Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Arts & Crafts
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is an excellent example of an Arts & Crafts book. Just as architects and artists were seeking to create an American style, L. Frank Baum was writing his American fairy tale - and W. W. Denslow was designing it. This was a conscious attempt to break free from European traditions, and devise something new and original. Chicago was a center for the movement, so Baum would have been in the midst of new concepts.
Denslow was very involved in the Arts & Crafts movement of the turn of the last century. He worked with Elbert Hubbard and the Roycroft Shops, creating images for magazines and illustrating several of the Roycroft books.
He also designed a great set of wrought iron fireplace andirons, featuring his trademark seahorse. Dard Hunter III currently offers a door knocker of a similar design. He found the original knocker, which was never put into production, and now offers reproductions in 2 sizes - the same large scale of the original piece, and a smaller version that is a little easier to use in today's homes. I have a large version, but so far have had no where to put it - I'll find a spot one of these days.
The two cartoons I'm showing are both from The Fra, a later magazine published by Hubbard. Books to Burn!! was first published in The Philistine in 1898, and reprinted on the rear cover of The Fra in December 1909. Is He Sincere? is from the rear cover of June, 1908.