17 November 2009

Art to Capture the Imagination

Michael Patrick Hearn and the New York Times have both brought the news that Bloomsbury Auctions is preparing a 9 December sale on the theme of “Capture the Imagination: Original Illustration & Fine Illustrated Books.”

Among the lots are original John R. Neill artwork of Cap’n Bill smoking his pipe underwater in Sea Fairies and young Ervic meeting Reera the Red in Glinda of Oz, and page proofs from Neill’s three Oz novels, including an unused illustration of the Wizard.

Other Ozzy items include a 1969 letter from Margaret Hamilton to Ray Bolger and illustrations for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Michael Hague, by Barry Moser, by Charles Santore, and by Thea Kliros, whose edition appeared this year. The picture above is one of Moser’s sketches of the Wizard as a giant head.

Much of this auction consists of Tom Feelings’s artwork, including the stunning images for his Middle Passage, with an estimated price of over a quarter million dollars for the lot. I had the honor of meeting Feelings once, driving him to an SCBWI conference and showing him how a history book I was reading referred to his work. At the hotel we found a photocopier so he could add that to his files.

Among the other items that caught my eye in the online catalog:

Some items come from James Marshall’s estate, some from International Wizard of Oz Club founder Fred M. Meyer’s collection, and some from the artists themselves.

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