Edward Ardizzone (1900-1979)

"It might be truly said that the born illustrator is not very interested in life as it is. He likes to create his own version of the world around him. Actuality is not pointed enough for him." Edward Ardizzone in a talk "The Born Illustrator" delivered to the Double Crown Club at one of their dinners in 1957. (Read the complete text here). Ardizzone, who illustrated and wrote so many wonderful books, was considered by many to be the father of the modern children's picture book. Here are some of my favorites of his work.

The Witch Family written by Eleanor Estes 1960

The Otterbury Incident 1963 reprint via

The Strand Magazine - October 1947 - cover by Edward Ardizzone. Via flickr

The Little Grey Men by "BB" (Denys Watkins-Pitchford). First published by Eyre & Spottiswood, 1942. Puffin edition 1962, this reprint 1975 (ii). Cover illustration by Edward Ardizzone. via

The Long Sunday by Peter Fletcher

Little Tim and the Brave Sea Captain by Edward Ardizzone, copyright 1936, first in a series of 'Little Tim' books. This is the 1968 edition by Scholastic Book Services. via theartofchildrenspicturebooks.blogspot.com 

5 by William Maxwell

Time Will Darken It by William Maxwell 1948

The Chateau | Jacket by Ilonka Karasz 1961

The Old Man at the Railroad Crossing and Other Tales by William MAXWELL, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966. First edition via benchilada on flickr

They Came Like Swallows William Maxwell 1937

The Folded Leaf 1945

Erik Nitsche

Erik Nitsche (September 7, 1908 - November 14, 1998) was a Swiss-born designer who, after moving to the United States at the age of 26, had a long and successful career as a graphic designer and art director. He's most famous for the work he did for General Dynamics, the engineering company, but also created many iconic record album and book covers. I love his abstract geometric images humanized by delicate color palettes. Enjoy!

General Dynamics Annual Report 1955 via

Poster for General Dynamics, Convair 880: world's fastest jetliner, 1959 via galerie123.com

Poster for General Dynamics, General Dynamics, liquid carbonic, medical gases, 1960

Poster for General Dynamics, Astrodynamics, Atoms for peace, 1955

Poster for General Dynamics (Triga around the world, General Atomic) 1960

Gebrauchsgraphic, April 1956

Fortune Magazine, 1954

J.S Bach, The Well-tempered clavier, Decca Records

Debussy, 12 Etudes for Decca Records

Decca Records via

Rachmaninoff for Decca Records via 

Segovia for Decca Records

Mozart for Decca Records

Schumann Dichterliebe for Decca Records

Schubert for Decca Records

Magazine illustration, Eyes of the fighting 9th

Book cover for Harvest Books via

Ben Shahn

I've been picking up a few vintage books lately. Here are three of my new ones with jackets/covers by Shahn, Lituanian-born American artist & social realist (1898 – 1969) as well as a couple of iconic examples that I don't own. Some of his absolute best work. All were inexpensive purchases from favorite book shops on Etsy that specialize in the design legends of the twentieth century. They are DesignCollect, PBandW, ElwoodandEloise, & PhillipaFinch . Check them out... but don't buy those I've got my eye on!

The Rising Gorge by S.J. Perelman 1961

Ben Shahn cover design 1959  via etsy

Ben Shahn cover design 1959 via etsy

The Marxism of Jean-Paul Sartre by Wilfred Desan. A Doubleday Anchor Book 1966

Rendezvous with Destiny by Eric Goldman. A Vintage Book.

The World of Sholom Aleichem. 10-inch lp album cover, designer unknown, artwork by Ben Shahn. Rachel Recordings, New York, circa 1953. via yivosounds.com


John O'Hara lending library

I just bought this copy of Sweet and Sour, so I thought it was a good time to put together a post of a few of my first editions by O'Hara, as well as a few nice ones I don't possess. I love the design of this book jacket!

Sweet and Sour, by John O'Hara First UK edition 1955

Appointment in Samarra 1934

A Rage to Live 1949 via Live Auctioneers

Butterfield 8 1935 signed first edition via eBay. Cover by Arthur Hawkins, Jr.