When I first discovered golden age children’s illustration, Arthur Rackham reigned supreme. I was enamored with his fairies, elves, sprites in various forms–from Peter Pan, to English Fairy Tales, to Rip Van Winkle and The Wonder Book. Not able to afford first editions, even then, I settled for typical reprints. Not exactly the finest copies, at least they made more of his illustrations available to me than did the David Larkin outsize paperbacks showcasing the various artists. After a trip to London and a bunch of postcards later, I was so transfixed by his art, I decided to write a thesis for a theatre class in college. The thesis had three
parts. The first, a written analysis of his work and influence, second, makeup based up his characters, and third, a small production utilizing aspects from his artwork. I can’t for the life of me remember what the makeup consisted of, nor what the small production was all about–but I still have my paper–with grammatical errors, misspellings, and postcard examples of his work, still intact.