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

Monday, March 3, 2008

Neill Art

John R. Neill's illustration skills were used for much more than just the Oz books. As well as drawings for other books, he did a great deal of magazine and newspaper work. I've been fortunate to have the opportunity to purchase pieces from the Neill family that are not Oz related, but show a wide range of the artist's skill.

Neill's illustrations were one of the incentives for me to read the Oz series. The style and apparent ease of his work always impressed me. One of the nicest things about his original artwork is the scale - a drawing that might only have been 4" wide in print can be 10" wide in the original - giving a much better impression of the artist's skill.

Neill injects grace and whimsy into most of his work. Even the following editorial illustration has a touch of humor. This appears to have been published, possibly in Colliers Magazine, in 1920. The caption reads: America's leading product is propaganda. The bottom right of the board (not shown) reads: Fear not the Trumpeter / or / Rendering yeoman service to the / benevolent and neglected God Optimism. The back of board reads: pub Jan 10/20 / Fear not the Trumpeter / by John Neill. I have not managed to find a copy of this piece in print - if anyone does, I'd love to hear about it!

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