Saturday, December 15, 2012

Educate! Amuse! And In Colors! : Selections from the George M. Fox Collection of Early Children's Books

Beginning December 15th, and just in time to brighten your holidays, you will have the opportunity to view some beautiful 19th century children’s picture books from the George M. Fox Collection of Early Children's Books in the Skylight Gallery.

Routledge’s Picture Gift Book, London,  George Routledge & Sons.
A Little Girl’s Visit To A Flower Garden. London. George Routledge & Co. Edmund Evans, engraver and printer.

This exhibition, entitled Educate! Amuse! And In Colors! features over eighty examples of color printing, especially color wood engraving and chromolithographs. Many are fragile, paper pamphlets which open to reveal color that is still brilliant after more than 130 years.

Four Footed Favourites; London & Edinburgh, T. Nelson & Sons.

Highlights of the exhibit include “toy” and “moveable” books; many examples from the shop of Edmund Evans, the premier 19th century printer of colored wood engravings (whose most notable artists were Walter Crane, Randolph Caldecott and Kate Greenaway); and many examples of fine British chromolithographs from the firms of Thomas Nelson & Sons, Frederick Warne, Dean & Son and George Routledge & Sons. Early hand-colored images are included as well.

Birds on the Wing, London ; Edinburgh : Thomas Nelson and Sons, [1878?]
George M. Fox
The Fox Collection  includes more than 2,000 early British and American children's picture books, many of which were drawn from the file copies of the McLoughlin Brothers publishers of New York, along with other books acquired over the years by Mr. George M. Fox of Charlemont, Massachusetts. The books are notable for their pristine condition; probably because, as file copies, they were never handled by children. Mr. Fox generously donated his collection to the library's Marjorie G. and Carl W. Stern Book Arts and Special Collections Center in 1978 and they are on view to the public for the first time since 1986.

We will mark the official opening of the exhibition with a lecture by Laura E. Wasowicz, Curator of Children's Literature from the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts, on Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 2pm in the Main Library’s Koret Auditorium. Her talk is entitled McLoughlin Brothers: Nineteenth-Century Entrepreneurs and Innovators of the American Picture Book. The AAS owns an extensive collection of McLoughlin Brothers materials, including original drawings and prints, picture books, paper dolls, games, correspondence, publisher’s catalogs, price lists and manuscripts. The title, Educate! Amuse! And In Colors!, is taken from advertising copy found in their catalogs.

British Sports & Games, Glasgow : John S. Marr & Sons. [18--?]
The Comic Alphabet P. [Percy] Cruikshank. London, Read & Co.

The exhibit runs through March 10, 2013.

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