Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Note on Collecting:

As I watch my little collection of illustrated art grow, I am reminded of the woman who first inspired me to work harder at supporting my fellow illustrators.

I don't know if many of you know about the life work of Betsy Beinecke Shirley, but she was a phenomenal supporter of the arts. When I was in college I slowly started noticing her name as it popped here and there, once at the Field Museum in Chicago, At the Illustrator's Guild, Here and there at Children's Museums. After a lot of research I found that she had bequeathed her entire collection to Yale University. In all my She Sure is Sketchy nerdiness, nothing has ever said "road trip" so strongly. I can chart my art on a timeline pretty well and I have to tell you that after visiting Connecticut I hit a major run of prolific sketchiness. The pencils rarely hit my drafting table for a good month after I got back to Brooklyn. The collection is vast, awe inspiring and goosebump inducing.

Recently I stumbled on a book documenting her dedication to the arts.

Here's an excellent preview: Drawn to Enchant

It showcases artist's studies and original works spanning centuries of time. Among them are many of my influences, namely:

Hardie Gramatky
Maurice Sendak

Ludwig Bemelmans
among many, many more of the most prolific illustrators we've had the privilege to learn from.

The book is available from Amazon and it's a cheapy, considering what a wealth of inspiration it is.
You can buy it here.


Meagan said...

How wonderful to see all the artists that she has inspired! Thanks for sharing.

Beth L said...

OMG. You're right about the goosebumps! Before even finishing reading your post already I forwarded the link and asked for this book for my birthday! This is awesome. My heroes...and 12 little girls in 2 straight lines, and everything.
Thanks for sharing this!


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