Friday, January 19, 2007

Children of Our Town

children of our town


skates


The eternal Feminine


The Rival Queens


The Skipping Rope


Wealth


Little Mothers


Other Little Mothers


Music's Might


Plebian


Quarrelsomeness


A Ball Game


Evolutionary Fame


Flying Kites


Fourth of July

'Children of Our Town' 1902 with wonderful Art-Deco illustrations by E. Mars and M.H. Squire and verses by Carolyn Wells is online at the Library of Congress. There is perhaps more than a little irony attached to the social (or is it instructive?) commentary in the book, such as it is, in so far as only the children of the wealthy would have had the opportunity to see the book. 'Our Town' refers to New York City.

Searching around brought up some interesting background..

Maud Hunt Squire [bio: pdf] and Ethel Mars [bio: pdf] are famous (on one level) for being a gay couple - although American, they spent the majority of their lives in France. Such was their impact or renown that they were the couple upon whom Gertrude Stein based her 1922 short story 'Miss Furr and Miss Skeene'; said to be the literary debut of the word 'gay' in its modern usage. That short story in turn influenced the style used by Hemingway in one of his stories ('Mr & Mrs Elliot'). Never let it be said that the childrens literature genre has no influence.

There are a couple of other Squire/Mars illustrated books online..


conga line

9 comments :

lotusgreen said...

how wonderful, pk. thanks for this. i did a page on them as part of a community of women who taught eachother printmaking techniques a couple of days ago! only i couldn't find examples as wonderful as these. the perseus is amazing!

kate said...

Beautiful -- made me instantly think of the illustrations from one of my favorite children's collections Nursery Friends from France, which was similarly illustrated by Maud and Miska Petersham:
http://www.childrensbooksonline.org/nursery_friends_from_france/index.htm

miriam said...

Lovely.

Florence said...

Hi, what a wonderful collection you have here. I came though via Lotusgreen's blog.

well done. I'll be back to look at more!

xx

pk said...

Thanks all.

lotusgreen, I'm sure you know better than me, but I seem to recall reading about this dynamic duo being at the forefront of a new printing style in the New England area - block printing in colour using a single block which causes the printed image to have (fetching, I must say) delicate white stripes.

And Florence of the Brisvegas Umbrella, that's the first time I think anyone has left any x's. I'll never wash this blog again ;- )

Johnny said...

Utterly compelling. Johnny

František said...

Wonderful set and wonderful blog

Karin F. said...

I discovered you during a search on illuminata.
Are you PK after "The Power of One" by Bryce Courtenay ...a truly delightful book?

peacay said...

Heh. No. They're my initials.
Paul

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