Ernest Nister Bibliography Creator

This article is about the author. For the sociologist and reformer born Beatrice Potter, see Beatrice Webb.

Beatrix Potter

Potter in 1913

BornHelen Beatrix Potter
28 July 1866
Kensington, London, United Kingdom
Died22 December 1943(1943-12-22) (aged 77)
Near Sawrey, Lancashire, United Kingdom
OccupationChildren's author and illustrator
NationalityBritish
GenreChildren's literature
Notable worksThe Tale of Peter Rabbit
SpouseWilliam Heelis
(m. 1913–43; her death)

Helen Beatrix Potter (British English ,[1] North American English also ,[2] 28 July 1866 – 22 December 1943) was an English writer, illustrator, natural scientist, and conservationist best known for her children's books featuring animals, such as those in The Tale of Peter Rabbit.

Born into an upper-class household, Potter was educated by governesses and grew up isolated from other children. She had numerous pets and spent holidays in Scotland and the Lake District, developing a love of landscape, flora, and fauna, all of which she closely observed and painted.

Though Potter was typical of women of her generation in having limited opportunities for higher education, her study and watercolours of fungi led to her being widely respected in the field of mycology. In her thirties, Potter self-published the highly successful children's book, The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Following this, Potter began writing and illustrating children's books full-time.

In all, Potter wrote thirty books; the best known being her twenty-three children's tales. With the proceeds from the books and a legacy from an aunt, in 1905 Potter bought Hill Top Farm in Near Sawrey, a village in the Lake District, which at that time was in Lancashire. Over the following decades, she purchased additional farms to preserve the unique hill country landscape. In 1913, at the age of 47, she married William Heelis, a respected local solicitor from Hawkshead. Potter was also a prize-winning breeder of Herdwick sheep and a prosperous farmer keenly interested in land preservation. She continued to write and illustrate, and to design spin-off merchandise based on her children's books for British publisher Warne, until the duties of land management and her diminishing eyesight made it difficult to continue.

She died of pneumonia and heart disease on 22 December 1943 at her home in Near Sawrey at the age of 77, leaving almost all her property to the National Trust. She is credited with preserving much of the land that now constitutes the Lake District National Park. Potter's books continue to sell throughout the world in many languages with her stories being retold in song, film, ballet, and animation, and her life depicted in a feature film and television film.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Potter's paternal grandfather, Edmund Potter, from Glossop in Derbyshire, owned what was then the largest calico printing works in England, and later served as a Member of Parliament.[3]

Beatrix's father, Rupert William Potter (1832–1914), was educated at Manchester College by the Unitarian philosopher Dr James Martineau.[4][5] He then trained as a barrister in London. Rupert practised law, specialising in equity law and conveyancing. He married Helen Leech (1839–1932) on 8 August 1863 at Hyde Unitarian Chapel, Gee Cross. Helen was the daughter of Jane Ashton (1806–1884) and John Leech, a wealthy cotton merchant and shipbuilder from Stalybridge. Helen's first cousin was Harriet Lupton (née Ashton) – the sister of Thomas Ashton, 1st Baron Ashton of Hyde. It was reported in July 2014 that Beatrix had personally given a number of her own original hand-painted illustrations to the two daughters of Dr Arthur and Harriet Lupton, who were cousins to both Beatrix and the Duchess of Cambridge.[4][6]

Beatrix's parents lived comfortably at 2 Bolton Gardens, West Brompton, where Helen Beatrix was born on 28 July 1866 and her brother Walter Bertram on 14 March 1872.[7] Beatrix lived in the house until her marriage in 1913. The house was destroyed in the Blitz. Bousfield Primary School now stands where the house once was. A blue plaque on the school building testifies to the former site of The Potter home.[8]

Both parents were artistically talented,[9] and Rupert was an adept amateur photographer.[10][11] Rupert had invested in the stock market and by the early 1890s was extremely wealthy.[12]

Potter's family on both sides were from the Manchester area.[13] They were English Unitarians,[14] associated with dissenting Protestant congregations, influential in 19th century England, that affirmed the oneness of God and that rejected the doctrine of the Trinity.

Beatrix was educated by three able governesses, the last of whom was Annie Moore (née Carter), just three years older than Beatrix, who tutored Beatrix in German as well as acting as lady's companion.[15] She and Beatrix remained friends throughout their lives and Annie's eight children were the recipients of many of Potter's delightful picture letters. It was Annie who later suggested that these letters might make good children's books.[16]

She and her younger brother Walter Bertram (1872–1918) grew up with few friends outside their large extended family. Her parents were artistic, interested in nature, and enjoyed the countryside. As children, Beatrix and Bertram had numerous small animals as pets which they observed closely and drew endlessly. In their school room, Beatrix and Bertram kept a variety of small pets, mice, rabbits, a hedgehog and some bats, along with collections of butterflies and other insects which they drew and studied.[17] Beatrix was devoted to the care of her small animals, often taking them with her on long holidays.[18] In most of the first fifteen years of her life, Beatrix spent summer holidays at Dalguise, an estate on the River Tay in Perthshire, Scotland. There she sketched and explored an area that nourished her imagination and her observation.[19] Beatrix and her brother were allowed great freedom in the country and both children became adept students of natural history. In 1887, when Dalguise was no longer available, the Potters took their first summer holiday in the Lake District, at Wray Castle near Lake Windermere.[20] Here Beatrix met Hardwicke Rawnsley, vicar of Wray and later the founding secretary of the National Trust, whose interest in the countryside and country life inspired the same in Beatrix and who was to have a lasting impact on her life.[21][22]

At about the age of 14, Beatrix began to keep a diary. It was written in a code of her own devising which was a simple letter for letter substitution. Her Journal was important to the development of her creativity, serving as both sketchbook and literary experiment: in tiny handwriting she reported on society, recorded her impressions of art and artists, recounted stories and observed life around her.[23] The Journal, decoded and transcribed by Leslie Linder in 1958, does not provide an intimate record of her personal life, but it is an invaluable source for understanding a vibrant part of British society in the late 19th century. It describes Potter's maturing artistic and intellectual interests, her often amusing insights on the places she visited, and her unusual ability to observe nature and to describe it. Started in 1881, her journal ends in 1897 when her artistic and intellectual energies were absorbed in scientific study and in efforts to publish her drawings.[24] Precocious but reserved and often bored, she was searching for more independent activities and wished to earn some money of her own whilst dutifully taking care of her parents, dealing with her especially demanding mother,[25] and managing their various households.

Scientific illustrations and work in mycology[edit]

Beatrix Potter's parents did not discourage higher education. As was common in the Victorian era, women of her class were privately educated and rarely went to university.[26]

Beatrix Potter was interested in every branch of natural science save astronomy.[27]Botany was a passion for most Victorians and nature study was a popular enthusiasm. Potter was eclectic in her tastes: collecting fossils,[28] studying archeological artefacts from London excavations, and interested in entomology. In all these areas she drew and painted her specimens with increasing skill. By the 1890s her scientific interests centred on mycology. First drawn to fungi because of their colours and evanescence in nature and her delight in painting them, her interest deepened after meeting Charles McIntosh, a revered naturalist and amateur mycologist, during a summer holiday in Dunkeld in Perthshire in 1892. He helped improve the accuracy of her illustrations, taught her taxonomy, and supplied her with live specimens to paint during the winter. Curious as to how fungi reproduced, Potter began microscopic drawings of fungus spores (the agarics) and in 1895 developed a theory of their germination.[29] Through the connections of her uncle Sir Henry Enfield Roscoe, a chemist and vice-chancellor of the University of London, she consulted with botanists at Kew Gardens, convincing George Massee of her ability to germinate spores and her theory of hybridisation.[30] She did not believe in the theory of symbiosis proposed by Simon Schwendener, the German mycologist, as previously thought; rather she proposed a more independent process of reproduction.[31]

Rebuffed by William Thiselton-Dyer, the Director at Kew, because of her gender and her amateur status, Beatrix wrote up her conclusions and submitted a paper, On the Germination of the Spores of the Agaricineae, to the Linnean Society in 1897. It was introduced by Massee because, as a female, Potter could not attend proceedings or read her paper. She subsequently withdrew it, realising that some of her samples were contaminated, but continued her microscopic studies for several more years. Her paper has only recently been rediscovered, along with the rich, artistic illustrations and drawings that accompanied it. Her work is only now being properly evaluated.[32][33][34] Potter later gave her other mycological and scientific drawings to the Armitt Museum and Library in Ambleside, where mycologists still refer to them to identify fungi. There is also a collection of her fungus paintings at the Perth Museum and Art Gallery in Perth, Scotland, donated by Charles McIntosh. In 1967, the mycologist W.P.K. Findlay included many of Potter's beautifully accurate fungus drawings in his Wayside & Woodland Fungi, thereby fulfilling her desire to one day have her fungus drawings published in a book.[35] In 1997, the Linnean Society issued a posthumous apology to Potter for the sexism displayed in its handling of her research.[36]

Artistic and literary career[edit]

Potter's artistic and literary interests were deeply influenced by fairies, fairy tales and fantasy. She was a student of the classic fairy tales of Western Europe. As well as stories from the Old Testament, John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress and Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin, she grew up with Aesop's Fables, the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Kingsley's The Water Babies,[37] the folk tales and mythology of Scotland, the German Romantics, Shakespeare,[38] and the romances of Sir Walter Scott.[39] As a young child, before the age of eight, Edward Lear's Book of Nonsense, including the much loved The Owl and the Pussycat, and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland had made their impression, although she later said of Alice that she was more interested in Tenniel's illustrations than what they were about.[40] The Brer Rabbit stories of Joel Chandler Harris had been family favourites, and she later studied his Uncle Remus stories and illustrated them.[41] She studied book illustration from a young age and developed her own tastes, but the work of the picture book triumvirate Walter Crane, Kate Greenaway and Randolph Caldecott, the last an illustrator whose work was later collected by her father, was a great influence.[42] When she started to illustrate, she chose first the traditional rhymes and stories, "Cinderella", "Sleeping Beauty", "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves", "Puss-in-boots", and "Red Riding Hood".[43] But most often her illustrations were fantasies featuring her own pets: mice, rabbits, kittens, and guinea pigs.[44]

In her teenage years, Potter was a regular visitor to the art galleries of London, particularly enjoying the summer and winter exhibitions at the Royal Academy in London.[45] Her Journal reveals her growing sophistication as a critic as well as the influence of her father's friend, the artist Sir John Everett Millais, who recognised Beatrix's talent of observation. Although Potter was aware of art and artistic trends, her drawing and her prose style were uniquely her own.[46]

As a way to earn money in the 1890s, Beatrix and her brother began to print Christmas cards of their own design, as well as cards for special occasions. Mice and rabbits were the most frequent subject of her fantasy paintings. In 1890, the firm of Hildesheimer and Faulkner bought several of her drawings of her rabbit Benjamin Bunny to illustrate verses by Frederic Weatherly titled A Happy Pair. In 1893, the same printer bought several more drawings for Weatherly's Our Dear Relations, another book of rhymes, and the following year Potter sold a series of frog illustrations and verses for Changing Pictures, a popular annual offered by the art publisher Ernest Nister. Potter was pleased by this success and determined to publish her own illustrated stories.[47]

Whenever Potter went on holiday to the Lake District or Scotland, she sent letters to young friends, illustrating them with quick sketches. Many of these letters were written to the children of her former governess Annie Carter Moore, particularly to Moore's eldest son Noel who was often ill. In September 1893, Potter was on holiday at Eastwood in Dunkeld, Perthshire. She had run out of things to say to Noel and so she told him a story about "four little rabbits whose names were Flopsy, Mopsy, Cottontail and Peter". It became one of the most famous children's letters ever written and the basis of Potter's future career as a writer-artist-storyteller.[48]

In 1900, Potter revised her tale about the four little rabbits, and fashioned a dummy book of it – it has been suggested, in imitation of Helen Bannerman's 1899 bestseller The Story of Little Black Sambo.[49] Unable to find a buyer for the work, she published it for family and friends at her own expense in December 1901. It was drawn in black and white with a coloured frontispiece. Family friend CanonHardwicke Rawnsley had great faith in Potter's tale, recast it in didactic verse, and made the rounds of the London publishing houses. Frederick Warne & Co had previously rejected the tale but, eager to compete in the booming small format children's book market, reconsidered and accepted the "bunny book" (as the firm called it) following the recommendation of their prominent children's book artist L. Leslie Brooke.[50] The firm declined Rawnsley's verse in favour of Potter's original prose, and Potter agreed to colour her pen and ink illustrations, choosing the then new Hentschel three-colour process to reproduce her watercolours.[51]

On 2 October 1902, The Tale of Peter Rabbit was published,[52] and was an immediate success. It was followed the next year by The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin and The Tailor of Gloucester, which had also first been written as picture letters to the Moore children. Working with Norman Warne as her editor, Potter published two or three little books each year: 23 books in all. The last book in this format was Cecily Parsley's Nursery Rhymes in 1922, a collection of favourite rhymes. Although The Tale of Little Pig Robinson was not published until 1930, it had been written much earlier. Potter continued creating her little books until after the First World War, when her energies were increasingly directed toward her farming, sheep-breeding and land conservation.[53]

The immense popularity of Potter's books was based on the lively quality of her illustrations, the non-didactic nature of her stories, the depiction of the rural countryside, and the imaginative qualities she lent to her animal characters.

Potter was also a canny businesswoman. As early as 1903, she made and patented a Peter Rabbit doll. It was followed by other "spin-off" merchandise over the years, including painting books, board games, wall-paper, figurines, baby blankets and china tea-sets. All were licensed by Frederick Warne & Co and earned Potter an independent income, as well as immense profits for her publisher.[54]

In 1905, Potter and Norman Warne became unofficially engaged. Potter's parents objected to the match because Warne was "in trade" and thus not socially suitable. The engagement lasted only one month until Warne died of leukemia at age 37.[55] That same year, Potter used some of her income and a small inheritance from an aunt to buy Hill Top Farm in Near Sawrey in the English Lake District near Windermere. Potter and Warne may have hoped that Hill Top Farm would be their holiday home, but after Warne's death, Potter went ahead with its purchase as she had always wanted to own that farm, and live in "that charming village".[56]

Country life[edit]

The tenant farmer John Cannon and his family agreed to stay on to manage the farm for her while she made physical improvements and learned the techniques of fell farming and of raising livestock, including pigs, cows and chickens; the following year she added sheep. Realising she needed to protect her boundaries, she sought advice from W.H. Heelis & Son, a local firm of solicitors with offices in nearby Hawkshead. With William Heelis acting for her she bought contiguous pasture, and in 1909 the 20 acres (8.1 ha) Castle Farm across the road from Hill Top Farm. She visited Hill Top at every opportunity, and her books written during this period (such as The Tale of Ginger and Pickles, about the local shop in Near Sawrey and The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse, a wood mouse) reflect her increasing participation in village life and her delight in country living.[57]

Owning and managing these working farms required routine collaboration with the widely respected William Heelis. By the summer of 1912 Heelis had proposed marriage and Beatrix had accepted; although she did not immediately tell her parents, who once again disapproved because Heelis was only a country solicitor. Potter and Heelis were married on 15 October 1913 in London at St Mary Abbots in Kensington. The couple moved immediately to Near Sawrey, residing at Castle Cottage, the renovated farm house on Castle Farm, which was 34 acres large. Hill Top remained a working farm but was now remodelled to allow for the tenant family and Potter's private studio and workshop. At last her own woman, Potter settled into the partnerships that shaped the rest of her life: her country solicitor husband and his large family, her farms, the Sawrey community and the predictable rounds of country life. The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck and The Tale of Tom Kitten are representative of Hill Top Farm and of her farming life, and reflect her happiness with her country life.[58]

Rupert Potter died in 1914 and, with the outbreak of World War I, Potter, now a wealthy woman, persuaded her mother to move to the Lake District and found a property for her to rent in Sawrey. Finding life in Sawrey dull, Helen Potter soon moved to Lindeth Howe (now a 34 bedroomed country house hotel) a large house the Potters had previously rented for the summer in Bowness, on the other side of Lake Windermere,[59] Potter continued to write stories for Frederick Warne & Co and fully participated in country life. She established a Nursing Trust for local villages, and served on various committees and councils responsible for footpaths and other rural issues.[60]

Sheep farming[edit]

Soon after acquiring Hill Top Farm, Potter became keenly interested in the breeding and raising of Herdwick sheep, the indigenous fell sheep. In 1923 she bought a large sheep farm in the Troutbeck Valley called Troutbeck Park Farm, formerly a deer park, restoring its land with thousands of Herdwick sheep. This established her as one of the major Herdwick sheep farmers in the county. She was admired by her shepherds and farm managers for her willingness to experiment with the latest biological remedies for the common diseases of sheep, and for her employment of the best shepherds, sheep breeders, and farm managers.[61]

By the late 1920s Potter and her Hill Top farm manager Tom Storey had made a name for their prize-winning Herdwick flock, which took many prizes at the local agricultural shows, where Potter was often asked to serve as a judge. In 1942 she became President-elect of the Herdwick Sheepbreeders’ Association, the first time a woman had ever been elected, but died before taking office.[62]

Lake District conservation[edit]

Potter had been a disciple of the land conservation and preservation ideals of her long-time friend and mentor, Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley, the first secretary and founding member of the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty. She supported the efforts of the National Trust to preserve not just the places of extraordinary beauty but also those heads of valleys and low grazing lands that would be irreparably ruined by development. She was also an authority on the traditional Lakeland crafts, period furniture and stonework. She restored and preserved the farms that she bought or managed, making sure that each farm house had in it a piece of antique Lakeland furniture. Potter was interested in preserving not only the Herdwick sheep, but also the way of life of fell farming. In 1930 the Heelises became partners with the National Trust in buying and managing the fell farms included in the large Monk Coniston Estate. The estate was composed of many farms spread over a wide area of north-western Lancashire, including the Tarn Hows. Potter was the de facto estate manager for the Trust for seven years until the National Trust could afford to buy most of the property back from her. Her stewardship of these farms earned her wide regard, but she was not without her critics, not the least of which were her contemporaries who felt she used her wealth and the position of her husband to acquire properties in advance of their being made public. She was notable in observing the problems of afforestation, preserving the intake grazing lands, and husbanding the quarries and timber on these farms. All her farms were stocked with Herdwick sheep and frequently with Galloway cattle.

Later life[edit]

Potter continued to write stories and to draw, although mostly for her own pleasure. Her books in the late 1920s included the semi-autobiographical The Fairy Caravan, a fanciful tale set in her beloved Troutbeck fells. It was published only in the US during Potter's lifetime, and not until 1952 in the UK. Sister Anne, Potter's version of the story of Bluebeard, was written especially for her American readers, but illustrated by Katharine Sturges. A final folktale, Wag by Wall, was published posthumously by The Horn Book Magazine in 1944. Potter was a generous patron of the Girl Guides, whose troupes she allowed to make their summer encampments on her land, and whose company she enjoyed as an older woman.[63]

Potter and William Heelis enjoyed a happy marriage of thirty years, continuing their farming and preservation efforts throughout the hard days of World War II. Although they were childless, Potter played an important role in William's large family, particularly enjoying her relationship with several nieces whom she helped educate, and giving comfort and aid to her husband's brothers and sisters.[64]

Potter died of complications from pneumonia and heart disease on 22 December 1943 at Castle Cottage, and her remains were cremated at Carleton Crematorium. She left nearly all her property to the National Trust, including over 4,000 acres (16 km2) of land, sixteen farms, cottages and herds of cattle and Herdwick sheep. Hers was the largest gift at that time to the National Trust, and it enabled the preservation of the land now included in the Lake District National Park and the continuation of fell farming. The central office of the National Trust in Swindon was named "Heelis" in 2005 in her memory. William Heelis continued his stewardship of their properties and of her literary and artistic work for the eighteen months he survived her. When he died in August 1945 he left the remainder to the National Trust.[65]

Legacy[edit]

Potter left almost all the original illustrations for her books to the National Trust. The copyright to her stories and merchandise was then given to her publisher Frederick Warne & Co, now a division of the Penguin Group. On 1 January 2014, the copyright expired in the UK and other countries with a 70-years-after-death limit. Hill Top Farm was opened to the public by the National Trust in 1946; her artwork was displayed there until 1985 when it was moved to William Heelis's former law offices in Hawkshead, also owned by the National Trust as the Beatrix Potter Gallery.[66]

Potter gave her folios of mycological drawings to the Armitt Library and Museum in Ambleside before her death. The Tale of Peter Rabbit is owned by Frederick Warne and Company, The Tailor of Gloucester by the Tate Gallery and The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies by the British Museum.[67]

The largest public collection of her letters and drawings is the Leslie Linder Bequest and Leslie Linder Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In the United States, the largest public collections are those in the Rare Book Department[68] of the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the Cotsen Children's Library at Princeton University.

In 2015 a manuscript for an unpublished book was discovered by Jo Hanks, a publisher at Penguin Random House Children's Books, in the Victoria and Albert Museum archive. The book The Tale of Kitty-in-Boots, with illustrations by Quentin Blake,[69] was published 1 September 2016, to mark the 150th anniversary of Potter's birth.[70]

In 2017, The Art of Beatrix Potter: Sketches, Paintings, and Illustrations by Emily Zach was published after San Francisco publisher Chronicle Books decided to mark the 150th anniversary of Beatrix Potter's birth by showing that she was "far more than a 19th-century weekend painter. She was an artist of astonishing range."[71]

In December 2017, the asteroid 13975 Beatrixpotter, discovered by Belgian astronomer Eric Elst in 1992, was named in her memory.

Analysis[edit]

There are many interpretations of Potter's literary work, the sources of her art, and her life and times. These include critical evaluations of her corpus of children's literature, and Modernist interpretations of Humphrey Carpenter and Katherine Chandler. Judy Taylor, That Naughty Rabbit: Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit (rev. 2002) tells the story of the first publication and many editions.[72]

Potter’s country life and her farming has also been widely discussed in the work of Susan Denyer and by other authors in the publications of The National Trust.

Potter's work as a scientific illustrator and her work in mycology is highlighted in several chapters in Linda Lear, Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature, 2007; Beatrix Potter: The Extraordinary Life of a Victorian Genius. 2008.

Adaptations[edit]

In 1971, a ballet film was released, The Tales of Beatrix Potter, directed by Reginald Mills, set to music by John Lanchbery with choreography by Frederick Ashton, and performed in character costume by members of the Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera House orchestra. The ballet of the same name has been performed by other dance companies around the world.

In 1992, Potter's famous children's book The Tale of Benjamin Bunny was featured in the film Lorenzo's Oil.

Potter is also featured in Susan Wittig Albert's series of light mysteries called The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter. The first of the eight-book series is Tale of Hill Top Farm (2004), which deals with Potter's life in the Lake District and the village of Near Sawrey between 1905 and 1913.[73]

More recently, John Patrick is adapting a number of Beatrix Potter's tales into an upcoming live-action/animated musical feature film for his brand-new film studio, called Storybook Studio. The film will be titled Beatrix Potter's The Tales of Peter Rabbit and Friends. English actress Jackie Weiner will play Beatrix Potter herself, with the voices of Sienna Adams as Peter Rabbit, Ronan McCoid as Benjamin Bunny, Ella Bradley as Tom Kitten, Kyle Tanis as Mr. Jeremy Fisher, Leslie Fanelli as Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and Karen Zikas as Jemima Puddle-Duck.[74]

In film[edit]

In 1982, the BBC produced The Tale of Beatrix Potter. This dramatisation of her life was written by John Hawkesworth, directed by Bill Hayes, and starred Holly Aird and Penelope Wilton as the young and adult Beatrix, respectively. The World of Peter Rabbit and Friends, a TV series based on her stories, which starred actress Niamh Cusack as Beatrix Potter, has been released on VHS by Pickwick Video and later Carlton Video.

In 2006, Chris Noonan directed Miss Potter, a biographical film of Potter's life focusing on her early career and romance with her editor Norman Warne. The film stars Renée Zellweger, Ewan McGregor and Emily Watson.

On February 9, 2018, Columbia Pictures released, "Peter Rabbit", directed by Will Gluck, based on the work by Beatrix Potter [3].

Publications[edit]

The 23 Tales

Other books

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Further reading[

Potter used many real locations for her book illustrations. The Tower Bank Arms, Near Sawrey appears in The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck.
Hill Top, Near Sawrey – Potter's former home, now owned by the National Trust and preserved as it was when she lived and wrote her stories there.
Goody and Mrs. Hackee, illustration to The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes, 1911
  1. ^[1]
  2. ^http://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/beatrix-potter?q=Beatrix
  3. ^Lear 2007, pp. 10–14
  4. ^ abWalker, Tim (22 July 2014). "Mandrake-The Duchess of Cambridge is related to Beatrix Potter, who once gave the Middleton family her own original hand-painted illustrations". Daily Telegraph. UK. p. 8. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  5. ^Taylor, Judy. "Beatrix Potter – Artist, Storyteller and Countrywoman". Frederick Warne, 1996. Retrieved 15 January 2014. 
  6. ^Evening Mail, NW (21 July 2014). "Cumbria author Beatrix Potter link to Prince George revealed". North-West Evening Mail. Archived from the original on 28 July 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014. 
  7. ^Lear 2007, pp. 13–24
  8. ^"Beatrix Potter's London". Londonist.com. Retrieved 19 September 2017. 
  9. ^Lear 2007, p. 21
  10. ^Lear 2007, pp. 35–36
  11. ^Rupert Potter was a member of the Photographic Society, later Royal Photographic Society from 1869 until 1912. Information from Michael Pritchard, Director-General / www.rps.org, 13 May 2014.
  12. ^Lear 2007, p. 19. Rupert came into his father's estate over the course of several years, 1884, 1891 and 1905. The Potters were comfortable but they did not live exclusively on inherited wealth; Lane, (1946) The Tale of Beatrix Potter 1946, p. 1
  13. ^Lear 2007, p. 10
  14. ^Lear 2007, p. 9
  15. ^Lear 2007, p. 55
  16. ^Lear 2007, p. 142; Lane, 1978.The Magic Years of Beatrix Potter. Lane depicts Potter's childhood as much more restricted than either or Potter's two later biographers. Taylor, Beatrix Potter: Artist Story Teller, Ch 1.; Lear, 2007, pp. 25–48; Beatrix Potter, The Journal of Beatrix Potter: From 1881–1897.
  17. ^Lear 2007, p. 31, pp. 37–44, p. 458nn15
  18. ^Judy Taylor, Joyce Irene Whalley, Anne Stevenson Hobbs and Elizabeth Battrick, (1987) Beatrix Potter, 1866–1943: The Artist and Her World, pp.9–17, 35–48; Lear, pp. 25–48.
  19. ^Lear 2007, pp. 26–8, 51
  20. ^Lear 2007, pp. 51–2
  21. ^Potter, The Journal, 1885–1897
  22. ^Lear 2007, pp. 52–3
  23. ^Lear 2007, pp.49–51 cf. also p. 463nn1
  24. ^Potter, "The Journal, 1885–1897"
  25. ^Lear 2007, p. 94 also cf. p. 474nn55
  26. ^Taylor, Artist, Storyteller, pp. 59–61; Elizabeth E. Battrick, (1999) Beatrix Potter: The Unknown Years; Lynn Barber, (1980) The Heyday of Natural History, Brian Gardiner, "Breatrix Potter’s Fossils and Her Interests in Geology", The Linnean, 16/1 (January 2000), 31–47; Lear 2007, pp. 76–103; Potter, Journal, 1891–1897.
  27. ^Lear 2007, p. 98
  28. ^Brian G. Gardiner, "Beatrix Potter's fossils and her interest in Geology," The Linnean: Newsletter and Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London 16/1 (January 2000), pp. 31–47
  29. ^Lear 2007, pp. 81–103
  30. ^Lear 2007, p. 117
  31. ^M.A. Taylor and R.H. Rodger, eds. (2003) A Fascinating Acquaintance: Charles McIntosh and Beatrix Potter; Taylor, et al. (1987) Artist and Her World, pp. 71–94; Lear 2007, pp. 104–129; Nicholas P. Money, "Beatrix Potter, Victorian Mycologist", Fungi. 2:4 (Fall 2009); Roy Watling, "Helen Beatrix Potter: Her interest in fungi", The Linnean: Newsletter and Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, 16/1 (January 2000), pp. 24–31.
  32. ^"Beatrix Potter and the Linnean Society". Linnean Society. Retrieved 1 November 2011. 
  33. ^Lear 2007, pp. 104–25
  34. ^Watling, Roy (January 2000). "Helen Beatrix Potter: Her interest in fungi"(PDF). The Linnean: Newsletter and Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London. pp. 24–31. Archived from the original(PDF) on 13 May 2013. 
  35. ^Walter Philip Kennedy Findlay, (1967) Wayside & Woodland Fungi
  36. ^Lear 2007, p. 125, p.482nn58
  37. ^Lear 2007, pp. 30–1
  38. ^Lear 2007, p. 95. She liked to memorise his plays by heart.
  39. ^Lear 2007, p. 35. Beatrix said she learnt to read "on" Scott
  40. ^Lear 2007, p. 34
  41. ^Lear 2007, p.131. She began eight Uncle Remus drawings in the same year 1893 she began writing the Peter Rabbit picture letters to Noel Moore, completing the last in 1896.
  42. ^Lear 2007, p. 33
  43. ^Lear 2007, pp. 127–8
  44. ^Taylor, et al., The Artist and her World, pp. 49–70; Potter, Journal, 1884–1897; Humphrey Carpenter (1985), Secret Gardens: The Golden Age of Children’s Literature.
  45. ^Lear 2007, p. 47-8. J. M. W. Turner was the first artist to impress her.
  46. ^Taylor, Artist, Storyteller, pp. 70–95; Taylor, ed. 1989, Beatrix Potters Letters.
  47. ^Taylor, et al. 1987, pp. 107–148; Katherine Chandler, "Thoroughly Post-Victorian, Pre-Modern Beatrix." Children's Literature Quarterly. 32(4): 287–307.
  48. ^Judy Taylor 1992, Letters to Children from Beatrix Potter.
  49. ^Stevenson, Laura C. "A Vogue for Small Books": The Tale of Peter Rabbit and its Contemporary Competitors" [2]
  50. ^Lear 2007, pp. 144–7
  51. ^Hobbs 1989, p. 15
  52. ^Taylor 1996, p. 76
  53. ^Judy Taylor 2002, That Naughty Rabbit: Beatrix Potter and Peter Rabbit; Lear 2007, pp. 207–247; Anne Stevenson Hobbs, ed. 1989, Beatrix Potter’s Art: Paintings and Drawings.
  54. ^See Judy Taylor 2002, "That Naughty Rabbit"
  55. ^Lear 2007, pp.198- 201
  56. ^Lear 2007, p. 207
  57. ^Taylor, ed., (2002) Beatrix Potter's Letters; Hunter Davies, Beatrix Potter's Lakeland; W.R. Mitchell, Potter: Her Life in the Lake District.
  58. ^John Heelis, (1999) The Tale of Mrs William Heelis – Beatrix Potter; Lear, Ch. 13.
  59. ^McDowell, Marta (2013). Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life: The Plants and Places That Inspired the classic children's tales. Timber Press. p. 116. ISBN 1604693630. 
  60. ^Taylor et al. The Artist and Her World, pp. 185–194; Taylor, Artist Storyteller, pp. 105–144.
  61. ^William Rollinson, (1981) How They Lived in the Lake District; Susan Denyer, 1993 Herdwick Sheep Farming; Geoff Brown, (2009) Herdwicks: Herdwick Sheep and the English Lake District; Judy Taylor, ed., (1998) Beatrix Potter’s Farming Friendship. Lake District Letters to Joseph Moscrop, 1926–1943.
  62. ^Lear 2007, pp. 381–404
  63. ^Jane Morse, ed., (1982) Beatrix Potter's Americans: Selected Letters; Susan Denyer, (2000) At Home with Beatrix Potter: The Creator of Peter Rabbit.
  64. ^Heelis, Mrs. William Heelis; Taylor, ed., Beatrix Potter's Letters.
  65. ^Lear 2007, pp. 405–440; Taylor, ed., Beatrix Potter's Letters; Taylor, et al., The Artist and Her World.
  66. ^Bruce L. Thompson, 'Beatrix Potter's Gift to the Public'. Country Life (3 March 1944), 370–371; Taylor, et al., The Artist Storyteller, Ch. 6; Lear 2007, pp. 441–447.
  67. ^http://culturalinstitute.britishmuseum.org/asset-viewer/beatrix-potter-flopsy-bunnies-a-drawing-in-pen-and-ink-with-watercolour/DQEnktGEHYojdQ?hl=en
  68. ^"Beatrix Potter Collection at the Free Library of Philadelphia". 
  69. ^ ab"Beatrix Potter story Kitty-in-Boots discovered after 100 years". BBC News. BBC. 26 January 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  70. ^Jones, Bryony (26 January 2016). "Long-lost Beatrix Potter tale, 'Kitty-in-Boots,' rediscovered". CNN. 
  71. ^http://www.richmond.com/ap/entertainment/article_e2139de6-873f-514d-a2f0-b6029ee885c6.html
  72. ^Taylor, et al., (2009) The Artist and Her World. Considers Potter's career and life in chapters arranged thematically; The Pitkin Guide to Beatrix Potter.
  73. ^"Cottage Tales". Susan Wittig Albert. Retrieved 13 June 2010. 
  74. ^"Classic Tales of Beatrix Potter Return In New Movie". Westfield, NJ Patch. 2017-06-29. Retrieved 2017-07-30. 

Obituaries-We Mourn the Passing....

We can't help but think that those of us engaged in the pop-up world are youthful and will forever be so. Alas, that is not the case. On these pages will be a salute to those recently departed and those who have left us a while ago but have earned the kudos of their obituaries. They have all contributed greatly to this magical world.

***************************************************************

Theo Gielen (1946-2015)

The Popuplady and the Movable Book Society mourn the passing, on September 11, 2015, of our esteemed and beloved pop-up book historian, Theo Gielen. Theo generously shared his knowledge in Utrecht, Netherlands where he lived and in the pages of Movable Stationery, the quarterly newsletter of the Movable Book Society. (click here for back issues) Readers looked forward to his lengthy, detailed, and erudite articles on many aspects of pop-up and movable books. His knowledge of 15 languages allowed us access to information most of us would never discover.

Theo's enthusiasm for pop-up books brought him to the USA as a keynote speaker at MBS' Washington, D.C.

Conference in 2008, calling his talk, El Pintor or The Joys of Researching Movable, Novelty, and Pop-up Books. While not a "jokester," he enjoyed telling us that the anagram for his name is Into Glee, eh? We were astounded to hear from our mild-mannered speaker that due to his dissident leanings, he was barred from visiting the USA. Theo concluded by encouraging us to "go into the stories [and history] behind our books," pop-up books. Reflecting on his own experience, I said we would find "a deep satisfaction" in doing so.

On his visit to the US, Theo also took the time to visit The Popuplady's library. He was so excited to visit that he forgot on the train the bouquet of flowers he had brought for me. Such a gentleman! Oh, the knowledge he shared about my collection answering so many questions and illuminating the material with his insights and knowledge. We maintained a robust correspondence via email sharing our findings and having a "friendly rivalry" as to who could find the most obscure movable book.

Theo was working on a history of pop-up books doubling his efforts after his diagnosis and hospitalizations. His work is unfinished and we can only hope it can be published so that his legacy will continue.

Farewell, Dear Friend.
The Popuplady

From SGKJ Newsletter: translated by Kees Moerbeek, Kyle Olmon-editor:
News Bulletin 5 
September 14, 2015 by Jeannette Kok (jeannettekok@upcmail.com)

In memoriam Theo Gielen (1946 - 2015)
On Friday, September 11th, Theo Gielen passed away. His health had
been deteriorating in recent years and the latest complications proved
too much for him. Theo Gielen has meant a lot to the SGKJ.
In 2008, he received the Hieronymus van Alphen prize. On this occasion
Frits Booy wrote an ode in the style of Van Alphen (an 18th century Dutch poet) which mention Theo’s beloved children's book topics were praised: Struwwelpeter, movable books and, the Dutch publisher, I. de Haan.

In addition to his research on Struwwelpeter books, he developed a huge
interest in 19th-century commercial picture books. For many years he
researched the history of El Pintor and contributed some of his findings
in De Verbeelders by Saskia de Bodt. Unfortunately, he was not given
enough time to finalize his book about this subject.

Theo had an expansive knowledge of the book business. He made many
students enthusiastic about books as a teacher of Children’s and Young Adult Literature.
He worked in Utrecht at a leftist bookstore called “De Rooie Rat” (The
Red Rat) and in later years at the bookstore of the Centraal Museum in
Utrecht. In 1997, he was one of the organizers of a major exhibition
of pop-up books at the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem.

Theo was recognized and praised internationally and had many foreign contacts.
In Germany he was the authority onStruwwelpeter and in America he
was an expert on pop-up books. Some years ago, he was invited by the
Movable Book Society to present a keynote speech for fans of pop-up books.
He published many articles on movable books in the Movable Stationary, in
Leesgoed, a Dutch magazine on literature, and in Aus dem Antiquariat .He
published about Struwwelpeter and related books in Tot Volle Wasdom
(2000), in Boekenwereld; and commercial picture books in Prentenboeken:
ideologie en illustratie 1890-1950 by Saskia de Bodt and Jeroen Kapelle. He
also wrote about El Pintor in De Verbeelders. Theo gave various lectures for
students of Saskia de Bodt on movable and three-dimensional illustrated
children's books and the work of El Pintor.

Theo carefully studied many of the auction catalogs and gave regular
suggestions on books that had potential for the KB or Koninklijke
Bibliotheek (Royal Library in The Hague) collection. For example, the KB became the owner of the first Dutch moveable book De nieuwe rijschool, which he wrote about in
De Boekenwereld. We would have liked a lot more publications from Theo.

Many collectors and researchers have been able to benefit from his extensive
knowledge, which he was gladly willing to share. Theo was also critical;
he never trusted other’s sources; he preferred to research things himself to
make sure the information was correct. He was a source of information for
me and others, especially when it came to dating children's books or writing
a blog.

Since September 2002 we worked together on the Berichten uit de wereld van het oude kinderboek, starting from number 35 up to number 84, which was issued in September 2015. We collaborated for thirteen years; in the last few years a few times from a hospital room. It was never boring. Theo's vast knowledge and network resulted in solid work. His humor and playful perspective helped make him a great writer and editor.
Here he is thinking deeply about a plan for the magazine.

The photos below show Theo during a visit to Twickel at the invitation of
Christine Sinnighe Damsté to view a collection of movable books.
That was enjoyable.
We will miss him dearly, Jeannette Kok

***************************************************************

Chuck Murphy, paper engineer, has died.YouTube-Murphy's One to Ten There will be a tribute at the Philadelphia, PA conference. Also, see the write up in Movable Stationery, August 2014 edition.

Dennis K. Meyer died in July, 2014. He had contributed art and paper engineering to some of the most classic pop-ups, including many of Nick Bantock's books.

 

Maurice Sendak, 1928-2012

Robert Sabuda, Ann Montanaro, and The Popuplady with Sendak at the Brooklyn Pops Up Gala, Brooklyn Public Libary, January, 2001

We were the lucky ones who met and worked with Maurice. He generously gave his artwork to the Brooklyn Pops Up catalog, now in it's 5th printing. Maurice died today, May 8, 2012, leaving behind a treasure trove of books, illustrations, and the joy he gave us all with his work. RIP, Dear Friend.
Read and hear more of his life in his own words: New York Times obituary, NPR obituary, NPR's Terry Gross interviews Sendak. Listen with joy to Stephen Colbert's televised interviews in 2 parts.

 

**************************************************************

James A. Findlay (1943 - 2010)

[from Miami Herald] James Findlay, 67, passed away October 5, 2010 in Miami. An exceptional art librarian and collector, Jim was known nationally for his work on the New Deal. His career took him from MOMA, to RISD and then to the Wolfsonian-FIU where he was Chief Librarian. He retired from the Bienes Museum of the Modern Book, where as Director he developed the collection, curated exhibitions, published bibliographies and award-winning catalogues. He also instituted the Florida Artists' Book Prize. A graduate of Wayne State and UCLA, he served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic from 1966 - 1969. Jim is survived by Rafael Rodriguez, his partner of 24 years. Donations can be made to: Broward Public Library Foundation, In Memory of Jim Findlay, 100 S. Andrews Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
Jim was a consummate librarian and reseracher and curator. Moreaver, he was enthusiastic about pop-up and movable books. It was my extreme pleasure to work with him staging the very successful exhibition, Pop-ups, Illustrated Books, and Graphic Designs of Czech Artist and Paper Engineer, Vojtěch Kubašta (1914-1992) and the award-winning pop-up catalog produced with it. Jim's other exhibitions on Robert Sabuda and the collection of Geraldine Lebowitz shed more light on paper engineering and collecting. His many contributions deserve great praise. He will be missed.

Obituary from the Wolfsonian Library [FLA]

A Memorial Plaque as a tribute to Jim Findlay at the Wolfsonian

***********************************************************************************************

Bruce Baker (1942-2009)

Those of us who pride ourselves on trying to get the complete set of Hallmark pop-up books from the '70s are very familiar with the name Bruce Baker. His bibliography is extensive.

[from Westvalley View, Ariz] Robert "Bruce" Baker, 67, of Litchfield Park died from cancer Jan. 9, 2009. Mr. Baker was born in Rochester, Minn. He received an associate's degree from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor's degree from then St. Cloud State College. He worked for Hallmark Cards in Kansas City for 36 years as a paper mechanical engineer, designer of cards and a major contributor to a line of pop up books and children's books. He retired in 2001. He was a member of Watercolor USA. He is survived by his wife, JoAnn; three sons, Paxton of Cornville, Robert of Lithia, Fla., and Thomas "Pete" of Sugar Hill, Ga.; one stepson, Brendan Meyer of White Bear Lake, Minn.; his mother, Enid; one sister, Turner Broll of Wilmington, Del.; one brother, George S. "Bucky" of Bozeman, Mont.; and numerous grandchildren. Services were private.

[from Hardcastle Gallery, 5714 Kennett Pike, Centreville, DE]
Bruce created a wide variety ofwatercolor paintings in the early years of his Hallmark career. He marketed his paintings through various art shows. During this period he received many awards for his watercolors (see attached list). Later as his career at Hallmark became more demanding, he ceased to enter into art shows and only sold his paintings to private individuals. He was commissioned for numerous paintings, both watercolor and oils. Upon retirement Bruce moved to Litchfield Park , Arizona and is looking forward to a fresh new career as a full time painter of oils and watercolors. Artists Statement "I try to capture in my paintings the varying moods of nature, from memories of the past and surroundings of the present."

[from Movable Stationery vol.18, no.4


***************************************************

Barbara Valenta (1937 - 2003) Paper Engineer, Educator, Author

BARBARA VALENTA, 66, of Staten Island, N.Y., internationally renowned artist and committed teacher, died Aug. 1, 2003 at home. She created a legacy of imaginative, cutting-edge art works for which she received widespread critical acclaim. Born Barbara Simons in Manhattan, she moved to Larchmont, N.Y., as a child, and to Weston, Conn., in the early 1950s. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a bachelor's degree in liberal arts. She relocated to Los Alamos, N.M., in 1960 where she met her husband of 41 years, Milton Valenta. In 1967, she moved to Vienna, Austria, where her work was exhibited in several galleries and where she won first prize in an international sculpture competition honoring the 100th birthday of the automotive pioneer Ferdinand Porsche.
In 1978, she returned to Los Alamos, and in 1980 she had a one-woman show at the New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe. She moved to Montclair, N.J., in 1981 and settled in Staten Island in 1984. She began her involvement with the city program "Studio in a School," where she brought art classes to Latino students in East Harlem and to students on Staten Island. She also taught at the former Brooklyn campus of the Pratt Institute. She had a one-woman show at the Betty Parsons Gallery in Midtown Manhattan, as well as shows at the World Trade Center and the OK Harris gallery in the SoHo section of Manhattan. She was also praised as the author of the inventive book, "Pop-o-mania," a children's book on how to make pop-up books.
In addition to her husband, Milton, surviving are a daughter, Markha Valenta; a granddaughter, Elia; a stepmother, Alice Simons; brothers, Bill Simons and Issac Simons; and four sisters, Joan Constantikes, Edna Alvarez, Gail Humphreys and Brook Dougherty.
A memorial service was held at the Staten Island Children's Museum at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center where she had hosted many craft workshops and which is also the site of her child-friendly interactive sculpture, "The Wagon."
***************************************************

Historical Paper Engineers who left their mark!

The Life and Work of Lothar Meggendorfer -A biography from the University of Virginia.
***************************************************

Home page for C. Carey Cloud [1899-1984], creator of movable Cracker Jackprizes and illustrator and paper engineer for some Blue Ribbon Books. So much more to learn about pop-ups and movables and this artist and inventor.
***************************************************

Ib Penick Paper Engineer Extraordinaire of the 2nd Golden Era
from The Chicago Tribune, April 24, 1998
Ib Penick, 67, Designer Of Modern Pop-up Books
By Meg McSherry Breslin

Ib Penick, the creative mind behind the resurgence of pop-up children's books in the 1960s and '70s and a man who devoted much of his life to helping thrill young readers across the country, died Tuesday of heart failure in his Wilmington, N.C., home. A former longtime resident of Chicago, he was 67.
Although pop-up books were popular during the 1920s and '30s, they fell out of favor after World War II because they were easily damaged. But in the 1960s, Mr. Penick and his then-business partner Wally Hunt helped restore the books' popularity through a full line of children's titles for Random House that were visually exciting and more durable. The effort produced healthy profits for Random House and dozens of other publishers who followed. Today, many pop-up designers consider Mr. Penick the modern father of their industry and a key leader in the advancement of the worldwide development of pop-up books, greeting cards and advertisements. "He was really responsible for creating the whole world we lived in. With the advent of the Random House line, a whole industry was created and the very first ones were created by Ib," said Gerald Harrison, the retired president of the children's books division at Random House.
The first pop-up for Random House, published in 1967, was dubbed "Bennet Cerf's Pop-Up Riddles." It was followed by a long line of animal books, "Sesame Street" pop-ups, a Wonder Woman pop-up and many others tied to popular movies such as "Star Wars." Mr. Penick worked with Jim Henson on one of his favorites, "The Muppet Show Pop-up Book."
Mr. Penick was drawn to pop-ups after seeing older versions from the 1920s and '30s, and becoming convinced he could improve them. "He was always looking for the next thrill," said his longtime companion, Julia Rose. "And that's sort of what he wanted his book or card to do--to thrill somebody and thrill them again and again."
Mr. Penick came to the United States from Denmark in 1950 and held a series of odd jobs before settling into his first artistic position as a Yellow Pages advertising illustrator. He later opened an art studio in California, and it was there that Mr. Penick met Hunt, who had an ad agency and a large collection of pop-up books dating back to the 1920s. Once Mr. Penick studied the books, he was convinced that he could help revive a then-dead industry. Mr. Penick joined a company Mr. Hunt formed called Graphics International, the precursor to Hunt's current firm, Intervisual Communications, now one of the world's largest producers of pop-up books and advertisements.
"To be able to design something that would collapse and come up a thousand times without self-destructing takes genius. I invented the word `paper engineering,' and that's exactly what it is," Hunt said. Mr. Penick's genius wasn't limited to his designs. Pop-up books must be assembled by hand, making mass production a potentially expensive enterprise. But Mr. Penick's paper designs allowed the books and ads to be put together simply and economically.
While Mr. Penick was a household name in his industry, he never became a public figure. He married and divorced twice, and seldom settled in any place for too long. His stay in Chicago was his longest--a roughly 20-year residence in the city and northwest suburbs. In addition to his longtime companion, Mr. Penick is survived by a daughter, Kimberly McGee; two sons, Jason and Scott; a sister, Eva Mortensen; and three grandchildren. A private memorial service will be held in North Carolina.
***************************************************

John Strejan [1933-2003]-The Silverblade!
from the New York Times, April 17, 2003

John Strejan, Wizard of the Pop-Up Book, Dies at 70
By EDEN ROSS LIPSON

John Strejan, who earned the nickname Silverblade for his mastery of paper engineering in designing complicated and fanciful pop-up books for children and adults, died in Los Angeles on March 26. He was 70. The cause was cancer, said his daughter Stephanie Strejan-Schwartz. Mr. Strejan (the name is pronounced STREE-jen) was an artist from childhood, who discovered that he could figure out how things worked and then draw them with a knife. His nickname referred to his dazzling speed and skill with an X-Acto blade.
There are only a few dozen paper engineers in the world, all self-taught. It is hard not to marvel when a flat book opens and out comes a fully rigged galleon, a half-dozen dinosaurs or a breathing coral reef with eels swimming through the lacy boughs; pulling tabs can make shells open or tentacles wave.
But the exacting mechanics of how it is done are hard to explain. "I took paper, smashed it in a book and saw how it folded," he once said of his early experiments. Complex constructions like Mr. Strejan's, which must be assembled, slotted in, and glued by hand, contain hundreds of individual pieces of paper, each precisely cut to fit and fold exactly, and hundreds of glue points. Books with moveable parts can be traced to the 1300's, but the 19th-century Germans Ernest Nister and Lothar Meggendorfer are credited with the modern form, which then languished until the 1960's. Robert Sabuda, an author and illustrator of recent pop-up titles like "The 12 Days of Christmas: A Pop-Up Celebration," called Mr. Strejan "a grand master of the generation when pop-up books entered their second golden age." Mr. Sabuda said Mr. Strejan's work "is so good that today I still can't figure out how to do some of it."
Mr. Strejan was born in Detroit and grew up in Portland, Ore. He moved to Los Angeles, where he worked for advertising agencies and was also art director for Teen magazine and Bullocks department store. His first three-dimensional projects were done for the Elgin Davis Art Studio. Mr. Davis was a founder of Graphics International, designers and producers of a new line of pop-books in the late 1960's, which required hand assembly. It later became Intervisual Books , one of the leaders in the field today. Among the titles that established Mr. Strejan's international reputation were the large-format collection "The Sailing Ships" (1984) and "The Facts of Life" (also 1984), by Dr. Jonathan Miller, an educational book for adults and children that was memorable for its inclusion of anatomically complete human genitalia; both were published by Viking.
From 1987 to 1989 Mr. Strejan engineered a National Geographic series on animals, including "Strange Animals of the Sea." Mr. Strejan was married four times, most recently two days before he died to his companion of 17 years, Patricia Kroon. He is survived by four daughters from previous marriages, Ms. Strejan-Schwartz, Sabrina Sciacca, Heather Romano and Shannon Praytchl; two stepdaughters, Diane Umberger and Stacey Palmisano; a brother, Gene; and five grandchildren. In addition to creating more than 50 books, Mr. Strejan, who reveled in the freelance life, continued to do paper engineering for advertising displays like a pop-up version of the Magic Castle for Disney, a pop-up of the Getty Museum and posters for the movie "Toy Story." Mr. Strejan's last project for Intervisual Books, which sold about 500,000 copies in 13 countries, was "Choo-Choo Charlie: The Littletown Train" (1998; distributed in the United States by PiggyToes Press), a cardboard book and play set with a pop-up village and a wind-up train. And, it whistles.
*************************************************************

It all begain [again] with Wally: RIP Wally Hunt

at the MBS Milwaukee Conference, 2002

from The Wall Street Journal November 24, 2009
The 'King of the Pop-Ups' Made Books Spring to Life
By STEPHEN MILLER
An impresario of printed extravaganzas, Waldo Hunt led a renaissance of pop-up books.
Mr. Hunt, who died Nov. 7 at age 88, was a one-time advertising executive who developed a specialty in creating pop-up magazine inserts. But what started as eye-catching marketing for Wrigley's gum and Dodge pickup trucks grew into a literary subgenre.
Fascinated by what had become a lost art in the U.S. by the 1960s, Mr. Hunt built on his experience developing pop-up marketing materials into a focus on books. While not an artist himself, Mr. Hunt was adept at coordinating the complex process of assembling the books, from design to production and assembly. Leading publishing houses including Random House hired him to package pop-up titles for adults and children.
The companies he founded, Graphics International and Intervisual Books, produced hundreds of books, including some that were translated into more than a dozen languages. "King of the pop-ups" became Mr. Hunt's moniker in professional circles.
Mr. Hunt produced dozens of books for Walt Disney; a series based on Babar; and popular titles including "Haunted House" and "The Human Body." A 1967 pop-up published by Random House, "Andy Warhol's Index," came about at the suggestion of the artist. It combined celebrity photos with pop-up versions of signature Warhol touches like a cardboard can of tomato paste.
" He single-handedly kept the torch of pop-up books alive from the 1960s through the 1990s," says Robert Sabuda, the best-selling creator of elaborate children's pop-up books. "Those of us who are in the newer generation of pop-up books would have no career without Wally Hunt."
Though pop-ups had flourished in Germany and Britain in the 19th century, and gained a following in the U.S. in the 1930s, they were little known in the post-World War II era.
" No one was doing pop-ups in this country," Mr. Hunt told the Los Angeles Times in 2002. "No one could afford to make them here."
Pop-up books allowed Mr. Hunt to combine his love of exuberant design with his overseas production contacts cultivated from his work in advertising. To save on labor costs, he had his early books assembled in Japan; production later moved to Singapore and to Latin America. Design was handled by a coterie of independent artists whom Mr. Hunt called "paper engineers" for their skill at unfurling three-dimensional figures from flat paper.
The son of a Unitarian minister and a music teacher, Mr. Hunt grew up in Salt Lake City and southern California, and served in the infantry during World War II.
After the war, he opened an advertising agency in Los Angeles, specializing in high-quality printed materials. He sold his first agency in 1956, and founded Graphics International Inc., to serve as a broker between Japanese printers and U.S. clients.
video
Mr. Hunt described his infatuation with pop-up books as a bolt from the blue. One day in the early 1960s while walking down New York's Fifth Avenue, he spotted a pop-up book in a shop window.
" I could look at that children's book from Czechoslovakia and see in it my answer," Mr. Hunt told the Los Angeles Times. "I knew I'd found the magic key."
After his bid to import a large number books by the book's Czech artist, Vojtěch Kubašta, was thwarted by Communist authorities, Mr. Hunt turned to producing them himself. The first was a promotional volume produced in conjunction with Random House for Maxwell House Coffee, "Bennett Cerf's Pop-Up Riddle Book," which customers could receive by sending in two can labels and $1.
Bennett Cerf, Random House's top editor, put his son Christopher in charge of the project.
" You'd pull a tab and something funny would happen, and the answer to the riddle would be revealed," Christopher Cerf recalled in an interview. The younger Mr. Cerf and Mr. Hunt went on to produce about 30 more children's pop-up books for Random House, including volumes featuring Sesame Street characters. In his memoir "At Random," Bennett Cerf described the pop-up books as big money makers.
Mr. Hunt "was a joyful man," says Christopher Cerf. "Sometimes to his own detriment, he took on huge, crazy projects. Nothing was impossible."

back to top

 

 


0 comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *