Educate! Amuse! And In Colors!

For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282; mjeffers@sfpl.org

December 7, 2012

Educate! Amuse! And In Colors!

Selections from the George M. Fox Collection of Early Children’s Books

Exhibition at the San Francisco Main Library’s Skylight Gallery
December 15, 2012 – March 10, 2013

The Marjorie G. and Carl W. Stern Book Arts and Special Collections Center of the San Francisco Public Library is exhibiting a selection of more than 80 picture books from the Fox Collection featuring 19th century color printing, especially color wood engraving and chromolithographs.

Image of a dogHighlights include “toy” and “moveable” books; many examples from the shop of Edmund Evans, the premier 19th century printer of colored wood engravings (whose most notable artists were Walter Crane, Randolph Caldecott and Kate Greenaway); and many examples of fine British chromolithographs from the firms of Thomas Nelson & Sons, Frederick Warne, Dean & Son and George Routledge & Sons. Early hand-colored images are included as well.

SFPL’s Fox Collection is notable for its pristine condition  — probably because many of the books were never handled by children. Many are fragile, paper pamphlets which open to reveal color, still brilliant after more than 130 years. The collection was generously donated to San Francisco Public Library in 1978 by Mr. George M. Fox of Charlemont, Mass., and is on view to the public for the first time.

The exhibition opening will be celebrated with a lecture: McLoughlin Brothers: 19th Century Entrepreneurs and Innovators of the American Picture Book, on Saturday, January 5th, at 2 p.m. in the Koret Auditorium on the Lower Level of the Main Library, 100 Larkin St. Guest speaker, Laura E. Wasowicz, Curator of Children’s Literature from the American Antiquarian Society, in Worcester, Massachusetts, will discuss the McLoughlin Brothers printing firm of New York and its influence on 19thcentury American color printing.

Image of the alphabetThe American Antiquarian Society owns an extensive collection of McLoughlin Brothers materials including original drawings and prints, picture books, paper dolls, games, correspondence, catalogs, price lists, and manuscripts.

The San Francisco Public Library’s collection of more than 2,000 books from the McLoughlin Brothers file copies are primarily picture books. The title of the Library exhibition, Educate! Amuse! And in Colors! is taken from advertising copy found in the McLoughlin Brothers catalogs.

All events at the Library are free. For more information, contact (415) 557-4277.

Note to editors: Higher resolution images from the collection are available.