From the Mundane to the Magical, Muse White
It seems fitting to begin with a wonderful book by Mus White. The bibliography, From the Mundane to the Magical : Photographically Illustrated Children's Books 1854-1945, makes no pretense about the impossibility of cataloguing every book from this period and admits to a focus on English-language titles. The 265 page book includes 24 pages of over 50 images (I still wish there were more!) White indexes the picture books by series (146), by title chronologically (over 1,300), and also by recognizable photographers à la Ansel Adams (who knew?). You will discover unknown artists, like Arthur B. Phelan and his The Jaunts of Junior which has mind-blowing photo montages. I continually had to remind myself this was made in 1911 (Phelan's Jaunts will be the subject of my next post.) You will also find recognizable authors like Harry Whittier Frees with his bizarre, dressed up kittens, pups and bunnies, and Hans Christian Andersen. Photographers will appreciate White's descriptions of each book's photographic process and the chronological listing which allows one to see how photography has changed over the decades.
White chose to stop at the year 1945. She stated that this was the year television changed our world. I hope someone will create a follow up as there are certainly many wonderful titles since. From the Mundane to the Magical was at my local library and at second hand sites. Like the many books it catalogues, it too is out of print... yet, definitely worth finding.
Find it &