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Beautiful Devotion: Illuminated Manuscripts

First created over 2000 years ago, illuminated manuscripts had drawings or paintings of ornate initials, borders, flowers, vines and other decoration to accompany text. A true illuminated manuscript was made without machines. Frequently in devotional prayer books, the most exceptional art served as a status symbol. Nowadays, original illuminated manuscripts are highly scarce. But due […]

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Original Artwork from Famous Folks

AbeBooks is all about the business of books, including book-related ephemera: in this case, art. Many authors have tried their hand at drawing or painting, and many artists and illustrators drew and painted long before they became successful or famous. To the lucky collector who finds one, nothing is more priceless or precious than a […]

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The Secret Hat Collection of Dr. Seuss

A fantastic profile on Collectors Weekly about Theodor Geisel’s AKA Dr. Seuss’s secret hat collection. It comes as little surprise, when one really stops to think about it, that Geisel might have a thing for hats. I remember reading The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins (which just celebrated its 75th anniversary) as a child and […]

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Fantastic Art from Frank Frazetta

If you’ve never heard the name Frank Frazetta, that doesn’t mean you’ve never seen his work. In the latter 20th century, Frazetta was a prolific artist in the fields of fantasy, science fiction and comic art. As comfortable with swords, sorcery and unnaturally curvaceous space heroines as he was with caricature and parody, his work […]

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Repurposing for Reading: Cleveland’s Literary Lots Project

I’m loving this idea over on kickstarter (and fortunately, it has already met its initial fundraising effort!): Literary Lots. It’s simple – find a city (in this case, Cleveland, OH). Gather artists and designers and volunteers and together, transform vacant city lots into beautiful, fun literary spaces for kids. Imagine making a Secret Garden, with […]

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Les plus beaux contes a Rudyard Kipling, illustrations by Kees van Dongen

I happened across this 1920 French edition of a Rudyard Kipling book of stories – Les plus beaux contes – which translates to “The Most Beautiful Tales” or similar. It could perhaps be Just So Stories. Either way, this edition is illustrated with 24 engravings by Dutch painter Kees van Dongen. I loved the ones […]

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Edward Gorey’s Illustrations for “The War of the Worlds”

It will be no surprise to regular readers of our blog that I am a big fan of Edward Gorey – I have written many a blog post about him, including the Edward Gorey Google doodle, The Letters of Edward Gorey and Peter F. Neumeyer, and 11 Book Covers by Edward Gorey. You may notice […]

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E Nesbit: Queen of Children’s Literature

Edith (E.) Nesbit was the queen of children’s literature in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Her best-known work is The Railway Children (1906), a story of three children trying to prove the innocence of their father, who is falsely imprisoned for espionage. Nesbit’s writing went beyond children’s books to adult novels, political writing, […]

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20th Century Hand-Illuminated Book

Today’s gorgeous and unusual find is this hand-illuminated book. Not much appears to be known about it, but it’s just stunning (An illuminated manuscript is any manuscript whose text is accompanied by decoration. It originally referred only to silver or gilt adornments, but came to be acceptable terminology for any manuscript with drawings, paintings or […]

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Author self-portraits

This morning I found this blog post which has collected a series of 20 author self-portraits. They range from comically bad (which is about my skill level) to absolutely amazing. I believe my personal favorite is this Bukowski piece, which to me just looks like a Saturday morning comic from the paper…   On the […]

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