Illustration Art at Swann Galleries on June 9
New York — The spring Illustration Art sale at Swann Galleries is set to come across the block on Thursday, June 9. The auction will feature a rich selection of children’s picture book art from the collection of the late Emily and Sam Bush. The sale will also feature theater set and costume design, advertising art, works from notable picture books, literary publications, cartoons, comics and more from esteemed illustrators.
The selection from the Emily & Sam Bush Collection includes works by Caldecott winners Trina Schart Hyman with a 1986 illustration for The Water of Life: A Tale from Brothers Grimm. Retold by Barbara Rogansky, featuring the prints and his brothers ($1,000-1,500), Alice and Martin Provensen with The Swan Maiden, created Howard Pyle’s 1971 story ($2,000-3,000); Cricket Magazine covers by Hilary Knight ($3,000-4,000); and Tasha Tudor’s iconic portrait of Mary Lennox for Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic The Secret Garden ($7,000-10,000). Emily and Sam Bush opened Bush Galleries in Norwich, Vermont in 1984 as one of the earliest retail shops specializing in original children’s book art. They eventually expanded to Boston and Carmel, California. Though they also handled international artists, they remained loyal to promoting the work of New England illustrators.
Further children’s and picture book illustrations include War, circa 1900 to 1902, an illustration by then 18-year-old N.C. Wyeth from a series he created for his maternal grandparents ($3,000-4,000); a study by Jessie Willcox Smith for a 1907 issue of McClure’s magazine and the frontispiece for The Five Senses by Angela M. Keyes ($12,000-18,000); a highly detailed drawing by Eleanor Vere Boyle for The Story Without an End, 1868 ($15,000-25,000); and a fascinating archive from the collection of illustrator Bob Childress, which includes production material for Fun with Our Family, a title in the renowned Dick & Jane readers ($5,000-7,500).
Theatre and set designs are emphasized by Al Hirschfeld’s 1979 New York Times caricature of Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award–winning Sweeney Todd ($15,000-25,000). Also of note is Alexandra Exter’s stage design for the 1921 Kamerny Theatre production of Romeo and Juliet ($10,000-15,000).
General advertising, book and magazine illustrations include works from the Golden Age through contemporary narrative art. Highlights include Neysa McMein’s 1921 Wallace Silver advertisement The Admirable Hostess ($6,000-9,000); Roger Hane’s 1971 De Beers ad A Love by the Stars ($15,000-25,000); Jay Paul Jackson circa 1940 illustration created for the American Negro Exposition Etta Moten Barnett Dancing ($800-1,200); and Harold Anderson’s cover illustration for a 1935 issue of American Druggist magazine ($2,000-3,000).
The beloved section of cartoons, comics and animation forms a strong offering for collectors. Notable cartoons include a run of works created for MAD Magazine by the irreverent Don Martin ($4,000-6,000, each); Charles Addams is featured with a drawing of Uncle Fester ($4,000-6,000); and New Yorker cartoons by Richard Taylor are on offer ($700-$1,000, each). Classic comic strip characters feature Felix the Cat, Blondie, Terry and the Pirates, and Pogo. Animation artwork and drawings for The Simpsons, The Beatles, and the studios of Walt Disney and Hanna-Barbera round out the sale.
Exhibition hours are 12 p.m to 5 p.m from June 6 through June 8. Live online bidding platforms will be the Swann Galleries App, Invaluable, and Live Auctioneers. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com and the Swann Galleries App.