronicity, I guess.
I recently picked up both Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, at two different sales. Upon opening the pages, I was immediately charmed by the D'Aulaire style, both in their illustrations and their storytelling. The stories include details that turn historical characters into real people a child could relate to. The drawings are in both black and white as well as lovely hues.
The D'Aulaires folk art pictures look like colored pencil drawings, however, the books do not tell us the medium, only that they are lithographs. Of course, lots of horse illustrations, a perennial favorite!
One of the most interesting notes about Edgar is that he was a student of Henri Matisse.
I will be seeking out more Parin D'Aulaire collaborations at the book sales.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gustaf Tenggren Prolific Illustrator for Disney, Golden Books

Gustaf Tenggren, born in Sweden, and emigrated to the US, was a prolific illustrator of children's books. He had a unique, vivid, caricature style. Tenggren got his big break in 1935, when he was hired as art director for Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. He also worked on Pinocchio, Fantasia and Bambi.
He is one of the most popular of Golden Books illustrators and did the Poky Little Puppy.
Here are some images I particularly like. These two are from a Golden Press Folk Songs book.



Here are two from The Lion's Paw:

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And here are some Golden Book classics, Little Red Riding Hood and Jack in the Beanstalk. I love Tenggren's Jack!

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I always enjoy finding a Tenggren book when I'm out hunting.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Clara M. Burd, Golden Age, Painter and Illustrator


I love the illustrations done by Clara M. Burd, who studied painting in France. She was noted for her children's portraits and also for stained glass designs. These illustrations are from Friendly Animals, Saalfield Publishing, 1928. The large format book with such detailed and beautiful illustrations is quite a treasure and very hard to find.
In the collie and Shetland pony, above, notice the skill Burd had in painting animals. Her children, too are adorable, a little Rubenesque.



Here are two from A Child's Garden of Verses, 1930.



You can see her expert use of light in these illustrations, particularly Bed in Summer, when the early evening sun is illuminating the bedroom. So pretty . . .