Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Anthropomorphic Pedagogy

Scalp Dance

Rape of the Yarn

Henry Christopher McCook (1837-1911) was a clergyman and scientist who published research articles and books on ants and spiders. But in order to popularize his regard for the natural world, he published a couple of fairy tale books in which the insects were portrayed with human characteristics. Tenants from an Old Farm came out in 1885 and Old Farm Fairies was released in 1895. The images here are from these books.

Dame Nature Stripping Young Polyphemus

McCook employed an illustrator named Daniel Carter Beard (who was responsible for all the pictures here but didn't do every illustration in the books) who happened into book illustration accidentally when he was employed as an engineer and somebody obtained his permission to publish a few of his drawings. He made so much money that he quit his job and turned to illustrating for the rest of his life.

Beard grew to be much more famous than McCrook in fact. He went on to produce many illustrations for Mark Twain's novels as well as publishing a lot of political cartoons. But he is best remembered for founding the Boy Scouts movement of America.

Mattrass-Making: Tucking up the Tufts of Upholstery
{Seeing the pencil graffiti on some of these illustrations reminds me of finding library stamps on digitized medieval manuscripts and the like - it's incredible how often it seems to happen and even more incredible that it hasn't been remedied.}


dinesh said...

most excellent! I particularly liked the Tarantula Drinking Milk from a Saucer.

cruelanimal said...

I love the mattress-making image.

Now if the Keebler Elves were bedbugs...

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