Original Christmas Illustrations by James Daugherty

Santa Claus and Kristina: two ink and watercolor drawings on the same sheet of paper.

n.p: ca. 1927.

Price: $2,000.00

About the item

Illustrations for Kris and Kristina, by Marie Bruce (1927), p. 16, p. 45. 1 vols. Each image 6-3/4 x 10 inches, overall 13-1/2 x 10 inches, matted. Original Christmas Illustrations by James Daugherty. Heroic America: James Daugherty's Mural Drawings from the 1930s (Vassar College, 1998). p. 15 et seq.

Item #33913

A pair of lively and colorful illustrations, the first showing Kristina watching delightedly while Kris Kringle draws the design of a new doll, the second showing her seated as she dresses one of the completed ones, as two others await their turn.

James Daugherty (1887-1974) began a distinguished art career by sketching illustrations to books his father, a statistician for the U.S. Dept of Agriculture, read aloud to the family. In 1903 the boy began studying evenings at Washington's Corcoran School of Art, and subsequently studied with William Merritt Chase at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. From 1905-07 he studied with Frank Brangwyn at the London School of Art, where he learned the techniques of mural production, at which Brangwyn excelled. Returning home he experimented with a number of styles, producing easel paintings and illustrations before specializing in murals in the 1930s, many of which were executed for Connecticut schools and institutions. In 1940 he was awarded the John Newbery Medal for his Daniel Boone, selected as the year's most distinguished contribution to American children's literature; from then until his death he wrote and illustrated numerous other works. The watercolors offered here are of particular interest, not only for being very early examples of his children's book illustrations, but for their bold, confident line, reminiscent of Brangwyn himself.

These drawings were shown in the “Exhibition of Original Book Illustrations by James Daugherty”, Darien Library, Darien, CT, 1996; they are the earliest of his works to be displayed.