Saturday, July 20, 2013

William Steig: Preliminary Shrek Book Cover Art

I would never want to minimize the importance of William Steig's Shrek! but it is after all but one small part of the artist's output over a long and brilliant career. The Shrek movies have no doubt enriched the Steig estate greatly, and for most people Shrek! is probably the only Steig work they have heard of, if only through Hollywood's outsized adaptations of it. Still, the auction estimate for Steig's preliminary book cover art was stratospherically high, and I was almost a bit relieved when it didn't sell for such a price in 2009. I would hate to be permanently priced out of the Steig market.

But then why shouldn't it sell at a premium? Classic children's book illustrations by Maurice Sendak, Ted Geisel, or Garth Williams could certainly go for a lot more than this. The issue, though, for collectors may be about how different the movie is from the book. Fans of the film's slick computer-animation may scarcely recognize images from the hand-drawn book that gave rise to it.

Lot 339. STEIG, William (1907 - 2003) Shrek! Watercolor, ink and pencil. (285 x 240 mm). Preliminary jacket design for Shrek! New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1990. Provenance: William Steig Estate.
Lot 339. STEIG, William (1907 - 2003)
 Shrek!
 Watercolor, ink and pencil. (285 x 240 mm). Preliminary jacket design for Shrek! New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1990. Provenance: William Steig Estate.

Capture the Imagination: Original Illustration & Fine Illustrated Books
Bloomsbury Auctions. New York, NY
Wednesday 9th December 2009 at 2:00 pm

http://www.bloomsburyauctions.com/detail/NY040/339.0






William Steig, Shrek!, 1990, The Published Cover


Note:  While you're at it, why not check out these William Steig posts?

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