The Marjorie G. and Carl W. Stern Book Arts and Special Collections Center will celebrate the opening of the exhibition Educate! Amuse! And In Colors! : Selections from the George M. Fox Collection of Early Children's Books, in the Skylight Gallery, with a lecture by Laura E. Wasowicz, Curator of Children's Literature from the American Antiquarian Society. The exhibition features over eighty examples of 19th century color printing, drawn from the file copies of the McLoughlin Brothers publishing firm of New York, and donated to the library in 1978. These books are on view for the first time since then.
Wasowicz’s talk is entitled McLoughlin Brothers: Nineteenth-Century Entrepreneurs and Innovators of the American Picture Book. She will discuss the history of McLoughlin Brothers (active ca. 1858-1950), and their unique role in American publishing history as the premier 19th century producer of color picture books. Through their adaptation of developing technologies and modern marketing techniques, they made possible the full-color picture books we know today.
Wasowicz has worked for twenty-five years at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts where she develops and manages their collection of 24,000 children’s books issued between 1650 and 1899. She has written articles on various aspects of nineteenth-century American children’s book publishing, picture book iconography, and children’s reading habits. She is also the editor of the Nineteenth-Century American Children’s Book Trade Directory. She holds a master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in History from Clark University.
Image: Cinderella. New York: McLoughlin Bros., ca. 1882. Pantomime Toy Book Series. Image courtesy of the American Antiquarian Society.