New York — Spring artwork The sale at Swann Galleries is set to take place on Thursday, June 9. The auction will feature a rich selection of children’s picture books from the collection of the late Emily and Sam Bush. The sale will also include theatrical set and costume design, advertising art, notable picture book works, literary publications, cartoons, comics and more from esteemed illustrators.
The Emily & Sam Bush Collection selection includes works by Caldecott winner Trina Schart Hyman, with a 1986 illustration for The Water of Life: A Fairy Tale by the Brothers Grimm. Narrated by Barbara Rogansky, featuring the prints and her brothers ($1,000-1,500), Alice and Martin Provensen with The girl with the swanpremiered The Howard Pyle Story in 1971 ($2,000-3,000); cricket magazine covers by Hilary Knight ($3,000-4,000); and Tasha Tudor’s iconic portrait of Mary Lennox for Frances Hodgson Burnett’s classic The secret garden ($7,000-10,000). Emily and Sam Bush opened Bush Galleries in Norwich, Vermont in 1984 as one of the first retail stores specializing in original children’s book art. They eventually expanded to Boston and Carmel, California. Although they also handled international artists, they remained loyal to promoting the work of New England illustrators.
Other children’s illustrations and picture books include War, circa 1900-1902, an illustration by NC Wyeth, then 18, from a series he created for his maternal grandparents ($3,000-4,000); a study by Jessie Willcox Smith for a 1907 issue of McClure’s magazine and the frontispiece of The five senses by Angela M. Keyes ($12,000-18,000); a very detailed drawing by Eleanor Vere Boyle for The never-ending story, 1868 ($15,000-25,000); and a fascinating archive of illustrator Bob Childress’s collection, which includes production material for Have fun with our familya title in Famous Dick & Jane Readers ($5,000-7,500).
The stage and stage sets are underlined by Al Hirschfeld’s 1979s New York Times Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award cartoon Sweeney Todd ($15,000 to $25,000). Also note the set design by Alexandra Exter for the 1921 Kamerny Theater production of Romeo and Juliet ($10,000 to $15,000).
General advertising, book and magazine illustrations include works from the Golden Age to contemporary narrative art. Highlights include Neysa McMein’s 1921 Wallace Silver ad The wonderful hostess ($6,000-9,000); Roger Hane’s De Beers advertisement in 1971 A love by the stars ($15,000 to $25,000); Jay Paul Jackson circa 1940 illustration created for the American Negro Exposition Etta Moten Barnett dancing ($800-1,200); and Harold Anderson’s cover illustration for a 1935 issue of American pharmacist magazine ($2,000-3,000).
The beloved cartoons, comics and animation section makes a solid offering for collectors. Notable cartoons include a series of works created for CRAZY Magazine by the irreverent Don Martin ($4,000-6,000 each); Charles Addams is presented with a drawing of Uncle Fester ($4,000-6,000); and New Yorker cartoons by Richard Taylor are offered ($700 to $1,000 each). Classic comic book characters include Felix the Cat, Blondie, Terry and the Pirates and Pogo. Illustrations and animation designs for The Simpsons, The Beatles, and Walt Disney Studios and Hanna-Barbera round out the sale.
Exhibition hours are 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. from June 6 to June 8. The live online auction platforms will be the Swann Galleries app, Invaluable and Live Auctioneers. The full catalog and auction information is available at www.swanngalleries.com and on the Swann Galleries app.