Arthur Rackham

A typical Rackham brown reprint, and human tree.

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

Trees a la Rackham.

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.

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A Self Educated Lover Of Illustrated Children’s Books

My first taste of Golden Age Illustrators of children’s books, which is the period of the late 1800’s until a bit after World War I, was on a trip to England. My theatre class took the May term and traveled to London.  I had, and have a habit of buying art postcards from museums, tourist … Read more

Do Free Online Illustrated Books Impact Sales?

I collect images. Physical ones, and virtual ones. I have stacks of illustrated children’s books, crime fiction dust jacketed books, Deco magazines and books, whatever grabs my eye and is pleasing, I want, no need, to keep. On flickr I have uploaded over 16,000 images. I used to be able to claim most came from … Read more

Do Reprints Lower The Sale of First Editions?

I have no idea! And that’s why I am writing this article, because I’ve had a long discussion on another site about vintage illustration being copied, and one argument against copying public domain images from rare books or postcards is that it hurts the rare paper ephemera business and book sellers. Does it? Do say, … Read more

When Is It OK To Remove Illustration Plates From Books?

If it were up to me, probably never. No, that’s not true, I’ve taken some Anne Anderson Mother Goose illustrations and framed them. The book was missing half of the other plates, and  already damaged. So, if the book is damaged, is it OK to remove plates? And how damaged is damaged enough? And once … Read more