Saturday, June 6, 2015

The City Kids of Whitney Darrow, Jr.

Whitney Darrow, Jr.  One of my all-time favorites. Perhaps the best ever at drawing original cartoons in his books as gifts for the recipients.

Perhaps indeed. One book recipient, Faith B. Cross, was born in 1923 and reared in Manhattan. She would have been around 20 when Whitney Darrow, Jr. published "You're Sitting on my Eyelashes" in 1943. A copy of the book is dedicated to her with an original color drawing. The drawing shows a girl, a boy, and a dog on the streets of the city. All three appear to be quite happy with their world. Today the recipient is known as Faith Cross Sweeney of Venice, FL and Lake Barrington, IL. Her former copy of the book is now in the collection of cartoonist Ken Krimstein.

Whitney Darrow, Jr.
"You're Sitting on my Eyelashes" (1943)
Inscribed "Best regards to Faith B. Cross from Whitney Darrow, jr."
Photo courtesy of Ken Krimstein

Note:  There is a lot more to be said about Whitney Darrow, Jr. and I for one am not afraid to say it.

Is Christopher Wheeler correct?  Was Darrow the best practitioner of creating original cartoons in his books? Certainly he used color more than Addams, Booth, and Koren, among other masters of the book illuminator's art. Before we jump to any conclusions, though, let's check out this blog's archive of signed books with original drawings. And for good measure save some time for Chris Wheeler's site too. Then you can report your scholarly findings in the comments section. Who might your favorite be?

Does your personal library have hidden treasures by New Yorker artists that deserve to be shared with the world? You know I'd be happy to be of assistance.

Thanks to Ken Krimstein for his kind permission to use this image.


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