For those of you who don’t know me in person, I have a serious penchant for things from the 30’s and 40’s. Mostly, I am talking about toys and children’s books, but also anything with graphics of the era- greeting cards, packaging, etc. My artistic leanings are approximately one generation off- I should have been born in 1937, instead of 1967! Anyhow, my point is- there are an amazing amount of great children’s book artists from the past, so I will post some art now and then from my collection. Today’s artist is an all-time favorite: Ruth E. Newton. This comes from her “Peter Rabbit” book from 1938, a Whitman book.
Ruth E. Newton (1884-1972) attended the Philadelphia School of Fine Art before beginning a long career as an illustrator of children’s books. She illustrated more than 40 books, many for the Whitman Publishing Co., and also designed greeting cards and dolls.
Her art is colorful without being too in your face, and cute, but not annoyingly so. Anyone who can walk that fine, fine line is offically awesome in my book! And check out the action in the picture here- no stiffness. Don’t get me wrong…the original Beatrix Potter one is swell, but Ruth brings her own fluffy joy to the character!