Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Denslow Drawing

W. W. Denslow is best known for his simple comic illustration style, but he was also an accom- plished artist in other genres. This delicate pencil drawing shows his ability to create a simple landscape. Although there's no connection, the bridge does make me think of the one used in the Kansas scenes of the MGM film, when Dorothy arrives at the caravan of Professor Marvel.

This image is labeled: Miller's Creek / Canada / opposite Oakfield Club / July 28th 1908. The canoe is named the Idyll, and the whole scene is indeed quite idyllic. In the excellent book W.W. Denslow, by Michael Hearn and Douglas Greene, the authors mention that Denslow began doing work for the Niagra Lithograph Co in Buffalo, NY in 1908, and moved to Buffalo in 1909. He clearly made at least one trip across the border at some point.


Jay said...

Wow! That's an amazing picture! The detail makes it look more like a Neill than a Denslow! (I wonder how the illustrations in "Wonderful Wizard" would have looked if this style was more natural to him.)

Bill Campbell said...

I'm guessing this actually was Denslow's natural style - as far as I know, this piece is a sketch, not done for any particular publication. It's more in keeping with his earlier illustration work. I think when working on a children's book, he made a definite effort to create simple, bold images that would appeal to children.